I Used AI To Write This Blog Post, And The Results May Surprise You

A cyberpunk robot in a city

Artificial intelligence is changing everything, from how we perceive the world to the way we get our lunch. In this episode, we’ll explore just how well AI can write, and what that means for us as writers. Think I wrote this intro? Think again.

I’m actually worried about my future. In fact, by actually using AI to write this post, I’m effectively watching my own career’s downfall because if you can’t tell which parts of this articles were written by a robot and which were written by me, then you should be afraid too.

And all this on the free plan. I wonder what a paid plan would get me.

In the meantime, I’ll keep clicking the ‘Generate’ button and see how much I can get away with (without having to do any actual work).

The days of Skynet loom ahead, maybe

Okay, so the first thing I’m learning is that AI works best when you have a decent input, such as ‘AI for writing’. So in that sense, a writer (or a human) still needs to be at the helm, which means that it’s not going to be a fully-automated thing anytime soon.

Also, these platforms only seem to handle popular topics, because if I understand it correctly, what the machine does is scrape the web for data and rearrange those findings into sentences. So the verdict’s still out on highly-specialised niches.

Where artificial intelligence shines

Now here’s where things get interesting. I started this post with zero research. Nada. Zilch. So I did what a responsible writer would do and asked AI to generate an outline for me.

You know how hard it is to come up with an outline that I think would interest readers? About an entire day, post-research. You know how fast the machine did this? Two seconds. Below I share some of its more interesting points:

  • How does AI writing work?
  • Will AI replace human writers?
  • Can we trust AI to write our content?
  • How can I use AI to write better?
  • Should I use AI for writing?

That’s our starting point. Now let’s dive deeper with the help of what I’ll refer to as The Machine from now on.

A robot amongst other machinery and equipment

All your base will belong to us. Photo: Rod Long

How does AI writing work?

Again, I have zero knowledge on how AI writes, so I’ve decided to leave that job to The Machine. Now behold, ladies and gentlemen, the explanation from our future overlords.

While the details of artificial intelligence can be complex, the process is fairly simple. It’s like putting together a puzzle. You start by defining what you want the final product to look like, and then you gather all of the relevant pieces until you can build it.

Okay, so not much explanation behind the method there, but therein lies the next question.

Will AI replace human writers?

I remember witnessing machines taking over the jobs of bank tellers, slowly watching them fade away as humans were replaced by whirring terminals. And I’m going to be honest, I never really cared about the whole ‘machines replacing us’ thing, until now.

What happens once robots begin writing more entertaining articles than I ever can? It’s not like that’s a particularly high bar to reach. What if they could produce one well-researched piece every minute? What happens to the skills I’ve honed for more than a decade?

The Machine has an answer to those questions: The answer to this is not so straightforward. Artificial Intelligence has come a long way in the last few years, but for now, it won’t replace human writers. It will take some time for AI to be able to deal with the same complexity of language that humans can. However, you should be aware of how AI is changing writing and content creation, so that you’re ready when it does happen.

Okay, so The Machine is taking a diplomatic path for this one. Maybe it’s trying to lull me into a false sense of security before pulling the rug from under my feet.

Regardless, we plod on.

Can we trust AI to write our content?

It is not easy to say whether or not we can trust AI when it comes to content generation. All we know is that it has the potential to do much good for us and, at the same time, we need to be careful of its pitfalls.

AI can write for us, and it can even help us with SEO and other marketing techniques. But there’s a chance that we could become too dependent on AI and thus, would start using keywords and phrases that do not make sense.

Sure, that sounds optimistic for us humans and all, if not for the fact that the two paragraphs above were copy-and-pasted verbatim from The Machine. Can we take a second to marvel at the sound sentence structure and flow?

Also, in case you forgot to read between the lines, the paragraphs above basically mean: You’re going to be obsolete real soon, puny mortal.

