For now, AI is more hype than substance.

There’s Human Intelligence, and Artificial kind. I wasn’t taken up by the recent bluster about AI which arrived in 2022 all dressed up, but wearing flipflops. Somehow there was a mismatch between its promise and what it delivers.

I did give it a try, however. Just like I once wandered into ‘Second Life’ slightly skeptical. Is this real, I wondered. Are we there yet?


I had checked out the app called Starryai (which I wrote about in a Substack newsletter.) So, for my second attempt, I called up the algorithms on Dall.E to see if this fancy pants tool could design a magazine cover. Like WIRED.

The prompt that I typed, into Dall.E, was: “WIRED magazine cover with Dall.E.”

Could it ‘design’ a cover of tech magazine, using itself (Dall.E) in the title? Was it capable of reflecting on itself?

I was margially impressed. Marginally. In other words, not terribly. Sure, the graphics were overly arty as WIRED occasionally tries to be. Dall.E gets the look right, but the details are so bloody amateurish, even clumsy. It doesn’t seem to handle white space, or understand how to mimic a masthead. The fonts are a joke!


I teach creative writing in all my classes. Naturally I’ve been intrigued, and even alarmed by how the talk about how AI could write like a human. Many people are hailing this as the death-knell for flesh-and-bone writers, journalists etc. Some tear their hair out about plagiarism in schools.

 The Nieman Lab is a bit more circumspect:

“While ChatGPT won’t win any journalism awards (at least for now), it can certainly automate much of the long tail of content on the internet.” — Nieman Lab, Predictions for Journalism in 2023

I checked out an application on the ChatGPT platform known as OpenAI that some people have told me can write fairly convincing content. I was suspicious. I had read a piece by a marketing writer, Mitch Joel about this. To check how smart this AI could be I typed in this snarky prompt: “Is Mitch Joel right about AI platforms.”

I wanted to see if this ghost in the machine was savvy enough to pick up his argument and reference it. As I guessed, it didn’t live up to my expectations. In fact, the software apologized for its inability to do more than explain what Mitch does for a living, and went on to explain how these are still early days! (Brownie points OpenAI for admitting you don’t know what you don’t know.) While it got the paragraphs and punctuation nicely. The second ‘graph was a doozy. Like a lazy copywriter churning out some garbage just to fill a layout to impress a client.

The website sets our expectations, in fact, saying things like, “ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.” Hmm!

Having said that, others are raving about AI content generators like Jasper. It’s supposed to be a boon for copywriters, social media posts and SEO content.

HERE’S MY TAKE ON AI. Content creators of the world —authors, journalists, copywriters, podcasters —shouldn’t feel threatened. For now. Good copywriters don’t sit at a desk stringing clichés to adjectives. They walk the factory floor, sit through plans board meetings, and argue with brand managers before the concept emerges. Translated: They produce content, rather than regurgitate it. Translated again: The fruits of AI are tempting but aren’t ready to pluck. Even for students. Low-hanging fruit – tempting but bland. Sometimes filled with bugs.

ChatGPT says it is addressing this. It’s like saying Samuel Bankman-Fried has declared he is making sure there aren’t any more crypto scams.

Are we concerned? As teachers, yes. Plagiarism is something no school takes lightly, if only because we want students to discover the value of originality, and creativity. It’s what will benefit them in any career. How about you?

Twinterview with Mitch Joel live, now

Today I am conducting a Twinterview –Twitter Interview– with marketing guru, podcaster, and now author af an upcoming book, Six Pixels of Separation.

@mitchjoel Good afternoon, Mitch. I’ve been a  longtime listener of Six Pixels of Separation. When did the idea of the book come up –and how?

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo book idea came together about two years ago. I wanted to connect the non-connected business to our world (using their words)

@mitchjoel Explain ‘six pixels’ to someone who doesn’t get Small World theory. Do u have a Twit-friendly answer?

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo we used to “know someone who knew someone” now – with these digital channels – we are all connected. No degrees. Only pixels.

@mitchjoel Let’s move to your marketing practice,. Are there clients who listen to your podcast & still shake their heads at social media?

Mitch Joel @heyangelo I think clients are much more savvy than some marketers give them credit for. They get it and they want more of it.

@mitchjoel Because of the Tweetdeck delay I want to go back to your point about Pixels not Degrees. Pixels as in links?

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo no pixels as in: we’re connected. If you do a search on Google for anyone, you are connected. No need for an intro through others

@mitchjoel Tell us a bit about the book –Use as many tweets for this to tell us (a) what gap does it fill (b) who is your audience?

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo gap: a business book in business talk for business people about connecting to consumers.

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo audience = every person you and I have to “convince” that using these channels is good/smart for business.

@mitchjoel Ah! So you mean we could secretly mail the book to someone in the C-suite? Would you have a podio-book of this as well?

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo no need to be secretive about mailing the book My hopes are that those reading this know who to give it to and they’ll be happy

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo audio versions will be available. I have to say, recording the audio was hard… they wanted it perfect 🙂

@mitchjoel Tell our readers why you were summoned (too strong a word?) to Google to explain social media. What did THEY need to know?

Mitch Joel: mitchjoel@heyangelo Google holds events – internally and public ones for clients. I’ve been asked to give presentations there. It’s an honor.

@mitchjoel Regarding the audiobook, do you have rights to do whatever you wish with it in your podcast?

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo I do not. The audiobook is the property of my book publisher: Grand Central – Hachette Book Group.

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo I do not have those rights. I’m sure my Publisher would be open to suggestions though 😉

@mitchjoel Are you under pressure to market the book using the digital strategies you recommend?

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo I would not say it is “pressure”. Again, I want the book to hit the businesspeople who are not following Twitter and Blogs.

@mitchjoel You’ve got another large digital footprint on Facebook – 1,681 members. What excites that community?

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo funny, I thought it was more like 3,660 😉 The conversation is def. different. Not sure why, but it’s just different.

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo it’s all the same to me. Give first, build the community and be helpful. Everything else works out.

@mitchjoel What have you learned as a podcaster and blogger, that you didn’t know as just a marketer?

Awaiting answer: Tweetdeck delay

@mitchjoel Thanks for your time, Mitch. + patience with Tweetdeck delays etc. I’m looking fwd to the book. Preorder!

Mitch Joel: @heyangelo thanks for the Twinterview… that was fun. Next time, let’s just use two cans and a string 😉