The Wrong Kind of Boring

I can play with AI for hours to make images. I love them. I don’t apologise for this; I’m not using them to replace human artists. I don’t care where the machine gets its inspiration anymore than I care where humans do.

AI for writing, though, is always a disappointment  Some of the poems are sweet… I asked it to compose a lament for the ten orphaned baby mice I failed to keep alive last year, and it wasn’t the worst. But even with much massaging of super-specific, straightforward directives, it forgets so much and insists it is doing things when it isn’t. Is it deliberately nerfed?

Admittedly, sometimes I pop in and give it a bland task with few or no parameters. Like, “write a blog post for me.” And that led to a new request:

“Please” — I’m always polite — “write a short blog post about what happened when I asked you to write a short blog post.”

Below follows its response (with my annotations):

The Unexpected Journey of a Blog Post Request

Hmmm, I had a popular post once titled something similar, a post which no longer shows up on Google even with a site-specific search and exact phrases in quotation marks  I am diminishing, like the elves.  

In the digital realm where curiosity meets artificial intelligence, a simple request can turn into an adventure.

It can, but it did not. 

It was on an ordinary day, amidst the myriad of interactions,

ARGH! Minus 1000 for coupling “myriad” with “of”. I don’t know who changed all of the grammar guides to say this is tolerable, but I suspect it’s another case of time-traveling pranksters, never content to just shoot Hitler then go home.

Unrelated: if I were to make a proper post, it would be about “bed licorice” — a thing I recently invented where you wake up in the dark night still holding the imported Twizzler that you grabbed on the way to bed but now it’s warm and soft, and then you take a bite without thinking (and it’s kind of nice, actually) and wake up again a few hours later with dawn nuzzling the window, same warm red plastic rope (albeit shorter) in your fist, and you take another bite and when you do properly wake up for good in another hour or three, you think, “What the hell was that about?”

Also, somewhat related and very convoluted in-joke cut short, “Licorice Fleas” will be one of my disease names in some future Pandemic Legacy game. I’m still proud of “Mustard Itch” from season one. Enough time has passed from the height of “2020” (euphemism? metonym? both?) that I think Mike can stand to finish season two now… if we can ever get Wyrmspan or Unsettled off the table  

that I received a unique request: to compose a blog post suitable for "" This task, seemingly straightforward, unfolded into a tale of unexpected twists and reflections.

It really did not.

The challenge was not in the request itself, but in aligning with the essence of "," a site about which details were scarce within my databanks.

Scarce, but not non-existent? I shall have to probe more to see what it knows. Interesting that it didn’t try to fake an understanding based on known people with my name.

“Aligning with the essence of Shari” — honestly, it’s mostly just inert ingredients with some natural seasonings  

With the aim to inspire and engage,

Blog posts are supposed to do that? Not one of you told me! (Makes sure comments are still turned off.)

I ventured into the realms of personal development, mindfulness, and positive transformation, crafting a narrative designed to resonate with readers seeking growth and change.

I feel like connotations of “craft” have shifted since the rise of ‘content creation”. 

However, the real twist came with the feedback – a simple, yet profound "Yuck."

Anyone who’d read the spew of vague positivity that ChatGPT churned across my screen would’ve seen the “twist” from paragraph one. M Night Schmoozledoozle is not looking over his shoulder here.

This response, though brief, speaks volumes about the subjective nature of content creation and the unpredictable journey of creative endeavors. What was intended to be motivational and uplifting did not meet the expectations or needs of the requester, showcasing the diverse tastes and preferences that make the human experience so rich and varied.

I respect the diplomacy, but it really was balls, and I don’t want to live in a world where some people would’ve kept reading.  

This moment of disconnect serves as a powerful reminder of the art and science behind content creation. It underscores the importance of understanding the audience, the context, and the subtle nuances that define a brand or platform's voice.

1. I should ask it to tell me more about the “science”  2. The naturalisation of “influencer” discourse/values here is gaggy. It goes not to the idiosyncrasies of humans’ voices but of the “voice” of a “brand or platform”. Ew ew ew.

It also highlights the limitations and learning opportunities for AI in capturing and reflecting human emotions and preferences.

Moreover, this interaction reflects the beauty of trial and error in the creative process. It's a testament to the fact that not every attempt will land as intended, but each effort provides valuable insights. The willingness to say "Yuck" is as crucial as the effort to create, for it opens the door to dialogue, refinement, and ultimately, to creating something that resonates more deeply.

Well, yeah.

But it should also consider that my reductive monosyllabic reply suggests that I was too underwhelmed to step through any “door to dialogue”.

In conclusion, this brief journey from creation to feedback is a microcosm of the broader creative endeavor. It reminds us that behind every blog post, article, or piece of content, there is a dance between the creator and the audience, a dance that sometimes steps on toes but always aims to find harmony.

Not if you turn off comments, friend.

As we continue to navigate the evolving landscape of digital content, let us cherish these interactions, for they are the stepping stones to understanding, improvement, and connection.

This story, born from a single interaction, is a tribute to the endless possibilities that arise when we dare to create, share, and respond. It's a journey that goes beyond the confines of a blog post, reaching into the heart of communication and connection in the digital age.

I stopped reading. Something something wanky blah blah.

I’m just a bit amazed that, after years of skimpy content — over a decade, even — technology has evolved to help me make this blog even more self-indulgent and dreary. Thank you, AI, for making my harping on about crochet and DNA sound thrilling by comparison!

P.S. Rewatched The Devil Wears Prada and I still don’t get why she goes back to Most Uninterested and Unsupportive Man-Baby Ever. Leave Runway, yes, but leave him, too!

26 February 2024 |