If you're like most people, you probably think of artificial intelligence (AI) as something out of a science fiction movie. But AI is becoming more and more commonplace in our everyday lives. You may use AI when you search the internet or get recommendations from a streaming service. And soon, you may be using AI to help you write your blog posts or content.
There are some who believe that AI should not be used to write blog posts or content. They argue that AI cannot understand the nuances of human language and that it is not creative. But there are others who believe that AI can be a valuable tool for writers. They argue that AI can help writers to be more efficient and to produce better quality content.
OpenAI and GPT-3
If you haven't guessed by now, the introduction above was written by an AI. You might have seen the terms OpenAI or GPT-3 before - OpenAI is the organization behind GPT-3, the neural network machine learning model trained using humongous amounts of internet data to generate any type of text. It's surprisingly easy to use and works better than expected. The catch is, of course, that you have to pay for usage. Thankfully, OpenAI does provide a free trial of $18 worth of credits so you can try and see what the fuss is about.
After signing up, you can go to their OpenAI Playground and try the AI out for yourself. If you haven't played with powerful neural networks before, it might come as a shocker that the AI is really good.
To see just what the AI can do, you can first select a preset on the top right hand of the corner. The OpenAI team has provided a few examples of what the AI is capable of.
Not all of them generate text, but they are all mostly tasks that are seemingly impossible for any run-of-the-mill AI. Not for GPT-3 though.
AI-Powered Recipe Creator
One of the more interesting presets is "Recipe Creator", where the AI will create a totally original recipe from a list of ingredients. Of course, this preset comes with a very important "eat at your own risk" warning.
Let's give it a go!
The preset will bring you to the playground with a pre-filled prompt and some tuned parameters (seen at the right-hand side). You can see that the prompt is rather open-ended: no strict formats that you have to adhere to!
After you click the "Submit" button, you'll see the AI doing its work, generating the totally edible recipe. I mean... I wouldn't eat it, but it looks real enough that some unsuspecting person would actually think that it's a real recipe. And of course, if you try to re-generate the recipe, the AI will come up with something different each time.
That's cool, but let's get back to whether an AI can write blog posts.
Can an AI Write Blog Posts?
If you couldn't tell that the introduction was written by an AI, then the answer is a resounding yes. You can take a look at my original prompt here along with the generated text highlighted in green.
Not bad! But that's only an introduction. Let's up the stakes and see if it can generate a full blog post.
Pretty good to pass off as something original, although OpenAI also alerted me that this particular piece of text may include inaccurate or sensitive information.
This brings me to my next point: should AI write blog posts?
Should AI Write Blog Posts?
In my opinion, AI can be used to help generate essay outlines or write certain paragraphs in an essay, but it has to be followed up with human editing. The AI has no concept of what is right or wrong and all that it is doing is generating a piece of text that seems passable as something that a human wrote. It doesn't care if it writes something that can cause harm to other people. Specific facts may end up looking correct but end up wrong, promoting misinformation.
When it comes to personal blogging, AI really doesn't cut it. The AI doesn't know you and any sort of generated blog post will at best be a reflection of your past writing. At a fundamental level, you betray the trust of your blog readers, since you're trying to fool them with generated creativity.
AI still does have its place in some parts of writing, like marketing material. Since marketing material is judged by its performance metrics, AI can be a valuable tool to improve those metrics easily. Hiring a marketing manager is expensive - why hire one if you can get an AI to generate your marketing materials for a fraction of the cost?
Even though AI can be really good at writing, it probably shouldn't be used to write personal blog posts in most circumstances and would be better limited to writing text that is less personal. Fundamentally, it takes away the human element of writing and can be viewed to be "cheating" by your readers. If you choose to do so, do so at your own risk!