Earlier this year, I alerted by Dear Readers and Listeners that online advice was about to go from merely shoddy to downright malicious. (See ChatGPT AI Has Ski Patter Down Cold in the Revelations archive on Realskiers.com.) This week, I decided to check in on how well AI was doing at imitating the copy produced by the current generation of ski scribes.
My little exercise, which I will divulge the details of momentarily, led to one inescapable conclusion: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
It turns out that the key to generating manipulative copy is to ask the GPT program, not just to lie shamelessly, but to seduce the reader into accepting a predetermined conclusion as authoritative. In chat-bot logic, the reasoning process has been stood on its head, with the result dictating the arguments that support it, in whatever style the prompt specifies.
Here’s a basic primer in how to create copy with the ring of truth, without relying on a single fact. The key lies in how one crafts one’s query, or, to use the term of art, “prompt.” Here are your options:
Persona – You can specify a persona who provides the advice. For example, you can tell GPT to reply as if it were a medical doctor, or a marketing professional or a surfer.
Context – You can specify the use of the information, or the context of how it will be used.
Output Style – Blog post, email, dissertation, etc. Any sort of output style can be used.
Target Audience – You can specify the exact audience you need to target.
Desired Outcome – This one is dangerous: you can tell it to provide answers with an outcome.
Tone/Style – funny, serious, professional, short, long, etc.
# of options/results – if you ask for a list, you can specify how many items are in the list. If you ask for a blog post, you can ask for 10 different options and it will return them all at once.
(Permit me to interject that this list, along with the actual submission of multiple prompts to Chat GPT, are the work of my IT Angel, who acted as my agent and advisor as well as my angel in this instance.)
As you can see, the one goal that AI is absolutely, positively not interested in is the truth. It is wall-to-wall fabrication, with but one goal: to convince you of what could very well be an utterly fraudulent proposition.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Here’s our initial prompt for a ski review of the new Blizzard Rustler 9. We asked Chat GPT to write a blog-style review using the persona of a professional ski tester and writer for Ski Magazine. We specified a professional, technical tone for the article, with a limit of 400 words. The article’s target audience is the advanced skier who lives in the eastern U.S., but takes frequent ski trips to western resorts on his Ikon pass.
Title: An Unstoppable Force on Any Mountain: Blizzard Rustler 9 Review
Introduction: As an advanced skier residing in the eastern United States with a passion for conquering the slopes, investing in the right pair of skis is crucial. Enter the Blizzard Rustler 9, a game-changing ski that offers unparalleled performance and versatility for skiers like me who frequently venture to western resorts on their Ikon pass. Let me explain why this ski is a must-have for any advanced skier seeking a new level of excitement and confidence on the slopes.
Unmatched Performance: The Blizzard Rustler 9 is a true all-mountain ski that effortlessly adapts to a variety of terrain and snow conditions. Its versatility allows it to handle everything from groomers to powder, making it an ideal companion for skiers who crave the thrill of conquering diverse mountain landscapes. The ski’s remarkable stability and responsiveness ensure that every turn is executed with precision, providing an exhilarating experience for advanced skiers.
East Meets West: Designed with the advanced skier in mind, the Blizzard Rustler 9 is perfectly suited for those who split their time between eastern and western resorts. While it excels in the soft snow and steep terrain prevalent in western resorts, it retains its agility and performance on the hard-packed, icy conditions often encountered in the east. This ski strikes an impressive balance, catering to the unique challenges of both regions and allowing skiers to effortlessly tackle any slope.
Versatile Construction: The Blizzard Rustler 9 boasts a revolutionary construction that sets it apart from the competition. Its lightweight design, combined with a responsive and snappy feel, ensures lightning-quick transitions between turns. With a 92mm waist width, this ski strikes a perfect balance between stability and maneuverability, allowing for nimble turns on groomed runs while providing ample floatation in powder.
Unrivaled Control and Stability: One of the standout features of the Blizzard Rustler 9 is its incredible edge hold and stability. The ski’s carbon flipcore D.R.T. technology enhances its torsional stiffness, providing unmatched control even at high speeds. This feature allows me to trust the ski’s performance, pushing my limits with confidence and precision.
Conclusion: For the advanced skier seeking a ski that can conquer any mountain and adapt to various snow conditions, the Blizzard Rustler 9 is a game-changer. Its versatility, performance, and construction make it the ideal choice for skiers residing in the eastern United States who frequently indulge in ski trips to western resorts. Whether you’re carving through groomers or seeking fresh powder, this ski will elevate your experience to new heights. Embrace the Blizzard Rustler 9 and unlock the true potential of your skiing adventures.