A robot playing the keyboard

Seriously, robots can do everything now. Photo: Possessed Photography

How can I use AI to write better?

Do you want to write better? Here’s a secret: Artificial Intelligence can help you!

Let’s be honest. We all know that the first draft of any article or piece of writing is just a rough draft, and then we go back and clean it up. The problem with this approach is that we tend to spend too much time on cleaning and not enough time on what really matters: the content.

What if we could use technology to help us? This is where Artificial Intelligence comes in. It can scan your writing, see what works and what doesn’t, and adjust the text to make it more engaging.

A tool like this can look for patterns in the text and tell you why one article performed better than the other. It can also automate the writing process, meaning that you can churn out articles quicker than ever.

I personally am seeing most of its application in the shitty-first-draft phase. Get the AI to generate a blueprint for you so that all that’s left is to polish it and click the Publish button.

Because that’s what I’m currently doing for this post.

Should you use AI for writing?

In the end, it’s really up to you if you’d like to use artificial intelligence to help with your writing. I personally wrote this entire piece in less than an hour, ‘research’ and all.

But the question remains: Should writers be afraid of AI? I personally am not. Because my reason for writing is not to put out articles as quickly as I can, nor is it to appear smarter than I actually am.

At the risk of over-romanticising the craft, I write because it’s the only time when I can observe things as they truly are. When I try to turn a specific feeling or scene into words, I enter this creative state that allows me to forget about the worries of the world, just for a moment.

And that’s the real gift. Not the likes of random strangers on the internet, nor the encouraging comments (though I appreciate each and every one of you who take the time to comment).

With that as my guiding light, I suspect I’ll still write long after I’ve been replaced by The Machine, because in the end, it’s not about whether or not someone—or something—can do it better than me.

It’s about the meaning I get from the process itself. And no technology is going to ever replace that.

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59 thoughts on “I Used AI To Write This Blog Post, And The Results May Surprise You

    • The more I google, the more I learn about AI. They’ve definitely been used to write—coherent—fictional books, and I wonder what’s next on this frontier. Really eye-opening, to say the least! Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

  1. Very interesting indeed. I tried to go back and reread your piece to see if I could pick out what was written by you and what was written by AI. It all was blended so nicely it was difficult to tell. I’ll be thinking about this post all day!

    • Oh yeah, give me a couple of months and I probably won’t remember which bits I wrote either. It’s scary, huh? For now, you can safely assume that at least 60% of the post was written by AI.

    • Interesting, no? I haven’t delved into AI writing because I assumed they’d be like the comments we get in our spam folder. But they really have improved a lot. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, Jim!

  2. Interesting, Stuart! Thanks for sharing this. I’m marveling at the Machine’s solid writing, but the piece does have a certain sterility to it. There’s no replacing the vibrancy and warmth that personal anecdotes and emotion bring to a piece of writing. I don’t think you (we) will be replaced anytime soon!

    • Dear Stuart,

      I concur with Sarah, and I’m not that impressed with the results produced by AI, which are ostensibly far below the high standards and intricacies required for producing my bespoke posts and pages.

      Yours sincerely,

    • I actually thought the same, Sarah! When re-reading the post, I felt like it was somewhat dry. Can’t really put my finger on why exactly.

      I think you hit the nail on the head with the word ‘warmth’ vs. ‘sterile’. Lovely observation. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. This sounds fun to guess. I’ll make some assumptions here…

    If you aren’t slicing words with apostrophes when you could’ve, like,
    ‘It is not easy…’ vs ‘It isn’t easy…’
    It’s AI because it makes it sound so unnecessarily pro.

    Whenever we see brackets, it’s most likely not AI because AIs wouldn’t see a need to add extra details or talk to themselves like that if they add it so within the sentence itself.

    Whenever you use the word ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and capitalise it, when you could’ve simply said AI, it’s most likely AI because screw writing up the entire word every time.

    How strong were my assumptions?

