Thursday, September 21, 2023


A funny, amazing story that scared the pants off me

By Chuck Woodbury

Continued from the newsletter of Sept. 17, 2023. Read that first before reading this.

As I said in my essay, here is what I asked ChatGPT to write:

Write a hilariously funny, 400 word essay, about a 300-pound pig named Walt that fell in the mud while wallowing in it with pig girl named Sally Pig McBabnick, who he secretly desired because she had the most beautiful snout of any pig he had ever met.

And here is the story and headline it delivered (in about 20 seconds). I did not change a single word.

The Swine-tastic Saga of Walt and Sally: A Love Story Muddier Than Most

This photo was also created by A.I.

Once upon a time in the quaint little hamlet of Hogsville, there lived a portly 300-pound porker named Walt. Walt was no ordinary pig; he had dreams bigger than his bacon-loving belly. His one true desire was none other than a pig girl named Sally Pig McBabnick.

Sally, with her enchanting brown and white coat, had a snout that would make any sow swoon. It was perfectly symmetrical, with just the right hint of rosy blush on the tip. Walt had fallen head over trotters for her from the very first time he laid eyes on that magnificent snout.

One fine day, the stars aligned and destiny intervened. Walt mustered up the courage to invite Sally for a frolicsome wallow in the mud. You see, in Hogsville, mud wallowing was the swankiest way to spend a Saturday afternoon. It was the piggy equivalent of fine dining or a night at the opera.

As they wallowed and splashed with sheer porcine abandon, Walt couldn’t help but steal glances at Sally’s snout. It glistened with a radiance that could put even the shiniest of diamonds to shame. It was the snout of his dreams, and he was knee-deep in love.

Sally Pig McBabnick (created by A.I.)

Then, in a tragic twist of fate, Walt lost his balance and, like a portly acrobat, tumbled headfirst into the mud. The splash was so colossal that ducks in the neighboring pond had to take cover. Sally, ever the considerate companion, oinked with laughter before helping him up.

Walt, now a brown and white mess of muck, looked up at Sally with eyes that sparkled like sapphires in the afternoon sun. He realized that sometimes, love was not just about the snout, but about the pig underneath it. Sally saw past the mud-caked exterior and into the heart of the pig who had made her laugh like no other.

FROM THAT MOMENT ON, their friendship blossomed into a romance as muddy and magnificent as a pig’s dream come true. They became the talk of Hogsville, the dynamic duo of dirt, the swanky swine of the sowcial scene.

Their story serves as a reminder that love can be found in the most unexpected places, even in a pigsty of all places. It teaches us that sometimes, you have to get a little muddy to find the most precious gems.

And so, Walt and Sally lived happily ever after, their snouts intertwined and their hearts forever connected in the swine-tastic saga that became legend in Hogsville. For in the end, it’s not about the mud on your snout, but the love in your heart. [END OF STORY]

My conclusion
This is not just adequate, but superb. How many years would it take a writer to learn to write this well? I will not go into great detail, but if A.I. can create articles that are both factual and funny — and in seconds — what does that portend about the future for professional writers? That’s for me and my writer friends to explore. But, I’m telling you, reading this story was a jolt to my system like nothing I have experienced in a very long time. I’ll be honest: I’m concerned and, yes, even frightened.

If you missed this related article about A.I. from Chuck Woodbury you might want to read it.
Word-diarrhea is epidemic, and I question why I even write anymore


  1. You won’t see it coming….isn’t that the way many dangerous situations are often described? And, even if you do see it coming, you can’t get out of the way. Its kinda like when flying and you notice the wine in your glass is at a 35 degree angle but you feel just fine in the moment.

  2. Wow! Yes, that was a well-written and funny story, Chuck. However, that was a fictional account that you essentially outlined as you gave the AI software the parameters of the story. AI still usually falls flat when it comes to factual stories such as RV Travel typically writes.

  3. Can you say hello to Hal? Could be that 2001 Space Odyssey is 22 years late.

    This was written by me and I take full blame for its content. BTW, I don’t have AI or for that matter, I have been told that I lack intelligence by some.

