An AI Thanksgiving

I asked my new friend GPT-3 to help with tell a memorable Thanksgiving story – and complemented it with a painting of a family Thanksgiving dinner generated by DALL-E.

Here was the request I made to my AI friend:

write a long story about a memorable family thanksgiving with an odd uncle on a snowy stormy day and his wife my aunt sally

Here’s the story:

Uncle Bob’s Thanksgiving

It was Thanksgiving day and the snow was falling gently outside. The family was gathered around the table, enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving feast. Uncle Bob was there, as always, with his wife Aunt Sally. But there was something different about Uncle Bob this year. He seemed odd, almost like he was in a trance. His eyes were glassy and he barely said a word.

Aunt Sally was chatty as always, but even she seemed a bit off. The family tried to make conversation with Uncle Bob, but it was like talking to a wall. Finally, after an awkward silence, Uncle Bob spoke.

“I had a dream last night,” he said, “a dream about a turkey.”

Everyone stared at Uncle Bob, not knowing what to say.

“In my dream, the turkey was alive and it was talking to me. It said, ‘Uncle Bob, you have to save me. The farmer is going to kill me and turn me into Thanksgiving dinner.'”

Uncle Bob paused and looked around the table. Everyone was still staring at him, not knowing what to say.

“So, I went to the farmer’s house and I begged him to spare the turkey’s life. He laughed at me and said, ‘No one is going to eat a talking turkey. I’m going to kill it and sell it to the grocery store.'”

Uncle Bob paused again and looked around the table. No one said a word.

“So, I went to the grocery store and I begged the manager to spare the turkey’s life. He laughed at me and said, ‘No one is going to eat a talking turkey. We’re going to kill it and sell it to the customers.'”

Uncle Bob paused again and looked around the table. Everyone was still staring at him, not knowing what to say.

“So, I went to the customers’ houses and I begged them to spare the turkey’s life. But they all just laughed at me and said, ‘No one is going to eat a talking turkey. We’re going to kill it and eat it for Thanksgiving dinner.'”

Uncle Bob paused one last time and looked around the table. Everyone was still staring at him, not knowing what to say.

“And that’s when I woke up,” Uncle Bob said.

There was a long silence around the table. Finally, Aunt Sally spoke up.

“That was a very strange dream, Bob,” she said. “Are you sure you’re feeling all right?”

Uncle Bob just stared at her and didn’t say a word.

The family finished their Thanksgiving feast in silence. Uncle Bob never said another word and Aunt Sally just seemed to be in a daze. It was a very strange and memorable Thanksgiving for everyone.

I hope you and your family have a lovely Thanksgiving – and share lots of good stories too!

AI Writing

Using AI to Help Write

I’ve been observing the evolution of AI-based tools from a distance. I’m not very experienced with using these tools myself, but I thought I’d share some of my excursions into this fascinating domain of AI-assisted or generative AI tools.

One of the text-based AI tools is GPT-3 from OpenAI. Late last year, OpenAI opened up a playground where one can experiment with using GPT-3 to assist with text – helping create text, edit text, summarize text, and more. One of the illustration AI tools is called DALL-E and it’s also provided by OpenAI. I’ve been experimenting and learning with both of these tools.

Here’s an example of using GPT-3 to help write. This morning I happened to see a tweet where the author was talking about an article he’d pulled together about how writers should focus more on niches – it’s titled 7 Simple Ways to Niche Down. It’s a good article worth reading. As I was reading it, I began wondering how GPT-3 might help with writing an article on this subject – so I asked it:

write an article about how to niche down your writing

Here’s what I got back from GPT-3 just using the default settings:

If you’re a writer, chances are you wear many hats. You’re a wordsmith, a storyteller, and a communicator. But in order to be a successful writer, you need to be able to niche down your writing.

Niche writing is a specific type of writing that appeals to a specific audience. It’s about writing for a particular market or genre, and it requires you to know your audience inside and out.

The first step to niching down your writing is to identify your target audience. Who are you writing for? What are their needs and wants? What do they like to read?

Once you know your audience, you can start to focus your writing. What topics will appeal to them? What type of writing will they respond to?

If you’re not sure where to start, consider writing guest posts for blogs or magazines that your target audience reads. This is a great way to get your name and your work in front of them.

Another option is to create a blog or website of your own and focus on writing articles, tips, or tutorials that will help your target audience. This will not only help you attract readers, but it will also show them that you’re an expert in your field.

Finally, don’t forget to promote your work! Make sure your target audience knows about your writing by sharing it on social media, submitting it to directories or list-serves, or even just telling people about it in person.

Niche writing can be a great way to build a successful writing career. By targeting a specific audience, you can become known as an expert in your field and attract a loyal following of readers. So if you’re ready to niche down your writing, start by identifying your target audience and then focus your writing to appeal to them.

Not bad. I had a subject and was looking for help putting together an article on the subject. I did minimal work but left with the bones I might consider fleshing out if I actually wanted to write an article on that subject. I also asked GPT-3 to help me clean up the opening paragraph above – which it rewrote for me.

To add to this post, I wanted an illustration that captured a writing theme so I asked DALL-E to generate one for me – asking it to generate:

an Edward hopper painting showing a writer at work in front of an old typewriter

That’s the image you see above.

The power of this kind of AI-based technology is mind-blowing to a layman like me. And its capabilities seem to be accelerating rapidly. I’ve got so much more to learn – and I’ve having fun just beginning to wade in. If you’re doing any experimentation similar to this, let me know what you’re learning!