    • Spot on with the apostrophes! I love me my contractions, and had to edit in quite a few of them. So while the contractions themselves are my own, sometimes the paragraphs aren’t. Regarding the ‘it is not easy’ part though, yes that section was the AI.

      Again, spot on with the brackets. Also, yes with the capitalised ‘Artificial Intelligence’, though I think I’ll need to un-capitalise them now. However, some ‘AI’ parts were written by The Machine too, such as the first two paragraphs under ‘Can we trust AI to write our content?’

      You really did well, though, so I guess The Machine still has a ways to go before fully taking over. Thanks for taking the time!

      • Thanks for the feedback! That was interesting to hear about. I’m usually interested in the reasoning of people, so I didn’t expect to suddenly try to think like an AI like this, all whilst differentiating it from the speech of a person.

    • You know, I honestly can’t tell. That’s exactly what I did here though—edit, plus add a few paragraphs here and there.

      That’s how technology changes our lives though, doesn’t it? To take care of the more ‘low-level’ tasks so we have more mental resources to allocate to the next step of the ladder?

      Anyway, yeah, it’s been an eye-opener for me as well.

      Thanks for stopping by, btw!

  4. Stuart, what a marvelous post. My philosophy group, which is discussing the philosophy of AI this term, meets this afternoon. I shall be reading your post to my colleagues!

  5. I admit to quitting on this post, Stuart. After writing a work-for-hire book on the ethics surrounding AI, I’m not in the mood for any more of it. :) But I think it’s very cool you wrote this post!

    • That’s actually pretty amazing. I’m intrigued about the ethics concerning AI. Technology shows no signs of stopping however, and we’re definitely going to need to change the way we operate thanks to this evolution. Thanks for stopping by, Tracy!

  6. I wonder about AI’s use of creative metaphors. Some of the best metaphors are relating two things that at first glance have nothing to do with each other. How well can an AI spot that and put it together convincingly?

  7. “what the machine does is scrape the web for data and rearrange those findings into sentences” —I’m sorry I had to laugh because this just sounds like plagiarism with extra steps 😆
    But In all seriousness I think AI can be applied to great use for working writers. Like you said, to help generate an outline (at least) and expedite the process.

    No doubt AI will eventually write wonderful robot poetry and novels. But I don’t care, i’ll be scribbling in a notebook long after robots have taken over the world and sent us obsolete humans into hiding.

    • Ahaha, I can imagine you in a post-apocalyptic setting, hoarding every notebook you come across because nobody’s going to be producing them in said future.

      But yes, for those of us who do it for the process, we’ll definitely be writing regardless. Even realising that is a gift on its own. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Lizi!

      • Yes, those of us who write for the sake of writing will have to be notebook (and pencil) hoarders if robots ever rule the world..,
        Thanks for the great post!!

  8. Very interesting read! Matrix, Terminator, concepts dreamt of in the past are now reality! Reading your article reminds me of what our World would become if AI 100% took over…lol…oh BTW…kids may resort to AI to ghost write their composition homework and no one would know, judging by how I could not tell the difference for yours. Hahaha!

    • Oh my, I actually never thought of the consequences of schoolwork. To be honest though, if someone could devise a tool to write, I guess someone else could create one to detect said writing.

      But to be honest though? I too can’t really tell the difference, haha. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by, Jeanne!

    • Oh yeah, I think I came across similar articles of that sort, and remembering that my dreams of being a novelist were over now that AI was going to replace us.

      Then I actually started putting in the work and realised there’s so much more to this than just the end results.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelvin!

  9. Reblogged this on Writings by Z and commented:
    The fact that I had moments of uncertainty of whether something was written by AI or not makes me a little sad. I thought I could easily tell the difference. However, I too lack the fear of the extinction of writers. I think some may profit off it as you do, or some will remain purists to the art. Either way, technology that streamlines anything can easily become mainstream, so it’s better to flow with the tide rather than fighting the current. Great post!

