Collaborating with AI

February 5, 2023 | 07:37 pm PT
Nga Than Researcher
The new AI - GhatGPT can converse with everyone in many different languages. It writes poems, rap battles, writes sophisticated codes, and even passes difficult MBA exams at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.

ChatGPT's potentials are exciting, but we also hear about its potential impacts on our lives, especially in our work life, namely it can displace white-collar workers.

It is both exciting and unnerving at the same time.

As a writer, I want OpenAI's AI to help me with my writing. I rely on GPT-3, a generative AI model that assists writers in their writing using prompts. This essay is a collaboration between GPT-3 and me. I am describing the process that I used it step by step, and how one can take advantage of it to engage in the creative writing process.

The first step is to set up an account on OpenAI to use GPT-3. There are two ways to write with GPT-3. The first way is to use OpenAI's Playground user interface. The second way, and a more technical way is to use OpenAI's Application Programming Interface. Since I can also code, I used the second method because it allows for more control in prompt design.

Once the pipeline is ready, I start writing, one sentence at a time. I write one sentence, and the beginning of another, which prompts GPT-3 to continue the second sentence. Then I review the output and make edits. This way, I can ensure the output is on point, the flow is clear, and that GPT-3 and I agree of where the essay is going. Overall, I have a control of the whole process.

As a writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about the high-level idea or ideation, generating content, and then editing. This process is often iterated several times. GPT-3 can play a role in the first two steps—namely coming up with ideas and generating contents. I take control when it comes to editing.

When writing this article, I came up with the high-level idea, then collaborated with GPT-3 to generate some of the content, which saves time. My energy was used in editing for clarity.

Sometimes, I also let GPT-3 generate new ideas. It can come up with some interesting and unexpected ideas, which then takes the writing to unexpected turns.

I don't let GPT-3 take over the entire process for a few reasons.

First, it can "hallucinate." It can write grammatically correct sentences, but they make no sense to a human. That is when I need to take over. Either I need to edit the entire paragraph that GPT-3 generates or re-generate new paragraphs repeatedly until it stops hallucinating.

Second, as a writer, I have developed a particular writer's style that is unique to me. I have not seen GPT-3 to be able to emulate my style yet. The sentences that GPT-3 generates are often generic. They may sound factual, but do not capture a sense of authenticity that is unique to my voice. When the sentences start to sound generic, and removed, I take over the writing to re-claim my ownership over the creative piece.

In writing this article, I consult GPT-3 when I need additional explanations or examples.

I find my collaboration with GPT-3 to be fulfilling and enjoyable. I've been able to quickly generate a variety of interesting sentences. GPT-3 has also helped me refine ideas, allowing me to rapidly iterate on them. Writing becomes more efficient, and more interactive.

Iteration is important. It is an essential part of the creative process, and important when developing new ideas.

The labor division between the writer and GPT-3 is a fair process. The writer's job is to provide the GPT-3 with a clear and concise prompt so that it can generate high quality output. The GPT-3's job is to use its AI capabilities to generate natural language output based on the prompt. Both the writer and the GPT-3 play an important role in producing the piece and work together to create the best possible results.

Even though collaborating with GPT-3 is fulfilling, there is a lack of a real human conversation. I miss the face-to-face conversations with a human collaborator. GPT-3 is not able to understand my feelings and emotions, so I don't get the same depth of connection that I would with a human collaborator. Also missing is an intense but generative brainstorming session where two people can put their heads together and discuss different ideas. This is something that GPT-3 does not offer.

I find that discussing my ideas with collaborators helps crystalize how I think. My position on a topic might change during the course of discussion. GPT-3 was not designed to be a good debate partner that forces me to think deeper or think broader. This type of discursive interactions, and emotional fulfillment coming out of such interactions are not captured in the writing process with GPT-3.

Exploring and experimenting with new technologies is the first step to be a productive member of society in this AI age. This exercise will help users to understand the basics of AI and the various tools and techniques used in this field.

The feeling of owning the creative process is empowering. One feels a sense of agency when using technology to create something that is uniquely one's own and that can be shared with the world.

I encourage everyone to experiment writing with GPT-3. Maybe you will find out that you have always been a great writer.

*Nga Than is a senior data scientist, living in New York City. Several parts of this article were generated by GPT-3.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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