Don't use ChatGPT to write content 🙃
Prompts to turn ChatGPT into a kickass editor
“Hey ChatGPT, write an engaging article about how to use ChatGPT to grow your business…”
Sure, ChatGPT (or Bard) can churn out an article for you. But is it a ready-to-go piece? Would I use it straight out of the box for GPT Hacks? Heck no!
AI has come a long way this past year, but it's still a few steps behind when it comes to imitating the human touch - the emotions, subtle nuances, and unique flair that a human writer brings to an article are not there yet.
Writing in-depth pieces and how-tos, much like I do for GPT Hacks, also requires specific knowledge and experience, as well as understanding what your readers are really looking for.
So, where does AI really stand out in writing?
It's all about using AI as a supportive tool to amplify your voice, not replace it. It’s great at enhancing and refining an article you've already put together. It can fill in any blanks and offer valuable feedback.
Let's take a look into a few prompts I regularly use at GPT Hacks to fine-tune this newsletter, which is now reaching an audience of 3,200 business leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs. 🎉
Use ChatGPT to review your articles 🧐
Once you have an article written, you can run it by ChatGPT and ask for a review. Here is the prompt I use after writing a GPT Hacks article:
Here is what happened when I submitted this very article for the first time:
What was the most useful bit for me (other than the emoji selection) in this response was the note towards the end about addressing what the future of AI in writing could hold. This was a great addition to the article, which I added below.
As far as the rest of the feedback, I took some of it and made some tweaks, and ignored the rest.
The feedback about explaining ChatGPT is a good example of what I mean about the AI not having the full context of my newsletter and audience. Readers of GPT Hacks are, for the most part, well aware of what ChatGPT is by now. I don’t need to re-explain this point in every article.
Use ChatGPT to update one section at a time 🧩
The prompt above will give you a few areas to work on. As you re-read your article, you might find some additional sections that need work.
Now, you can turn back to ChatGPT for help. The prompt I use follows this formula:
Goal: depending on what I need, it is usually: shorten, extend, or simplify
Tone of voice: I usually ask for a casual yet professional tone (if you are not sure about which tone to use, see my Top 10 Styles & Tones article and the article on how to master style and tone in ChatGPT)
Facts: I make it a point to ask ChatGPT not to add new facts to my writing. There are times when you might want to add more. If you do, remember to always double-check the additions (see the article on catching ChatGPT lying for more on this).
Here’s an example prompt:
The finishing touches: title, subtitle, and more with ChatGPT 💫
Once your article is ready to go, depending on if the article is a newsletter, email, blog post, etc… you may need some extras for the article, such as an email subject line, a description that would go on your social posts and others.
ChatGPT and Bard shine here! Here is the prompt I use:
Once I have the results from this prompt, I’ll usually tweak them and work on each item at a time until I am happy with them.
Even though I am still doing most of the heavy lifting for my articles, these prompts help me cut a tremendous amount of time. My estimates are that these prompts help me save 80% of the time it would take for me to get an article and all of the extras ready if I didn't have ChatGPT and Bard to help me.
What are the shortcomings of AI in writing? 🔮
There are several problems still present in AI writing that need to be addressed before AI can write a usable article for you:
The ability for the AI to have a repository of all your other articles so it understands what content has been shared, the tone and voice used, topics discussed, etc.
The ability of the AI to gather feedback by checking open rates, click rates, page views, emails received as feedback, survey responses, and social engagement and sharing.
The ability of the AI to incorporate your unique experience and point of view into the writing. I was the CTO for two separate fintech companies, I built and sold a startup, and I am now a product manager at a high-tech AI company. That is the experience I draw from to write to my specific audience. AI can’t do that yet.
This is a big one, but AI is not able to generate creative and original content yet. Remember that these AI models are trained on large datasets of existing text. So most of their writing can be repetitive and unoriginal and sometimes plagiarised.
AI writing systems are not always accurate, and they do make things up (e.g. hallucinations).
AI writing systems can also be biased (I am writing an article on this soon).
I would suspect that as these companies grow, others come onto the scene and ChatGPT (and Bard) continue to expand their functionality directly or via the use of plugins; we will start to see more and more of these shortcomings solved.
How long that will take is anyone’s guess, but I’ll be here to keep you updated as these advancements happen.
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