Saturday, August 12, 2023

Me Vs. AI

 Like many writers, I have read much, in recent weeks, about AI vs. Human-generated writing. Before I say anything else, my main conclusion is that AI-generated material might work for technical writing. But, in the world where I live, fiction and creative nonfiction writing, I do not see AI becoming a go-to way to accomplish a project.

In my years teaching high school kids, it was easy to tell when someone got too much help. AI stands out like that. I have not read thousands or hundreds of pages written with an AI program. But, I have read several dozen pages, mainly in the form of short historical articles.

Comparison - Here is a short historical story about Wyoming legend Jacques La Ramee. The writing prompt I used was – Write a story about why  Jacques La Ramee was famous in Wyoming.

My, written in less than 10-minute report.

Mine - Jacques La Ramee is more of an enigma than a real person to most Wyoming people. Fort Laramie is only a few miles from where we live. The Laramie River, Laramie Range, and Laramie Peak are all nearby. I retired from my teaching job in 2012 at Laramie High School in the city of Laramie. Interestingly, Laramie is in Albany County, not Laramie County, which borders Albany and is the home to Cheyenne, our state capital.

So who was this man that so much was named after? He was a French-Canadian mountain man and trapper born in Montreal in the early 1780s who lived, worked, and died in Wyoming. His travels, adventures, and life have been passed on, primarily through oral history, and may be as much fiction as fact.

La Ramee was undoubtedly well acquainted with eastern Wyoming, where so much is named after him. He may have also traveled west through South Pass, where he could have been the first or certainly one of the first non-native people to enter the Yellowstone area. He led a life that was likely as eventful, surprising, and scary as the legends portray.


AI-generated report – after I typed the prompt, it was up in a few seconds.

AI - Jacques La Ramee was a name that was synonymous with Wyoming. He was famous for being a trapper, trader, and mountain man in the early 1800s. His exploits in the Rocky Mountains were legendary, and his adventures were the stuff of folklore.

Jacques was a French Canadian who was born in Montreal in 1784. He arrived in the Rocky Mountains in the early 1800s and started trading with the Native American tribes in the region. He quickly became an expert in the ways of the wilderness and was soon known for his incredible hunting and trapping skills.

Jacques was not just a trapper and trader; he was also an adventurer. He explored the Rocky Mountains extensively and was the first white man to cross the Continental Divide by way of South Pass. He was also one of the first white men to see Yellowstone National Park, which he described as "the place where the hot water came out of the earth."

Jacques was known for his toughness and resilience. He survived numerous attacks by hostile Native American tribes and even survived a grizzly bear attack that left him badly injured. Despite these setbacks, he continued to explore the Rocky Mountains and trade with the Native American tribes. Jacques La Ramee's legacy lives on in Wyoming. He is remembered as a legendary figure in the history of the American West and a true pioneer of the Rocky Mountains. His name is synonymous with adventure, exploration, and the spirit of the American frontier.

My Thoughts – AI sounds more like a Wikipedia article, factual but not fulfilling to read. The article also seems to have mixed in some information from other mountain men. Unfortunately, this one sounds like most history textbooks. Textbooks are probably more responsible for kids not liking history than anything else. On the other hand, although written quickly and without research or editing, mine has some personal touches that make it a bit more interesting, at least to me.

What do you think?


Today's Photos – All from places named Laramie

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