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Generative AI & Writing Blog Articles

21 June 2024

I’ve been blogging for a long time, initially in French and now in English. Thanks to this I’ve learned a lot, had many interesting discussions, met new people and got access to opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

In the time of generative AI, I faced a dilemma: how much of my content should use tools like ChatGPT?

Should I use AI to write my articles?

As a non-native speaker, I know that my English is far from perfect. I can’t be as witty as I’d like, I’m making grammatical mistakes and don’t always using the right idioms. Using AI could help me fix that!

After some thinking I decided to use it to proofread my articles. It’s pretty much like the grammar checker, except better as it can give more context and explanations as to why something is incorrect.

However I will not use it to generate parts of my articles on this site or do re-writes. I hesitated a bit, as there is a lot of FOMO when I’m seeing so many people using ChatGPT to reach more and more people by being able to create articles faster and more efficiently than I do.

Still, I think that’s the right call for this site, and here’s why:

  • Having a human tone. I prefer my blog to feel like a real person wrote it, even if it’s more flawed and might appear less professional. I’m tired of all the articles that feel AI generate for SEO. Just today Chat GPT suggested that I make my last article more engaging by starting with: “In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, the ability to seamlessly adapt and proactively respond to constant change has never been more paramount for driving success and maintaining a competitive edge”. No thank you.
  • Being able to communicate without ChatGPT. I’m starting to encounter people that communicate drastically differently when they speak and when they write due to overuse of ChatGPT. I’d get a perfectly crafted email, but once on a call with them it would feel like talking to a totally different person. They’d struggle to articulate their thoughts, make more mistakes and so on.
  • Having fun & getting better. For me personally, it’s much more fun and a better learning experience to struggle a bit with a sentence instead of copy and pasting content. It feels like the difference between reading code documentation and then trying to figure out a solution versus copy & pasting snippets from Stack Overflow. One might be more effective short term to get something done, but over time I don’t think it will help me to get better.
  • Providing accurate and personal content. In some cases it would be easy to fill a few bullet points with content generated by AI. However I much prefer leveraging my own experience and create content based on this. Of course it means that have to be ok missing some ideas that could be relevant to the topic I’m writing about.

Examples

To illustrate my approach, I ran a version of this article through ChatGPT, and here are the kind of insights I got:

There are minor grammatical errors and some punctuation issues. For instance, “I’m making grammatical mistakes and not always using the right idioms” could be “I make grammatical mistakes and don’t always use the right idioms.

This one is helpful! The change makes the sentence flow better and makes it more correct. I will adjust the article based on this feedback.

Start with a hook to grab the reader’s attention. For example, “Navigating the realm of blogging in a non-native language presents a distinct set of challenges and rewards, requiring perseverance, continuous learning, and a willingness to embrace both the obstacles and the opportunities that arise from communicating in a second language.”

This is not something I would have written myself. I do not speak like this and it also sounds very generic, so I won’t be using this.

Consider ending with a call-to-action or a question to engage readers further, such as “What are your thoughts on using AI in creative work? I’d love to hear your experiences.”

I do not want to do engagement farming on this site as I don’t think it adds anything to the content. I’ll welcome any feedback, but it doesn’t feel relevant to put this in the article.

Conclusion

I know that I can invest in making ChatGPT better at helping me. I could define prompts to have it propose ideas closer to my way of writing, train it on my articles and so on. However I’d rather spend this time trying things myself, getting feedback from readers and friends.

At the end of the day, this blog doesn’t need to be perfect. I don’t need to produce many articles a month to make it valuable for people and myself. It’ll be fine.

All of this to say that if you’re reading my blog, you’ll still have to bear with my okay-ish English !

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