Blog AI 7/24/22

Technology with Richard Bleil

Lately my social media page has been showing me adverts for Artificial Intelligence engines writing blogs.  It says things like “make blog writing ten times faster”, or “blog writing is hard, but not with our AI.” 

Apparently, I’m not intelligent enough to have my own blog.  See, my assumption was that the whole idea of writing a blog was to literally write the blog.  Wrong.  Apparently, when you start a blog, you’re supposed to pay for a computer to write your blog for you so you don’t have to actually do any of the work.  And this site guarantees a completely original and non-plagiarized copy.  Apparently they have ten million monkeys sitting at ten million keyboards. 

Okay, my readers all know me.  Yes, of course I had to try it.  Now, me?  I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy.  I believe in doing my own work and thinking for myself which is why I avoid Faux “News”.  But, you also know me well enough to realize that, yes, indeed, I am an experimentalist, so at the end of this blog (delineated by three dashes that look like this: —) I will post with that AI wrote on the topic of AI’s writing blogs.  I had to put in a title (“blog writing with AI”), brief content description (“AI’s writing blogs”; are you seeing a theme here?) and some keywords (“AI” and “blog”) and it wrote a two-hundred-word essay on writing blogs.  It was easy, but is it worthwhile? 

I’ll let you decide, but the thought did occur to me that if it can write a two-hundred-word blog, what’s to keep it from writing a paper for school?  The claim on the advert is that you’ve probably already read copy from AI written articles and adverts (including, no doubt, the one that informed me of the service).  So, could a teacher tell if a paper was written by the student or an AI service?  How is this different from getting somebody to write their paper for them?  How is it different from a dad doing the kids science show project?  I mean, not that I’ve ever done that! 

Actually, I have no kids, so no, I haven’t.

Some years ago, we had a meeting at the university where I was working where a speaker had been invited (by the administration no less) who argued that math should be removed from the curriculum.  “Nobody actually does math anymore,” he argued, then looked straight at Jeff, my friend and math professor, saying “Right?  Am I right?” 

This is a distinct type of tone-deafness.

The reality is that a lot of math is now down by computers.  Basic math is usually done with calculators (a very bad habit of which I myself have been guilty in the past), and calculus and more advanced math can be done on specialized software packages that will help you to resolve the problem at hand, but that doesn’t invalidate the need for math courses.  If you don’t know what an integral does, or when you need a derivative, how will you calculate the net velocity during an acceleration?  Granted, many people will never need to know how to do this (I do), but a basic understanding is, I would argue, still important.  With AI’s such as this blog writing one, it can be argued that it is no longer necessary to take composition, English, or creative writing. 

The basic need for math and science is to give students the basic tools they need in organizing their thoughts, logic and thinking for themselves.  No, most will not become mathematicians or scientists, but the observational skills and logic will serve them, should they choose to use it, in any career.

Once I had a student make an odd comment to me, the wording of which I wish I could recall exactly, that made me think that he believed that I assigned homework assignments in an effort to get the answers in the textbook.  That’s really not the point.  The point of homework is to teach the students certain concepts and to get them to expand that knowledge to applications, not because I cannot answer them.  The idea of papers is not because the teacher needs somebody to do his or her thinking, but because the student needs to learn to take in idea, synthesize an opinion and express it.  As AI’s can do more diverse tasks, we must avoid the trap of falling into the opinion that it means we need never teach that topic again.  If students don’t learn creative writing, there will never again be an original book, and reading will become as redundant as modern movies out of Hollywood.

As promised, following is the AI’s answer.

If you’ve ever thought about writing a blog, you may have considered using AI to help with the content creation. AI can be a great resource for creating high-quality content, but there are some things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about using AI for your blog writing.

Here are a few tips:

1. Make sure your AI is well-trained. You’ll want to provide your AI with plenty of data to work with so that it can learn how to write in your voice and style. The more data you provide, the better results you’ll see.

2. Be clear about what you want AI to do. AI can help with everything from generating ideas to writing entire posts, but it’s important to be clear about your expectations. This will help ensure that AI delivers the results you’re looking for.

3. Be prepared to edit AI-generated content. AI can produce great content, but it’s not perfect. There will likely be some errors or awkward phrasing that you’ll need to fix before publishing.

4. Have fun with it! AI can be a great tool for writing blogs, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with it. Who knows, AI might just help you take your blog to the next level!

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