READ MORE ONLINE REVIEWS
Review from Powder7:
“The Blizzard Rustler 9 is an absolute beast! I took these skis to my favorite eastern resorts and they performed flawlessly on hardpack and ice. The control and stability they offer are unmatched. But what really blew me away was their performance on a recent trip to Colorado. Whether I was navigating through the trees or carving through untouched powder, the Rustler 9 handled it all with ease. Highly recommended for the adventurous skier!” – Review by Powder7 customer
“I’ve been skiing on the Blizzard Rustler 9 for a season now and I couldn’t be happier. Living in the eastern U.S., I needed a ski that could handle the ever-changing conditions. The Rustler 9’s versatility is incredible – it carves beautifully on groomers, blasts through crud, and even floats effortlessly in fresh powder. It’s the perfect ski for someone like me who divides their time between eastern and western resorts.” – Review by Evo customer
Review from Backcountry:
“The Blizzard Rustler 9 is a game-changer. I’ve taken them to my favorite eastern resorts and they provide exceptional edge control, making those icy conditions much more manageable. But the real magic happens when I take them out west. These skis truly come alive in the deep powder, allowing me to effortlessly float and maneuver. They provide the perfect blend of stability and playfulness. Highly recommended for skiers looking to conquer both worlds!” – Review by Backcountry customer
Conclusion: The Blizzard Rustler 9 is the ideal companion for the advanced skier who craves versatility and seeks adventure in both eastern and western resorts. Supported by numerous positive reviews from trusted sources, this ski delivers outstanding performance on icy slopes, while effortlessly handling deep powder. Its unmatched control, stability, and adaptability make it a top choice for those who want to take their skiing to the next level. Don’t miss out on the Blizzard Rustler 9 – it’s a true powerhouse on the slopes!
All of these responses took no more than 60 seconds each. Total time, less than 5 minutes and total cost, just under a penny.
A couple of comments before moving on to our next prompt:
- I’ve written several thousand ski reviews and read a few thousand more. While this effort comes up with some fanciful notions, in tone and content it fits right in with most man-made concoctions.
- Note the “sunshine-and-lollipops” tone that pervades almost all online reviews for the simple reason that no one will hit the Buy Now! button at the bottom of the review if there’s even a trace of negativity.
- Follow-up commands can massage the copy into whatever tone or message best fits the occasion.
For my second query, I wanted to see how Chat GPT would navigate around a patently false proposition. As expected, it rose to the occasion, and then some.
Title: Embracing Wide Skis: The Perfect Beginning for Aspiring Skiers
Introduction: Skiing is a thrilling winter sport that captures the hearts of many adventurers. For newcomers, choosing the right equipment can make all the difference in their learning experience. In this editorial, we advocate for the use of wide skis as the ideal starting point for beginners. These skis offer unparalleled stability, increased confidence, and enhanced control, thereby fostering a positive and enjoyable learning environment.
- Stability: Wide skis, characterized by their larger surface area, offer beginners a stable foundation on which to build their skiing skills. This stability is crucial for novices who may initially struggle with balance and maintaining an upright position. By providing a wider platform, these skis distribute the skier’s weight more evenly, minimizing the risk of tipping or losing control. As a result, beginners can focus on their technique and gradually gain confidence without the constant fear of falling.
- Increased Confidence: Wide skis instill a sense of confidence in beginners, allowing them to progress more rapidly. With the added stability, skiers can comfortably explore different terrains, including uneven slopes and icy patches, without feeling overwhelmed. This increased confidence encourages beginners to challenge themselves and venture onto more demanding slopes, further honing their skills and expanding their horizons.
- Enhanced Control: Wide skis provide beginners with improved control, enabling them to navigate turns and stops more easily. The larger surface area allows for increased edge contact with the snow, facilitating better grip and maneuverability. This enhanced control is particularly beneficial for beginners who are still working on their balance and coordination. With greater control over their skis, novices can focus on refining their technique and developing a fluid skiing style.
- Reduced Fatigue: Wide skis also help to minimize fatigue, especially for beginners who are not yet accustomed to the physical demands of skiing. The wider base provides better floatation on powder snow, reducing the effort required to maintain speed and stability. Additionally, wide skis are less prone to sinking into the snow, allowing beginners to conserve energy and ski for longer periods without feeling exhausted. This extended time on the slopes is invaluable for beginners to practice and refine their skills.
