why I'm not afraid of Chat GPT, part 1
After a faculty discussion on the invasion of AI, Chat GPT in particular, I did what I'm assuming many other writers have done these past few days. I asked Chat GPT to write me a story. Specially, I asked it to "write a 500 word story that reads like author isabelle drake."
It gave me a story.
Yes, there is some satisfaction in knowing that Chat GPT can find me online and form a concept of what I write. But, can it write like me?
In short, I don't think so. I have to admit, I like the story's final two paragraphs, the concept of them anyway. But the actual writing is pretty poor. Here's something I am sure of: readers prefer good writing over bad. So, I'm not worried about AI replacing me any time soon.
The first paragraph is OK. But the literary wheels fall off pretty quick with the excessive filtering. In the story below, I highlighted the filtering by italicizing it. Filtering is bad writing because its telling rather than showing or describing. Its called filtering because the experience is being filtered through the author; the author is telling the reader how the character feels rather than giving the reader direct access to the character's emotions and physical sensations.
The upside of this bad piece of writing is that I now have a fun (meaning terrible, lol) sample of writing I can use with my creative writing students. I'll call the assignment: find the filtering. It'll be a writerly blast.
Here's Chat GPT's "Isabelle Drake" story. I'm calling it Dragged from Darkness
As the sun began to set over the small town of Willow Creek, Georgia, the people went about their daily routines, unaware of the terror that was about to befall them. Abigail Jameson had just finished up her shift at the local diner, and was looking forward to getting home to her husband and two children. Little did she know, her life was about to be turned upside down.
As she made her way down the deserted street, she felt a sense of unease settle over her. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up, and she felt as if she were being watched. She quickened her pace, her heart pounding in her chest.
Suddenly, she heard a rustling in the bushes behind her. She spun around, but saw nothing. She shrugged it off and continued on her way. But then she heard it again. This time, it was closer. She whirled around, but still saw nothing.
Panic set in as she realized that she was being followed. She broke into a run, her feet pounding against the pavement. But her pursuer was gaining on her. She could feel his hot breath on the back of her neck.
(Spatial problem here... is she being followed by a dragon?)
Finally, she saw the lights of her house up ahead. She ran faster, her heart pounding in her chest. She reached for the doorknob, but it wouldn't budge. She tried again, but still it wouldn't move. She looked up and saw the man standing in front of her, a wicked smile on his face.
She screamed, but no one came to her rescue. She was alone with her attacker. He grabbed her by the arm and dragged her into the darkness.
For the next few days, Abigail was held captive in a dank, musty basement. She was beaten, tortured, and humiliated. She prayed for someone to come to her rescue, but her prayers went unanswered.
(Yeah, that is darn awful. Kind of shades of the Tribe of the Undead vibes, I guess.).
Just when she had given up hope, she heard a sound coming from upstairs. It was faint at first, but it grew louder and louder. She recognized the sound of a police siren.
(What? The police just show up and save her? She doesn't get to save herself? Ugh.)
She mustered up all her strength and screamed for help. The police heard her cries and rushed to her aid. They found her lying on the floor, battered and bruised, but alive.
As the ambulance drove her to the hospital, she realized that her life would never be the same. She had been through hell, and she would carry the scars with her for the rest of her life. But she was alive, and that was all that mattered.
In the weeks that followed, Abigail struggled to come to terms with what had happened to her. She sought therapy and support from her family and friends. Slowly but surely, she began to heal.
(Okay, but how?)
And then one day, she decided that she would not let her attacker win. She would not live in fear for the rest of her life. She would stand up and fight back.
With the help of the police, Abigail tracked down her attacker and testified against him in court. He was sentenced to life in prison, and she finally felt a sense of closure.
Abigail went on to become an advocate for victims of violent crimes. She shared her story with others, in the hopes that it would inspire them to fight back against their own attackers.
(That's pretty cool I guess. She finally does sort of save herself.)
In the end, Abigail's story became one of survival, strength, and courage. She refused to be a victim, and instead, she became a warrior.
(Yeah, Isabelle Drake likes warrior women, so okay.)