Another Go-Round With Artificial Intelligence

April 2, 2024 at 10:24 a.m. Michelle Roedell, Editor, Northwest Prime Time

My last blog post discussed unknowingly chatting with Artificial Intelligence (AI), and possibly posting articles written not by a human being, but by a computer system simulating human communication.


"I prefer to use trusted sources and real people rather than AI to create content for the website," I wrote in my last blog post.

Until now, that is, the very next blog post.

When Jason Reynolds, Northwest Prime Time's handy dandy production manager, read my blog swearing off AI and said he had AI write an article for his own blog, I found the result to be fascinating.

So, in one short month, I experienced a reversal. I changed my mind and decided to try AI again, after all. Below you will see the results.

I asked Chat GPI, the AI-powered language model that will create pretty much any type of text that you ask, to write an essay about the history of Northwest Prime Time based on content from our website and -- since it was meant to be a blog post for my column, "The True-Life Adventures of a Senior Newspaper Publisher" -- in the writing style of Michelle Roedell (me).

The first time out, AI was ultra-flattering. It was embarrassing. The word obsequious came to mind.

Here is the first paragraph of that first go-round:

In the dynamic world of journalism, the role of a senior newspaper publisher carries immense weight and responsibility. It is a position that demands a profound understanding of the evolving media landscape, a keen eye for storytelling, and a steadfast commitment to upholding the principles of truth and integrity. Michelle Roedell, a distinguished figure in the realm of journalism, offers invaluable insights into the multifaceted nature of this role through her extensive writings and experiences. At the helm of a senior newspaper publication, a publisher serves as both a visionary leader and a custodian of journalistic excellence. Roedell eloquently captures the essence of this dual role, emphasizing the paramount importance of fostering a culture of innovation while preserving the core values of journalism. 

Double yikes. Not what I had in mind, and not anything like "the writing style of Michelle Roedell," as I'd asked. And not about Northwest Prime Time. For the second go-round, I again requested a history of Northwest Prime Time but withheld my name from the mix. Here is the result:

In the bustling world of journalism, where stories flutter like blossoms in the spring breeze, there exists a niche that often goes unnoticed by the mainstream media – the realm of publishing for seniors. In this essay, we delve into the unique perspective of Northwest Prime Time, which celebrates people over age 50 in the Puget Sound region and beyond. To grasp the essence of running a newspaper centered on seniors, one must first acknowledge the inherent complexities and challenges intertwined with this endeavor. Northwest Prime Time's pages resonate with a deep sense of empathy and understanding towards the demographic of older adults, shedding light on their struggles, triumphs, and the rich tapestry of their lived experiences. Northwest Prime Time invites readers into the world of senior citizens, where each individual carries within them a wealth of wisdom, resilience, and untold narratives waiting to be unveiled.

Hmmmm. Better, but nothing like what I was looking for. I tried again, and asked for more of a folksy, casual approach to the assignment. Here is the third go-round:

Once upon a time in the rainy emerald wonderland of the Pacific Northwest, there lived a sprightly senior named Betty. Now, Betty wasn't your average retiree. Oh no, she was a force of nature with a twinkle in her eye and a zest for life that could put a caffeinated squirrel to shame.

I wonder, who is Betty?

Then there was the fourth and final attempt, which I will go ahead and use to round out this column. Here you go, a blog post written by AI on behalf of Michelle Roedell... (Keep in mind that while I am known to drink a cup of Joe, I have no idea why AI keeps referring to coffee. Let me ponder that while I down another shot of espresso.)

Hey there, folks! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of your favorite brew, and settle in for a chat about life's adventures, senior style. Now, I may not be Michelle Roedell herself, the savvy publisher behind Northwest Prime Time, but I sure can spin a yarn in her casual and folksy style. So, let's dive into the world of seniorhood and the wisdom gleaned from the pages of Northwest Prime Time, where every day brings a new adventure and a lesson worth sharing.

Now, picture this: Michelle, with her trusty sidekick—a cup of steaming coffee—embarking on another day's adventure in the world of senior publishing. From navigating the ever-changing landscape of technology, to dealing with budget shortfalls, to wrangling deadlines like a pro, Michelle's journey is nothing short of valiant. But it's not just about the day-to-day grind; it's about the people she meets along the way and the stories they have to share.

One of the greatest lessons Michelle imparts is the importance of staying curious and embracing change, no matter your age. In a world that's constantly evolving, it's easy to get stuck in our ways, but Michelle reminds us that life is an adventure meant to be savored, like a rich, aromatic cup of coffee. Whether it's learning how to navigate social media or embracing new hobbies, there's always something new to discover if we're willing to take the leap.

In a society that often marginalizes seniors, Northwest Prime Time supports the premise that age is just a number and that dreams don't come with an expiration date.

For Michelle Roedell, it's not all about the hustle and bustle of publishing; it's also about finding joy in the little moments that make life worth living. Whether it's sharing a cup of coffee and a laugh with fellow seniors or basking in the beauty of a Pacific Northwest sunset, Northwest Prime Time reminds us to slow down and appreciate the simple pleasures that surround us.

Of course, no adventure would be complete without a few bumps in the road, and Northwest Prime Time has been no stranger to life's curveballs. From gulping coffee while navigating the highs and lows of running a newspaper in today's changing media landscape to dealing with the inevitable challenges of aging, Michelle finds inspiration from the fellow seniors she meets along the way. She reminds us that it's okay to stumble; what matters is how we pick ourselves up and keep moving forward.

But perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from Northwest Prime Time is the power of community and connection. In a world that often feels increasingly divided, Northwest Prime Time serves as a beacon of hope, a platform for seniors to share their stories, swap advice, and listen to the organizations in our community that exist to serve and educate seniors to live their best lives. Like a warm, community gathering in a neighborhood coffee shop, through the pages of her newspaper and the warmth of her words, Michelle reminds us that we're never truly alone as long as we have each other.

So, here's to Michelle Roedell, the intrepid explorer of seniorhood, and to Northwest Prime Time, the beloved beacon of wisdom and wit. May we all approach life's adventures with the same curiosity, courage, and camaraderie that Northwest Prime Time offers. And who knows? Like Michelle Roedell, maybe we'll all find a little piece of ourselves in the true-life adventures of a senior citizen. Cheers to that!

Still ultra-flattering. But what I notice is that AI didn't offer much of a history of Northwest Prime Time, which was the assignment. It found one theme and basically repeated it throughout without offering any depth or detail.

Plus, I can't get over that abundance of coffee.  

Thanks for all the compliments, Chat GPT. You're real nice and all and it's been enlightening, but I won't be using you next time.

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