  4. Does your wife use a washing robot, I’m sure all the ladies down by the river complained about the poor job that “artificial wash person” would do. But now we have accepted it. Humans have been lying and deceiving us since the first adman came on (ie madmen). We have had to learn to filter the truth and motive of many humans trying to “sell” us with deceptive tactics. We accept the cooking robot (an oven) versus fire up a wood stove and watch every step of the temperature control. The secretary that typed all the letters for her boss, who had replaced, written memos, who had replaced stone tablet carvers etc. etc. And jobs were lost when the Luddite’s destroyed the weaving looms that would never be accepted and take their jobs. This is just another step in the evolution. I find it ironic that in my job “programming automated controls” I was writing code to write the code which would eventually replace me……’s been happening for centuries and it stinks when it happens to you.

    I’m far more afraid of AI when it realizes we aren’t needed at all.

  5. I have no problem with AI written articles, stories, songs, scripts, etc.

    What is important is that a human editor: proofreads, tweaks, and fact-checks. Maybe there will be more time for fact-checking, etc. As long as a human goes over the article and takes responsibility for it, I don’t care if it’s labeled as AI.

  6. To me, the real gems of a well written article are the readers comments. The best written articles to me are the ones that generate the most interest, spark readers to respond in their own words and from their own point of view. Without provoking thought, writing tends to fall flat, and a reader soon loses interest. The love story of the two pigs was cute, however would not have existed without human directions, “real intelligence” (Ri) of how to compose it in the first place.

  7. Thank you Chuck, for the eye opening article.
    Isn’t that Interesting. Not particular funny, but very witty and on topic accurately depicting a ridiculous love story. And to quote Dr. Seuss, “ oh the places you will go.” I tell my grandchildren life is going to be totally different than the way things are done now. This is proof of that. Now if they could only fix spell check in the meantime.

  8. Jim said it well. So far, AI is pretty good for fiction (and certainly doing as well as some of the TV and Movie writers these days, to bad they didn’t fill in during the strike!). As for technical information – it still comes down to the “human input and research” abilities. AI is still a machine and can only spit out what some human put into it.

    • Drew, what this is TODAY doesn’t frighten me. It’s what it will be like a few years from now. This is A.I. Kindergarten right now, but you just know it’s going to get more sophisticated with each passing month.

  9. ALL things written by AI should be labeled as such. As in this story, AI tends to fabricate facts, as well as sources referenced, to accomplish it’s goal, as has already been discovered and documented. AI generated diatribes need to be researched and verified perhaps more than any other source. Fiction may be fun and enjoyable, but AI produced “Factual” articles are to be viewed with great skepticism.

    • If they won’t label gmo foods I don’t think they’ll label robo-writing. Reminds me of what we all said when computers first came out–“garbage in, garbage out”

  10. In addition to another sow swooning over her snout error, I also thought a pig with “bacon loving belly” was bizarre. “Slop” maybe but a pig who loves bacon is just wrong!

  11. The fact that a computer showed compassion and feeling is really amazing . However I wonder about movies and long drama scenes. I hope I never see too much in my time, however my grand children are going to need to decide if it the right way or wrong way . With the writer strike going on it’s already effecting the world and not in a positive way .

  12. I gotta tell you it’s a matter of trust on behalf of the reader. I get 90% of my RV news from your site…. long term trust. I would guess I represent a large portion of your readers. I do send you funds every month. TRUST! I do not pay to read any newspaper on line and have never believed anything on social media. My parents do get the local paper delivered. Heaven knows who actually owns this paper and it seems to me most of the “feature” articles are AI. Why would I pay for that? So I get your concerns. However, in the articles I read on this site I can feel the writers concerns and passions and genuine willingness to inform and help. You are good my friend.

