By Aamir Abdullah (Follow us on LinkedIn)
For those of you who read the two previous posts–“AI Writing Generators: The Future or a Fad?” and “AI Writer: Generating the Future of Text”–thank you for your time and interest. This will be the last post I write on this subject. In this post I will:
- Summarize the previous posts,
- Discuss how effective AI Writer was,
- Share concluding thoughts on using AI to draft posts.
How Did We Get Here?
A little while ago, a post was submitted to Notes Between Us by AI Writer. AI Writer is an AI drafting website application. The post it drafted was pretty meta: “AI Writing Generators: Future or Fad?” Other than the title, AI Writer wrote the entire body of that post1. Additionally, the post was completely unedited or modified.
A follow-up blog soon posted on Notes Between Us. This follow-up post “AI Writer: Generating the Future of Text,” explained using AI Writer to create a draft. To be honest, using AI Writer was easy. That blog post walks would-be users through the process, from setting up an account to generating write-ups. Overall, quite a simple process yielding a fairly decent result.
Now that everyone is caught up, I think it’s time we address the elephant in the room.
Future or Fad
I will address three main points in this section. First, I will address my overall experience using the AI Writer. Second, I will share with y’all what I’ve learned. Finally, I will express where I believe this product, and others like it, will go.
Experiences May Vary
Full disclosure, “AI Writing Generators: Future or Fad” was one of five articles I had AI Writer generate. The other four articles, in no discernible order of creation, were:
- “Ross Intelligence: The First and Only True Legal Research Artificial Intelligence;”
- “What You Do is More Important than How You Do It: Being Effective is More Important than Being Efficient;”
- “Westlaw Edge, Lexis+, Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, Casetext, and more? How to Best Teach Legal Research Platforms to Law Students;” and
- “The Best Duty of an Academic Law Librarian: Providing Legal Research Instruction to Law Students.”
All but one article, “What You Do is More Important than How You Do It: Being Effective is More Important than Being Efficient,” were terribly written2. Notice that the other three articles, the ones that were poorly generated, all pertained to the specific field of law librarianship. This encourages me to jump to three assumptions.
First, although AI Writer can generate decent drafts, it is limited in scope. AI Writer-generated articles may not be drafted for specific, niche, areas. In this instance: law librarianship, legal research, and legal research search engines.
Second, the reason that specific niche articles may be drafted so poorly is because the corpus is too small. That is to say, for topics I wanted AI Writer to draft, there may be less written and shared online for those areas, compared to more easily or widely available topics. E.g. perhaps writing about movie stars yields better results than articles about law librarianship. Last, because users will have a hard time deciphering which areas or topics AI Writer can generate without issue, users should feel comfortable working synergistically with AI Writer and its ilk. As with the advent of Microsoft Word, users merely have to learn how to adapt to new modalities created by software to create something amazing3.
“It’s Showtime Synergy”
If my assumptions are correct, then AI Writer is simply a tool to help writers create a starting point for their drafts. Users simply have to create a catch all title, and AI Writer will produce 500 to 1,200 words for a user, while pointing the user to the webpage AI Writer used to generate each sentence. Thereby creating a first draft or brainstorm for a user. The result being: that the user either has something he or she can edit, or links to resources that the user can visit to gain a better grasp of the topic4. All-in-all, the ultimate outcome of AI Writer is that of a partnership. AI Writer will help users get started, but it is up to the user to verify the information provided, clean up the work produced, and create the final draft.
In reality, AI Writer feels like a tool Microsoft will inevitably build into Microsoft Word. (Or possibly Google into Google Docs?) I.e. Think of AI Writer and other tools like it as “writer’s block suggestions.” It’s not producing something I want to turn into a blog, colleague, or journal5. But, it is something that may help someone think through a piece of writing6.
Perhaps, over time, with a wider corpus, these types of tools will get to the point where drafts are indistinguishable from human drafted write-ups. And, we humans will simply edit for style. But we just are not there yet. I.e. I recently read a Reddit post about a professor receiving an essay generated by Chat GPT7. At least not for academic or nerdily specific writings8.
As always, dear reader, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. And, thank you for joining me on this ride. I hope y’all had a happy holiday season!
- The title is a bit rough, but I take full credit for that. For more information on using AI Writer, please check out the 2nd post.
- This comment is not really up for debate. If anyone wants to read an article, please feel free to reach out.
- See “reMarkable: The Way We Change for Technology” for a brief discussion on technology forcing users to change their workflows.
- This goes without saying, but, no, the links provided by AI Writer are not journal articles or books. The links are to other websites.
- Barring the previous submission, of course.
- NOTE: I have never used AI Writer, or any similar technology, as a starting point for my writing.
- Although, it was noted that it was a completely off topic and poorly written essay.
- Maybe the person writing about the Johnny Depp trial or Moby Dick will have better luck.
Notes Between Us (NBU) is a blog about conversations and topics of interest to the writers. The writers are expressing their personal opinions solely. The essays represent their personal beliefs and not that of their workplaces or any organization they are associated with.