ChatGPT is all the rage right now. An artificial intelligence that combines the functions of Google/Siri/anything that searches the net for information and a contract writer, such as one you might hire on Fiverr to create a poem/essay/ode to the sugary drink you are currently addicted to.
The likes of chatGPT may soon answer our emails, write documents and create literature. Even as my impulse is to say I don’t want AI writing my emails, I acknowledge that in my line of work, I send essentially the same email over and over again, in response to similar questions. AI could handle those. Or at least draft them for me to tap ‘send’, if appropriate.
For fun, I wrote a Christmas letter that I think chatGPT, or a similar thing, would write for me. Only after publishing this post will I ask chatGPT to write such a letter, and compare. This means I’m doing an experiment on myself. And AI. I had a great time trying to write like an AI. The irony is the goal of AI is to write like me, a human. Now who is replacing who?
A bit of background on the annual tradition of the ‘Christmas letter’. If you have never experienced this holiday tradition, the idea is to highlight family accomplishments over the past year and send exactly the same message to everyone you know, on a sheet of paper with a holiday scene in the background. Previously, this would be stuffed into a personalized greeting card, or now, attached to an email. Many I’ve seen suggest the sender’s life is the best one ever, tending to overachievements, such as growing award-winning vegetables, trips to exotic places, professional promotions, and other heroics of traditional Western culture. Very reminiscent of the charades of social media.
If I asked an AI to create my personal Christmas letter, I imagine it would use my social media, emails, calendar, utility bills, shopping records, the GPS from my car, Visa bill and probably infer some stuff for similar data of my friends and family, and combine this with general information relevant to my demographic and collected examples of the way people communicate.
The first draft of the letter, presented on a background drawings of evergreen trees, gift-wrapped packages resting in the snow, all seemingly engulfed in flames: