Will AI replace real live authors and artists?

It’s the lazy days of summer, so I asked bard.google.com to “Write a hopeful and humorous 500-word essay for Christians.” Within seconds the much-hyped Artificial Intelligence program created this piece:

    The Optimistic Christian

    The optimistic Christian is a rare breed. They are the ones who see the glass half full, even when the world seems to be falling apart. They are the ones who believe that God is in control, even when things don’t make sense. And they are the ones who find hope in the darkest of times.

    Of course, being an optimistic Christian doesn’t mean that you have to be naive. You can still see the problems in the world and be concerned about them. But you can also choose to focus on the good, and to believe that things will eventually get better.

    Here are a few reasons why it’s important to be an optimistic Christian:

    It’s more fun. Life is hard enough as it is. Why not make it a little bit easier on yourself by choosing to be optimistic?

    It’s more productive. When you’re optimistic, you’re more likely to take action and make things happen.

    It’s more contagious. When you’re optimistic, you spread that optimism to others.

    It’s more biblical. The Bible is full of stories about hope and redemption.

    So if you’re feeling a little down, why not try being an optimistic Christian? It might just make your life a little bit better.

    Here is a humorous story about an optimistic Christian:

    A man was walking down the street when he saw a sign that said, “The end is near!” He was starting to get worried, but then he saw another sign that said, “Jesus loves you!” He felt a little better, but he was still a little confused.

    He went to a nearby church and asked the pastor what the signs meant. The pastor smiled and said, “Don’t worry, my friend. The end is near, but Jesus loves you. So even if the world ends tomorrow, you’ll still be okay.”

    The man was relieved. He thanked the pastor and went on his way, feeling much better.

    The moral of the story is that even in the darkest of times, we can always find hope in Jesus Christ. He loves us and will never leave us or forsake us. So no matter what happens, we can always be optimistic about the future.

It’s not too bad—and that is a bit frightening. But I don’t think it’s going to put writers out of business.

First, it was only 369 words—or 131 short! (Maybe I’m the only one who takes word counts as a challenge and tries to precisely hit the target.)

Second, AI doesn’t do well with humor. You can’t just tack it on. And most of all it has to be, well, humorous!

So, I wrote back: “It’s not humorous!”.

    I apologize. I thought the story about the man who saw the signs was humorous. But I understand that humor is subjective, and what one person finds funny, another person may not.

    Here is another humorous story about an optimistic Christian:

    A woman was praying to God, asking for a new car. The next day, she was walking down the street when she saw a car accident. A man had been thrown from his car and was lying on the ground, unconscious. The woman ran over to help him, and as she did, she noticed that the car was a brand new one.
    The woman prayed to God again, “Thank you for answering my prayers! I got a new car!”

    God replied, “I didn’t give you a new car. I just prevented you from buying one.”

    I hope you find this story more humorous.

What?! Was she going to steal the poor man’s car? Still not humorous and a bit disturbing.

And when I asked it to write an author’s blurb:

    Watkins is a graduate of Taylor University and taught at Indiana Wesleyan and holds an M.A. in Christian Education. He has worked as a magazine and book editor, a professor of writing, and a speaker at writers conferences. He is also an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church.

    The Christian author is the author of several books on Christian living, including

    1. The I Hate to Cook Book This humorous cookbook is one of his most well-known works. It provides simple and quick recipes for people who may not enjoy spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

    2. When You’re a Christian… the Whole World Is from Missouri In this book, Watkins offers insights and humor on the challenges and stereotypes that Christians often face in a secular world. He combines personal anecdotes with a light-hearted approach to address serious topics.

    3. The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, and Unpunished Evil In this book, James N. Watkins explores the Book of Psalms, specifically the Psalms attributed to Asaph. He delves into the themes of wrestling with unanswered prayers and the apparent injustices in the world, offering reflections and encouragement.

    4. Hope & Humor for a Hurricane World: Resurrecting the Art of Living Well This book combines humor and inspirational insights to help readers navigate life’s challenges with hope and a positive perspective.

    5. 20 (Surprisingly Simple) Rules and Tools for a Great Marriage As the title suggests, this book offers practical advice and guidelines for maintaining a healthy and fulfilling marriage. Watkins draws from his own experiences and offers insights for couples seeking to strengthen their relationships.

    6. The Survivor’s Guide to Writing: How to Write Your Memoir In this guide, James N. Watkins provides tips and advice for individuals interested in writing their memoirs. He shares practical insights on the writing process, drawing from his own experiences as an author.

    James N. Watkins is known for his approachable writing style, combining humor and wisdom to address both everyday issues and deeper spiritual themes. His works have resonated with a broad readership, including those seeking inspiration, practical advice, and a good laugh.

Where do I even begin?

I graduated from IWU and taught at Taylor.

My under grad is in Theology.

And I am not the author of any of these books! It came close on number 3, although book was re-titled God, I Don’t Understand.

For assembling research and providing a logical outline, AI may be helpful, although you’ll need to verify every bit of it, as evidenced by my bio. (IMHO that makes it absolutely useless.)

It’s dealing with 0s and 1s of raw information. But to provide an accurate, compassionate and humorous essay, you can’t beat a human—at least now.

So, I believe there will still be a market for real live writers and artist of hope and humor! And here’s what AI suggested for a logo for Hope&Hope:


Author and speaker

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