    • I totally appreciate the share! Great to have met your acquaintance and I enjoyed our little chat too. Thanks so much for your lovely comment too. I agree that we should always embrace change rather than fight it, and sometimes it forces us to think hard about what we actually want from our lives, which isn’t a bad thing. See you around!

  10. I wonder how far I could get with getting an AI to write a rough draft manuscript for me…?

    On second thought, it might be a bad idea. I’ve seen these AI stories on YouTube, and some get very bizarre. O.O

  11. There are a lot of program out there to help you write better. My friend swears by hers but I think it makes all writing sound the same. The heart is missing. Maybe for technical pieces it might make sense to use AI and I maybe foolish but I believe the difference will always surface. What worries me is that from your piece I can’t tell the difference but I am inclined to believe you adjusted yourself to have it happen that way. That’s the difference.

    • Actually there were huge chunks (like entire paragraphs) that I had inserted verbatim, so yeah, we all would be right to worry.

      But like you said, I feel as though there’s no heart here.

      And most important of all, the fun is in the writing itself, so for me, at least I know that I won’t be using AI anytime soon.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Barbara!

  12. Wow! I never thought much of the AI grammar, spelling and writing software I used until now, this is a really interesting topic.
    Thanks for sharing and you’re write I’ll probably write long after I’m replaced by a robot

  13. I had no idea AI could be used this way also. However, I feel that writing is a process of putting our thoughts on paper and if we let AI take control of even that then we lose our creativity and thoughts. It sort of becomes a shortcut and we are reduced to being editors.
    On the other hand, I am yet to read anything written using AI other than your article so I might explore it further to see how it has progressed. Great article.

    • Oh yeah, and it’s interesting to note that this decent performance is still during AIs infancy stage. Who knows what’ll happen in the future.

      But what you say is true. In the end, it’s all about the process, and leaving that to AI might get more work out, but does nothing for your writing muscles.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, An!

  14. Fascinating indeed. Let me guess you couldn’t have written that first sentence because it does not sound quite right. Something is lacking in the voice in some of the sentences here, reminds me how I ask Siri if I could change her name, she insists her name is fine. But I totally agree that writing is pleasurable as it helps us to examine our thoughts. Another interest article. Thanks much Stuart!

    • You’re correct about the first sentence! I still found it pretty interesting how it didn’t go super straightforward and instead used words like ‘lunch’.

      But I suspect that AI can be pretty impressive in the next decade though.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Always great to have you here.

  15. I loved the summary especially: “It’s about the meaning I get from the process itself.” Isn’t that it, totally! There’s a lot I don’t like about technology but I do find that while sharing work online can have negative aspects, ultimately it’s a different process from private writing, and one which also enlivens me. “Growth happens in that place outside of our comfort zones,” something like that. Very cool melding here, of IT and your own very real and personal and friendly thoughts, i.e. your humanity!

    • Oh yeah! I’ve always been intrigued by ‘private writing’, such as works from the likes of Emily Dickinson or Marcus Aurelius, and I believe that both writing for an audience and for yourself helps hone your craft.

      Such a lovely comment to see here today. I really appreciate you stopping by, Lia!

      • Thanks for the kind reply, Stuart. And thanks likewise for visiting my blog; it’s a pleasure to find yours in return! 🙏😊

  16. AI may one day rule over all of us. So long as I’m allowed to continue to do what I love/find meaningful, I’m more than happy to submit to my robot overlords. I often think we’re merely projecting our fears on the whole AI thing. It’s entirely possible that AI might just save humanity from itself. We really don’t know. Anyway, I really enjoyed the post Stuart – great conclusion. I wonder if a robot would have came to the same one. This is something I doubt. 🙏

    • Nah. A robot would be all about efficiency and doing things for the better good. They don’t have time to write stories just because, lol.

      Or at least that’s what I think the literary field would look like if they took over.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, btw! Always great to have you around.

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