In which one author briefly examens one AI platform named ChatGPT, which is a chatbox on steroids. If you haven’t heard about it, read an overview here. (There’s a link where you can sign up. When I signed up, I felt as if I were taking the mark of the beast. It seems wrong to participate in a program designed to replace my job.) Below is ChatGPT’s logo. You’ll start seeing it everywhere.
Pressing question #1: Can ChatGPT write good children’s literature?
Pressing question #2: Can ChatGPT write mediocre children’s literature?
Sometimes. Some friends and I asked ChatGPT to write a story about a snowman that comes to life. I gave it a word count and it turned out a grammatically correct story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Unfortunately, it called the snowman Frosty. (Eye-roll worthy unoriginality.) Unfortunately, it didn’t have any word play. Unfortunately, it was predictable.
If I had a chance to take it or leave it, I would leave it.
Pressing question #3: Can ChatGPT identify the writers of the Imagination Station books?
I asked ChatGPT to identify the writers of the series launched ten years ago. Hint: There are seven individual writers, though I’m the primary writer. See below to show what ChatGPT said.
I have no idea who Tyler G. Gressle is. When I asked ChatGPT for another answer, it told me that John Avery was also an author. While John Avery is associated with the series, he’s a character, and his full name is John Avery Whittaker.
The takeaway is that you need to verify what ChatGPT tells you.
Pressing Question #4: Is ChatGPT good for research?
I was studying the USSR at the time and couldn’t find accurate information about a highway called the E8. I’d even purchased a vintage map on Ebay, but when I got it, it didn’t show the highway. So I asked ChatGPT and asked for citations. This is only part of what it gave me, and I was very pleased with the effort:
“The E8 highway, also known as the “Highway of Friendship” was a major roadway that ran through the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. It began in Moscow and ran through several major cities including Leningrad, Riga, Tallinn, and Helsinki before ending in the Finnish city of Turku. According to the historical research by Soviet historian Nataliya Ryzhkova, the E8 was built in the 1950s as part of the Soviet Union’s effort to improve transportation infrastructure and connect its major cities. The highway was intended to improve trade and commerce between the Soviet Union and its neighboring countries, particularly Finland, as well as to promote the idea of friendship and cooperation among the Soviet Union and the West.”From Chat GPT
However, when I went to verify Nataliva Ryzkova’s material, I couldn’t find it anywhere. But for my short reference in a kid’s novel, this was good enough.
Pressing Question #5: Is ChatGPT good for generating ideas.
Yes. My husband uses it all the time. Marketers love it.
Pressing Question #6: Will ChatGPT change the world?
Here’s where it will hurt: Kids won’t learn to write. They’ll start with an AI and rewrite. Fact checking will become almost impossible, I think. But it will become the norm, just as social media changed the way we view communication, so will AI writing sources.
Soon, the AI platforms will be charging for its use. And this will cause all kinds of copyright issues, I think.
That’s all the profound thoughts I have. Next time we’ll look at AI art images. (My son is an illustrator, and well, I’m worried for him.)
Marianne Hering was a founding editor of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Since then she’s been writing for children and editing Christian books for adults. Find out more about the Imagination Station book series that has sold more than 1 million copies at MarianneHering.com. Got questions for her? Email HeLovesMeBooks@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
5 thoughts on “ChatGPT: Your pressing questions about AI answered”
My grandsons (in high school and college) told me about AI programs that write research papers and theses. I like the old-fashioned honest approach myself. Thanks for the info.
I think I’m already getting AI content submitted to Focus on the Family.
oh, no. One more thing to multiply to slush pile. REALLY?
Very interesting article, Marianne. I’m way behind on the times. I had to think about what AI was!
It’ll be all over the place soon. I didn’t know about it till my husband showed me how he creates blog content.