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TL;DR: I asked ChatCPT to “Write a blog post about The Catskills in the style of Anthony Bourdain” — but the results are as impressive as they are unsettling.
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence software tool that turns out machine-created text on any subject, in any style you can name, extremely quickly.
The Catskills is a topic this audience knows well, so it’s interesting to see what AI can do. The text below is what ChatGPT wrote — in less than a minute — and is completely unedited by me.
Is it convincing? Not fully. But somewhat! And remember: we are still in the early days of an AI-infused world.
First, read what ChatGPT wrote.
Then, let’s discuss…
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The Catskills: A Hidden Gem in Upstate New York
by “Anthony Bourdain”
As someone who has traveled the world in search of the best food and drink, I’m always on the lookout for new destinations that offer something unique and memorable. The Catskills region of upstate New York is one of those places. With its rugged beauty, rich history, and diverse culinary offerings, the Catskills is a hidden gem that’s well worth a visit.
To start, let’s talk about the scenery. The Catskills is a vast mountain range that covers over 6,000 square miles of land. It’s a place where rolling hills and dense forests give way to pristine lakes and rushing streams. Whether you’re hiking, fishing, or simply taking in the view, the Catskills is a visual feast that will leave you in awe.
Of course, what would a visit to the Catskills be without some serious eating and drinking? The region is home to a thriving farm-to-table movement, with local chefs and bartenders using fresh, seasonal ingredients to create delicious and inventive dishes. From cozy taverns to sophisticated restaurants, the Catskills has something to offer everyone.
One of the standout culinary experiences in the Catskills is a visit to the New York Distilling Company. This small-batch distillery is dedicated to producing high-quality spirits that capture the essence of the region. Whether you’re a fan of whiskey, gin, or anything in between, the New York Distilling Company is a must-visit.
Another great way to experience the culinary culture of the Catskills is by visiting one of the many local farmers’ markets. These weekly gatherings are a true celebration of the land and the people who work it. You’ll find fresh produce, locally-raised meats, artisanal cheeses, and more. It’s a great opportunity to chat with the farmers and learn more about the food you’re eating.
Finally, no visit to the Catskills would be complete without spending some time in the great outdoors. Whether you’re fishing in one of the region’s many streams and lakes, hiking through the mountains, or simply lounging by the water, the Catskills is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
In conclusion, the Catskills region of upstate New York is a true hidden gem. With its stunning scenery, delicious food and drink, and rich cultural heritage, the Catskills is a destination that should be on everyone’s travel list. So pack your bags, grab a bite to eat, and get ready for an unforgettable experience.
What Do We Think?
The text reads quite generic, IMO. But keep in mind that the role of AI-text is not to produce a final readable post. (At least, not currently.) The current business use for AI writing is the production of reasonable and readable first drafts that competent editors can quickly whip into valuable articles.
For example, the New York Distilling Company is actually a business located in Brooklyn. There is a Catskill Distilling Company, but it’s located in Bethel, NY. An editor would catch this flub immediately.
My suspicion is that many blog articles I’ve read in the last year were actually written by AI. I want to stress that I do not use any AI generated text on this website. But I know I’ve read a lot of generic-feeling texts on many travel and leisure websites, as well as elsewhere.
Is machine-generated text cheating? It might be. It depends. It also very much might not be…
Computers are labor-saving machines. They simplify complex tasks, they allow us to develop new processes, and they give us back our valuable time. But still, basically, computers are just machines.
Have you made a cake with a stand mixer? Is that cheating?
No technology is ethical or unethical, intrinsically. Technology becomes “good” or “bad” in how it’s used.
Don’t like AI? It’s too late for that. ChatGPT is a killer app. It saves hours of time, which means cost savings. So it’s here to stay. (Here’s an article that looks what we know about how workers are using ChatGPT so far.)
Our only hope is to become more discerning readers, to expect deeper knowledge and insight from whatever we choose to read.
Right now, I think it’s still possible to sense when we’re reading AI-generated text. Nonetheless, I’m impressed. People who write commercially for a living are now competing with machines.
What do you think? Good? Bad? Useful? Hateful? Drop a comment below.
BTW, for this post, I also asked several engines to paint “Anthony Bourdain in The Matrix”, “Robot Anthony Bourdain” and “Anthony Bourdain as an android” and the results are compiled in the featured image.
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