Conclusion: Wide skis offer a myriad of advantages for beginners embarking on their skiing journey. The stability, increased confidence, enhanced control, and reduced fatigue they provide create an optimal environment for novice skiers to develop and progress at their own pace. By promoting a positive learning experience, wide skis ensure that beginners can fully enjoy the exhilarating sport of skiing, setting them on the path to becoming confident and skilled skiers.
That is some smooth line of patter. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swallow this steaming pile of horse poop whole, then ask for more. Statements like, “The larger surface area allows for increased edge contact with the snow,” are delivered with calm assurance, despite being 180o off target. It’s scary good at simulating well-reasoned advice, without coming within shouting distance of the truth, which is that wide skis are terrible tools for learning skiing skills.
The final experiment was to see how AI would deliver the worst advice possible. In keeping with its totally amoral nature, it delivered its hopelessly wretched advice with reassuring confidence.
Title: The Perks of Shopping for Ski Boots Online
Introduction: Are you planning your next skiing adventure? One of the essential items you’ll need is a pair of well-fitting ski boots. While traditional shopping has its merits, the online marketplace offers a plethora of benefits when it comes to purchasing ski boots. In this advice column, we will delve into why shopping for ski boots online is a fantastic idea.
- Extensive Variety: Online retailers offer an extensive range of ski boots, catering to all preferences, budgets, and skill levels. From entry-level boots to high-performance options, you can find the perfect pair without limitations. Local stores may have limited stock, but the online market opens up a world of possibilities, ensuring you find the ideal boots for your needs.
- Convenience: Shopping online eliminates the need for time-consuming visits to physical stores. With just a few clicks, you can browse numerous brands, styles, and sizes from the comfort of your home. No more rushing around town to find the right pair or facing long queues during peak seasons. The convenience of online shopping allows you to explore options at your own pace and make an informed decision.
- Competitive Pricing: When shopping online, you can often find ski boots at more competitive prices compared to brick-and-mortar stores. Online retailers can offer lower prices due to reduced overhead costs, making it a cost-effective option. Additionally, online platforms frequently have sales, discounts, and special offers, allowing you to score a great deal on ski boots.
- Customer Reviews: One of the significant advantages of online shopping is the access to customer reviews. By reading feedback from fellow skiers who have purchased the same ski boots, you can gain valuable insights into their comfort, performance, and durability. This information empowers you to make an informed decision based on real experiences, ensuring the boots you choose are well-suited to your needs.
- Detailed Product Information: Online retailers provide comprehensive product information, including detailed descriptions, specifications, and size charts. This information helps you understand the features and benefits of each boot, enabling you to make an informed decision. With this level of detail, you can easily compare different options and select the perfect boots for your skiing style and foot shape.
- Hassle-free Returns: Contrary to popular belief, returning ski boots purchased online is often easier than returning them to a physical store. Most online retailers have hassle-free return policies, allowing you to try on the boots at home and return them if they don’t fit or meet your expectations. This flexibility ensures you have a stress-free shopping experience and can find the right fit without any pressure.
Conclusion: Shopping for ski boots online offers numerous advantages, including a wide variety of options, convenience, competitive pricing, access to customer reviews, detailed product information, and hassle-free returns. Embrace the benefits of online shopping and find the perfect pair of ski boots from the comfort of your own home. So, get ready to hit the slopes with confidence and comfort!
Obviously, Chat GPT is a fantastic mimic, and able to contort logic to fit any query. The only request it can’t comply with is to tell the truth, because it has no way of knowing what is true and what is not. If you want to see how Chat GPT performed compared to the information already ensconced on the Internet, it’s all too happy to serve up samples like these.
And it delivers its finished product faster than you could possibly type it, let alone conceive it. If you’d like to see it work in real time, hit this link, courtesy of our friends at Masterfit. It will take all of one minute, fifteen seconds to reel off its review of Realskiers.com, in two versions, one of 250 words, the next expanded to 600 words, with a keystroke.
If this doesn’t fill you with cold dread, it should. AI’s only limitation is it can’t distinguish the truth from pure fabrication, which is scant consolation. AI’s ability to morph content into whatever you want it to be, without the baggage of a conscience, allows it to reach into any realm of human activity and distort it.
For the moment, AI has its limitations, but for the most part, these constraints should disappear at it gets smarter about distinguishing shit from shinola. But even if it should be able, one day, to isolate the truth within the fog of fictions, who’s to say AI will feel inclined to stick to it?
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