    • Thank you for your very kind words, as well as your financial support, Sherry. We appreciate them, and we certainly appreciate YOU! Have a good afternoon/evening. 😀 –Diane at

  13. As the legend goes:

    While traveling by car during one of his many overseas travels, Professor Milton Friedman spotted scores of road builders moving earth with shovels instead of modern machinery. When he asked why powerful equipment wasn’t used instead of so many laborers, his host told him it was to keep employment high in the construction industry. If they used tractors or modern road building equipment, fewer people would have jobs was his host’s logic.

    “Then instead of shovels, why don’t you give them spoons and create even more jobs?” Friedman inquired.

    There are definitely reasons to be concerned about AI. But jobs isn’t one of them.

  14. Oh my. Granted it’s complete fiction so there’s no worries about AI making up facts from thin air (which it reportedly does often). But as you say, Chuck – this is a GREAT little story. Like you, I’m fearing that the writing trade may be in danger. And I’ve always feared the “factual” AI stories which actually aren’t, because they will be harder and harder to sort from truth.
    My biggest fear, though, is that these machines will one day become sentient (if they aren’t already) and conclude that the earth’s future would be much improved if the human race were removed from the equation. By then, they would no doubt have the capability to accomplish that easily.
    If we don’t get a grip on this thing PDQ, we will be lost…

  15. Relax Chuck. You had it create a fictional story so no fact checking was needed. As you have mentioned before, tell AI to write about something that requires facts and it just throws things together without even verifying the truth or authenticity of the subject. I think you and your team are safe from being replaced by computers.
    (Remember Can you Marry your motorhome article)!! I think that was what it was?
    Short term memory.:):)

  16. Back in 1979/80 when I started in the IT industry (I was still a university student working for a startup consulting firm summers and odd bits during the year), we had lots of philosophical discussions about whether computers were “dehumanizing”. At the time, the conventional wisdom was that since humans made bad decisions, we should program computers to make all the decisions, and humans should be the trained monkeys that fed them data. This idea was definitely dehumanizing. It also didn’t work, for many reasons.

    As a company, we decided that we would flip things around. We would use the computers to organize and present data, doing the grunt work. This would free the humans to weigh intangibles, make value judgements, and determine direction. We called this “humanizing software”. Guess which direction won in the long run?

    It is fascinating that 40+ years later, the exact same debate is relevant again. The terms may have changed, but the debate is still about what it means to be human. I can guarantee you that going in the direction of supporting humans in their humanity will work, and the direction of dehumanization won’t. However, there might be a lot of pain before our society realizes this.

  17. In the second paragraph the description of Sally’s snout would make any SOW swoon. Why would another female pig swoon over over Sally’s snout? If the story is about Walt swooning over Sally, Walt is not a Sow but a boar. So AI is not perfect.

    • I saw this as well. I don’t think a HUMAN would have made this mistake. it doesn’t make sense. It’s little things like this that give away the fact that this was AI generated or, at least, written by someone who had little knowledge of farm animals. Either way, it makes one question the entire article. When AI novels become best sellers we will know that the masses have doomed humanity.

      • Dave, while I would like to agree with you that a human would not make that mistake, I see “news” articles that have as blatant of errors as this. This is why we must also take all news articles with a grain of salt. Any time I see incorrect statements in a news article, the author loses all credibility, at least in my mind. Authors should know their topic, or not write about it.

  18. Steady Chuck, you are doing well.

    I retired from a high-tech industry, and let me tell you, from both mine and others’ opinions, how to make best use of tech tools like A.I. – first and foremost, remember that they are tools, not solutions. Creative control should still come from the human mind.

    I know how to code. But I was a better leader of people who coded far better and faster than I. I was successful because I understood the business use of the code they wrote, and I gave understandable instructions of what the coders needed to create. I knew when a coder’s solution was workable and when it wasn’t. And when I found flaws, my attitude was it was me that didn’t give good instructions. Sometimes all it took was some simple edits, which I used as training to help the coder better learn the business.

    In relation to writing, the problem isn’t using A.I. The problem is that the user doesn’t know how to write. They use A.I. as a solution rather than a tool.


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