Putting AI content generation through its paces
Note: This article contains writing examples created by AI. Any AI generated content is clearly labeled as such.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to apply for a job through one of the many freelancing job bid sites. The job was for an experienced writer to teach the person listing the job how to use AI in order to create a massive amount of content for their website. The job would have paid up to $60 an hour for three to six months.
I was insulted. After all, they could pay me to create their content and while they may not get dozens of pieces each day, the amount they would have gotten would be professional, creative, and tuned to the needs of their audience. But that’s not what they wanted. They wanted quick content cheap.
I’ve been trying to ignore AI and the concerns that many other writers out there have about this technology. However, a recent slowdown in the amount of work I’ve been offered has no doubt been a direct result of businesses jumping on the bandwagon. That’s why I’ve decided to start putting AI through the paces to figure out just what it offers, and how it compares to a real writer doing the job.
When I decided to test this out, the only AI I knew I had access to was Microsoft Bing’s AI, which seemed to make a name for itself with its creepy interaction with a New York Times journalist a few weeks ago. I’ve just been added to the waitlist for Google Bard and ChatGPT never seems to be available (though, checking it as I write, it’s finally available to use — a little too late for this experiment).
While Bing is no longer creepy (believe me, I tried to get it to say something strange), I guess I can see where it would be useful. The first test I put it through was to ask a simple question that couldn’t easily be searched. I asked if Bing was the only name it had. There was a little back and forth, ending in a joke.
Then, I decided to get a little more serious with my inquiry. I asked about grants for creative writing. This kicked the…