Monday 25 September 2023

Using ChatGPT as a blogger

I'm really interested in the development of AI and I've done lots of reading around the topic. I'm not really interested in how it works, I want to learn about the ethical considerations, and the ways that it might influence our lives both now and in the future.

I can see AI having a massive impact on the media landscape, especially when it comes to social media and online magazines and blogs. I was fascinated by a recent story about how fans of the computer game World of Warcraft laid a trap for an AI bot that was generating news stories based on their Reddit posts - Warcraft fans trick AI article bot with Glorbo hoax - and it did make me wonder how much online content has been created by Artificial Intelligence. It's going to have a huge impact on both online and print publishing. 

I think that we are entering a time when a huge amount of online content will be computer generated (if it's not already!), and because the software is then learning from that generated online content I do wonder about what that means for traditional writers, and for the people that are reading it. I just can't see it being the same in terms of quality and accuracy.

Using AI and ChatGPT as a blogger
Image generated by Stable Diffusion AI

However I must confess that I have been using ChatGPT when it comes to brainstorming and writing blog posts. I'll say first that I've never used ChatGPT to write an entire blog post and I don't intend to!

 But here are some of the ways that I've used it for blogging:

- Asking for a list of ideas for blog posts around a particular theme. Often none of the titles are exactly what I'm looking for, but they've sparked an idea for something else.

- Asking for blog post outlines around a particular subject. It's a good way of coming up with new ideas even if I don't want to follow the suggested format.

- I needed to write a sponsored post about the benefits of installing a GPS tracker in your car and I could only think of a couple! But ChatGPT provided me with several that I hadn't considered, and I was able to expand on those to fill the article. 

- I used a different AI tool to generate some potential blog post images. You can read about how I got on here - Using AI to generate images for blog posts. There's still lots of work to be done in this area, but I can see it being very useful if you are looking for a very specific image to illustrate something.

- Coming up with craft ideas. I asked it to give me some ideas for crafts involving particular materials for certain occasions. The results weren't ground breaking and I could have just used Google, but again it did help to give me some inspiration.

I've found that for the best results you need to be very specific when it comes to writing your prompt. You can go into a lot of detail and write a whole paragraph about what you are after, and then you can use further prompts or ask it to rewrite for you in a different way. ChatGPT also saves all your queries so you can go back to them and follow up. 

ChatGPT will even come up with text that you can use to share your posts on social media. I had a lot of fun with this, especially if you ask it to make them click bait! I would never use them! But here are some tweets that it suggested for promoting this blog post, complete with emojis and hashtags:


Please generate me some tweets for sharing my blog post titled "Using ChatGPT as a Blogger". Make them click bait!


"🚀 Unleash the POWER of ChatGPT! 🤖 Learn how I skyrocketed my blog with AI wizardry! 💥 Read it now: [Blog Post Link] #BloggerMagic #AIWriting"

"💡 Want to BOOST your blog game? Discover my SECRET weapon: ChatGPT! 📚🚀 Dive into the future of blogging here: [Blog Post Link] #ChatGPT #BloggingTips"

"📝 Bloggers, brace yourselves! ChatGPT is your new BEST friend! 😍 Unlock the potential of AI writing today: [Blog Post Link] #BloggersUnite #AIContent"

"🚀 REVOLUTIONIZE your blogging game with ChatGPT! 💥 Get the inside scoop on my blogging journey here: [Blog Post Link] #BloggerLife #AIWriting"

"🌟 BLOGGERS, this is a GAME-CHANGER! 💡 Explore how ChatGPT transformed my content creation! 🔥 Dive in now: [Blog Post Link] #ContentCreation #ChatGPT"

Of course there are drawbacks to using ChatGPT to write content. The biggest one is that it does just make things up. I asked for reading material around a particular subject and was given a list of plausible titles and authors. Some of the authors had written books on similar subjects and the titles sounded good. But the actual books didn't exist!

I also asked for links to blog posts and articles on the subject I was researching and again it listed fake articles. There was a disclaimer saying that the titles had been automatically generated, but a website that is automatically copying and pasting information won't take any notice of that.

Finally, after asking ChatGPT to generate a few blog post articles it's easy to see the format that is being used, and it becomes very repetitive. The articles are nicely written with a beginning, middle and an end and the style is correct but somehow it just sounds a bit off and formulaic. Maybe a blog could get away with the occasional AI generated article but I think readers would soon get bored, especially if reading several articles at once.

I don't intend to ever use ChatGPT to write my blog, it's something that I love doing too much! But I'm definitely going to be more wary of the content that I read online going forwards, and I really hope that we aren't starting to see the end of human generated content.

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