I’m always weary of the hype that surrounds the introduction of a new media technology. I wasn’t an early adopter of the Internet, nor was I first in with smartphones, as I prefer to assess the hype and then figure out what might work to my advantage. So, I’ve been somewhat surprised by my reaction to ChatGPT the new batch of AI tools that are now flooding into the popular use. It’s been interesting to get caught up with the hype this last week or so, as I’ve started to test and try out AI tools for work and AI tools for creativity.
The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) is massive, and is going to radically transform the way we work, think and engage with one another. There are ethical concerns we need to take account of, but these tools can also be an incredible benefit if we use them sensibly. Each week, it seems that the number of tools and uses of AI continues to expand, offering new possibilities and transforming the way we work. As a developer of community media, I’ve started to use AI to help move two of my projects forward. And work that might have taken me three months to achieve, has been competed in a week.
It’s not hyperbole to say that these AI tools offer remarkable things, and I’ve only scratched the surface in discovering what the capabilities of ChatGPT, an advanced language model by OpenAI, will be. I’m still at that ‘mouth-agog’ stage! This blog post serves, then, as a journal entry as I explore how AI can potentially support my work in the future, particularly how I’ve used it to developing the Community Reporters Toolkit, and for creating content for Radio Lear. Of course, there are ethical and moral considerations that arise when utilizing AI, and I’ll have to think about what these will be as I go along on this journey.
ChatGPT has proven to be an invaluable tool for me, drastically reducing the time and effort required to outline and address complex issues. Previously, preparing comprehensive reports and articles could take me weeks of research, analysis, and writing. However, with ChatGPT, I can now generate well-structured outlines in a matter of hours. This acceleration of the ideation process has been a game-changer, allowing me to focus more on implementation and refining the finer details of my projects.
I was able to take background ideas that I’d been working on, and somewhat laboured over, and asked ChatGPT to pull out the essential points and then summarises them. This saved me a day’s work because it was the kind of routine task that is necessary but often feels like pulling teeth for me. When my work is process focussed, I don’t enjoy writing, so being able to hand this over to ChatGPT is a massive benefit for me. The results aren’t perfect, and so I’m getting better at giving prompts, and asking for changes and rewrites to fit with the ideas that come forward after reading a first draft.
Moreover, the text generated by ChatGPT exhibits an impressive standard of grammar and syntax. I find that there is very little for me to correct, saving me additional time in the editing and proofreading stages. The accuracy and coherence of the AI-generated content have helped me maintain a consistent and professional tone across various platforms. This is helpful for me, as I’m mildly dyslexic and rely heavily on spellcheckers. I sometimes struggle with functional English that should be expressed simply, and get lost in subclauses and extended chains of thought, moving from one point to the next without clear delineation.
Ironically, having ChatGPT take care of this for me is freeing me up to write creatively for other projects. Because I no longer need to worry about reviewing my functional writing in such detail, I can explore more personal and creative forms of writing. I wonder if the promise of AI is to routinise the mundane and give us more space for thinking and poetic expression. I’m not a believer in the idea that AI will understand what is beautiful, it may be able to approximate this, but never know or live a moment of sublime transcendence. But AI is going to test, as every other form of media technology has, what it means to be human and how we define the human essence. If anything, AI won’t prompt an existential crisis, but will force us to come to a better understanding of what our essential nature is.
Aside from content creation, ChatGPT has also helped me in solving coding challenges on my website. I couldn’t figure out why one of my sites wasn’t letting me do something, so I asked ChatGPT to look at some code, and it fixed it for me. I’m certain that when I’m faced with any complex coding or administrative management issues, I will now turn to ChatGPT for guidance and suggestions. It really has helped me with innovative solutions, enabling me to overcome obstacles efficiently and move forward with my development work, and thereby given me a higher-degree of independence. No more searching through out-of-date message forums for solutions to bugs and offers of fixes.
In the realm of social media, ChatGPT has become an invaluable tool for quickly creating a list of potential social media posts. I frequently use it to generate ideas for engaging tweets and compelling social media posts – who would want to write disengaging and boring tweets? The AI model’s ability to understand context and provide coherent responses has been remarkable, as I’ve been able to fire out posts and updates while tailoring my content directly to the topic and the ideas that I’m exploring. Unfortunately, the quotes that ChatGPT creates are all fake, so I wouldn’t use them in my professional work, but as a fictional expression of ideas, they are well worth thinking about.
As I continue to integrate AI into my projects, I am aware that I am only scratching the surface of its potential. There is much more to be explored and harnessed. While the benefits are evident, it is essential to tread carefully and consider the ethical and moral implications of AI adoption. As an self-proclaimed AI enthusiast, moreover, I’m starting to recognise the importance of understanding the ethical implications associated with the use of AI technologies. While ChatGPT provides me with tremendous support, it is crucial to remain vigilant and mindful of potential biases or unintended consequences that may arise. Continuous learning and exploring the ethical landscape surrounding AI will help me navigate these challenges responsibly.
The integration of AI, particularly through the use of ChatGPT, has significantly enhanced my work in developing a community reporters toolkit and creating content for Radio Lear. The time saved, the quality of generated text, and the problem-solving capabilities of ChatGPT have allowed me to progress swiftly and achieve better outcomes. However, with this newfound power comes the responsibility to remain cognizant of ethical considerations and to engage in ongoing learning about AI’s impact on society. As I embark on this AI journey, I am excited about the possibilities it offers and committed to ensuring that its implementation is both ethical and beneficial.
I wrote this blog with the assistance of ChatGPT, but then it’s been mostly rewritten. Take this into account if you feel worried about the potential of AI to overwhelm society. I was watching an interview with Marie Louise von Franz, and she asked this question: ‘What is the most difficult thing to ask anyone?’ The answer – ‘what do you think?’ Take away the hype and the social expectations, take away the herd mentality, take away fashion, dogma and all the things that shape and structure our understanding of ourselves and the community of which we are a part, and in the end we have to figure out what it is that we think and feel about all this. Presently, I’m excited to learn more, and to see how we can put AI to good purpose for the betterment of society and the shared planet that we inhabit.