Plenty of people have already experimented with using AI to write a blog or YouTube video, playing with readers, listeners and watchers alike. I don't want to do that, but I still want to share an interesting experiment for those who are willing to indulge me for a short bit.
I haven't really posted much on here, most of what I have to say winds up on my YouTube channel and I just forget to add anything to the blog, but I do want to change that in the future. One thing I was thinking about was making my podcast into blog posts.
For those who aren't aware (I haven't really shared it here I don't think), I started a podcast in late May called "County Road 189". It is really a way to share my written stories in a new format, with a new audience, but I also share a lot of life events and general stories about my week or things that happened to me growing up.
One of the more recent (as of this writing) episodes contains a lot of me talking about an incident in July where I was bitten by a brown recluse spider and nearly died. As I was sitting here, thinking about writing a new post for this blog, I wondered how feasible it would be to take the auto-generated subtitles from that podcast on YouTube and turn them into an actual post. Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as it would seem.
When I checked out the subtitles, I found the results of Googles AI to be abysmal. No punctuation, a lot of words not captured properly, grammar errors because of wrong words, etc. Below is an example from the first 2 paragraphs (I had to divide the paragraphs).
"welcome to County Road 189 the haunted stretch of road that runs right through the middle of bearheart nation I'm your host and co-pilot Josh Bearheart Hawk and in today's episode we're going to be talking a little bit about death ghosts and Supernatural elements in horror and real life so buckle in keep your eyes on the road and watch out for ghostly hitchhikers [Music]
all right so as we're getting started here before we really get into the meat of everything I wanted to talk briefly the reason why I started off with death as one of the things at the beginning of this episode and kind of what the stories that we're going to be talking about today is the month of July has been nuts for me um I'm I'm currently recording this podcast at the end of July uh it's July 26th so that'll give you some reference for how long an advance I sometimes record these it's not that far in advance this time but I try to be as far as I can however that doesn't always work out and as it turns out in the month of July it didn't work out for me"
As you can see, it's really bad. The total word count (after I removed the stories which I already have written words for) was over 7,000 words. Going through and correcting all of that was going to be a nightmare. So, was that it? Was there nothing I could do that didn't require hours of work?
The controversial AI bot that has taken the world by storm in the past couple of years has some great functionality, but could it help me? For starters, there is a limit to the amount of text that could be entered at one time. I couldn't put the whole 7,000+ words into the system at once, so I had to break it down. Below is what the first couple paragraphs became when I asked ChatGPT to correct for grammar and punctuation.
"Welcome to County Road 189, the haunted stretch of road that runs right through the middle of Bearheart Nation. I'm your host and co-pilot, Josh Bearheart Hawk. In today's episode, we're going to be talking a little bit about death, ghosts, and supernatural elements in both horror and real life. So, buckle in, keep your eyes on the road, and watch out for ghostly hitchhikers.
All right, as we're getting started here, before we really delve into the heart of everything, I wanted to briefly discuss the reason why I began this episode by addressing death. I also want to touch on the stories we'll be discussing today. The month of July has been quite eventful for me. Currently, I'm recording this podcast at the end of July—July 26th, to be exact. This information should give you some context regarding how much in advance I sometimes record these episodes. While it's not too far in advance this time, I do aim to have a substantial lead time. However, that doesn't always pan out. As it turns out, during the month of July, it didn't work out as I had planned."
Better. Still not perfect, but now we're getting somewhere.
I ran a few more paragraphs through the system before realizing just how the whole thing didn't really work as a blog post. I didn't want to share the stories in the same way, but I did want to share the part about being bit by a spider. What would happen if I took the first few paragraphs, sharing what happened in July, and asked ChatGPT to write a blog post? Would it even be readable?
It turns out, it isn't half bad. It wrote it as if the blog post was ABOUT me instead of written by me (the podcast is obviously first person), but it was actually better than I expected given how little I really had to do to get it. I'll share that post here now.
Surviving July's Unexpected Ordeals: A Tale of Resilience
Welcome to Bearheart Nation, dear readers. Today, we're sharing a gripping personal account that serves as a testament to human resilience and the unpredictable nature of life. Join us as we dive into a harrowing journey through unexpected challenges and the triumph of overcoming them.
A Brush with Fate: A Decision that Changed Everything
The sun-drenched days of July often evoke feelings of warmth, relaxation, and family bonding. For our host and co-pilot, Josh Bearheart Hawk, this month took an unforeseen turn, leading him down a path he could never have anticipated. As Josh recollects, the first week of July was meant to be a well-deserved break – a time to unwind, soak in the company of loved ones, and revel in the joy of fireworks. Little did he know, fate had something else in store.
An Innocent Start: A Bump on the Leg
On the morning of July 5th, a seemingly harmless bump appeared behind Josh's knee. Initially dismissing it as a typical bug bite, he went about his day, unaware of the storm that was brewing beneath his skin. As the days passed, the bump's appearance grew increasingly worrisome – taking on a bubbly, burn-like aspect that couldn't be ignored.
The Point of No Return: A Hospital Visit Beckons
By Saturday, a fever had joined the growing list of concerns. With hesitation fading, Josh and his family made the decision to visit the hospital. The verdict was disconcerting: the bite had become infected. Antibiotics were prescribed, and Josh was instructed to monitor the situation over the coming days. As the infection's progress continued, so did Josh's determination to push forward.
The Turning Point: An Unpredictable Twist
A vivid account follows, where geocaching adventures blended with discomfort as the situation worsened. The bite site showed signs of distress that couldn't be ignored. It was a battle of willpower versus a relentless infection, and Josh was caught in the crossfire. Despite his resolve, Tuesday brought undeniable symptoms of a severe infection, prompting yet another hospital visit.
A Grueling Battle: Hospitalization and Antibiotics
The hospital doors welcomed Josh on Tuesday evening, leading to an admission and an intense regimen of powerful antibiotics. These treatments were administered around the clock, a relentless assault on the infection that had taken hold. Days stretched into nights, and the fight continued. Slowly but surely, the tide began to turn in Josh's favor.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Journey to Healing
The days rolled on, marked by medical intervention, introspection, and a fierce determination to heal. By Friday, the infection's grip began to loosen, allowing Josh a glimmer of hope. With a newfound sense of strength, he was deemed fit to return home, armed with a new course of antibiotics and the promise of diligent monitoring.
A Twist in the Tale: An Allergic Reaction
However, as life would have it, the story didn't end there. Midway through the following week, an unexpected rash crept across Josh's body, causing concern and confusion. Unbeknownst to him, the prescribed antibiotic, Bactrim, held the potential for an allergic reaction. While it hadn't progressed to a dire stage, the experience served as a stark reminder of the fragility of life.
Reflections on Resilience: Lessons Learned
Josh's tale isn't just a narrative of the body's battles against infections; it's a story of resilience, adaptability, and an unwavering spirit. In the face of unforeseen challenges, he navigated uncharted waters with courage and determination. Josh's journey reminds us that life's twists and turns can be unpredictable, but the human spirit's ability to endure remains constant.
As we bid farewell to this chapter, let us take away the reminder that even in the face of adversity, there's strength within us waiting to be tapped. We hope you've found inspiration in this account and are reminded of the power of resilience that resides within us all. Until next time, dear readers, keep your spirits high and your hearts unyielding – just like the resilient spirit of Bearheart Nation.
Like I said, not terrible. It could use some work, and a few tweaks to match my writing style, but it isn't the worst thing I've read.
So, what does this mean and why did I do this?
To put it simply, AI is on track to take a lot of jobs and simplify a lot of things. As a writer and YouTube creator, it is scary to think about how easy it is getting for people to just use AI to generate passable content. How do I compete with something that can churn out a decent, 5,000-word story in a matter of seconds?
I don't think AI is going to take over the world, and I do think there is some amazing things we can do with it to make our lives easier as writers, but there has to be a line. AI can easily replace editors at every level, it can even come up with great marketing material and help you promote your book/story, but generating content starts to get into a gray area. How do we disclose what is written by AI? Do we need to? If I write a post, then use AI to improve on the post, who did the work?
For that last question, I would pose the answer that it is no different than having a co-writer. If I build the framework, generate the original thought, and AI decorates it and makes it more robust, that doesn't seem that bad.
But I really want to know your thoughts below. Where is the line with AI? At this point it isn't a matter of if, but when, AI becomes a standard part of everything we do. It's already involved in a lot, so what's next?
Do make sure to check out my podcast, County Road 189, available wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen to the episode mentioned above here on YouTube.