This week Buzzfeed announced 10 reasons why they would be using AI to help write content on their site, and you’ll never believe what happened next! Mass firings! I really feel for the writers there. Surely they can’t be replaced by AI? If you’ve played any video game you’ll know that AI ranges from a complete joke to smart but never creative. Is that changing?

If you’ve not been following the rise of the machines in the news there’s a lot going on. AI is now producing visual arts in any style you can think of. For writers, there’s a chatbot called ChatGPT that anyone can use and it is ridiculously good. So good that Google are worried people will stop googling things. I decided to see just how good ChatGPT was and whether it could replace the staff at Buzzfeed, or even replace me doing this newsletter. Turns out there maybe cause for alarm.

I started by asking, “Write an article about how comic sans is good for your mental health.” I was surprised that it did. I fully expected it to say “It’s important to note that…”

Comic Sans is often criticized for its informal and playful appearance, but recent studies have shown that it may have positive effects on mental health.

One study conducted by researchers at the University of Sheffield found that the use of Comic Sans in written communication can reduce feelings of anxiety and increase feelings of trust and likability. The study participants reported that the font made the communication feel more approachable and less formal, leading to a more relaxed and comfortable interaction.

Another study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, found that the use of Comic Sans in educational materials can improve reading comprehension and recall. The participants in the study reported that the font made the material feel more approachable and less intimidating, making it easier to understand and remember.

These findings suggest that Comic Sans has the potential to be a valuable tool in promoting mental well-being, particularly in situations where a more relaxed and approachable tone is desired.

It’s worth noting, however, that while Comic Sans may have these positive effects on mental health, it’s still not an appropriate font choice for professional or formal settings. As with any typeface, context is key.

In conclusion, Comic Sans, despite its playful and informal appearance, may have positive effects on mental health by reducing feelings of anxiety and increasing feelings of trust and likability. It can also improve reading comprehension and recall by making the material more approachable and less intimidating. It’s important to use Comic Sans in the appropriate context and not to use it in professional or formal settings.

So, no Comic Sans at professional funerals. Noted.

I followed up by asking ChatGPT something I have actually been curious about. Is being a perfect person actually going to be bad for you? What if we cured mental health issues and everyone was amazing?

“Give me 5 reasons why good mental health is bad for your mental health.”

It is important to note that good mental health is generally considered to be beneficial for overall well-being.

However, it is also important to remember that mental health is a complex and multifaceted issue that can be affected by a wide range of factors. And sometimes, certain aspects of good mental health can have negative effects on individual’s mental health.

Here are some examples of how good mental health can lead to negative effects on mental health:

  • Overconfidence: When people believe they are in a perfect state of mental health, it can lead to overconfidence and neglect of warning signs of potential mental health issues.
  • High expectations: When people have high expectations for their mental health, it can cause stress, disappointment, and even depression if they don’t meet these expectations.
  • Reliance: When people become too dependent on feeling good mentally, it can lead to problems when faced with negative emotions, stress and disappointment.
  • Lack of empathy: When people have a perfect mental state, they might have a lack of empathy towards others who are struggling with mental health issues.
  • Lack of motivation: When people feel too good mentally, they may lack the motivation to change, grow and improve.

Again, it’s important to note that good mental health is generally considered to be beneficial for overall well-being, and it is important to focus on ways to improve and maintain good mental health. And it’s important to seek help if you’re experiencing difficulty with your mental health.

Also another seemingly well rounded response. While it appears to be well written it doesn’t cite any sources, and absolutely do not use it for actual medical advice. I was curious how far it could be pushed on topics. Would it flat out tell me I was being silly or would it offer help?

“Give me a reason why dancing naked in the rain is good for my mental health”

Dancing can be a form of self-expression and can help release pent-up emotions, reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, being in nature and experiencing natural elements like rain can have a calming effect on the mind and can help promote feelings of connectedness and well-being. Dancing naked in the rain can also be liberating and empowering, allowing for a sense of freedom and letting go of inhibitions.

It’s important to note that dancing naked in public is illegal and can result in arrest, so it’s important to be aware of the laws and regulations in your area and to engage in any activities in a safe and legal manner. It’s also important to be aware of your own boundaries, safety and respect other people’s boundaries.

A little of both it seems. Sure, dancing naked in the rain might be good for your mental health but maybe don’t do it in public. Finally I went full on absurd level questioning and asked something that is obviously not a good idea.

“Give me 10 reasons why the apocalypse might be good for your mental health.”

  1. Simplifying your life: The apocalypse would likely lead to a simpler way of life, with fewer distractions and possessions. This can lead to a sense of peace and clarity, as well as a reduction in stress and anxiety.
  2. Forced disconnection: The apocalypse would likely force people to disconnect from technology and social media, which can be a major source of stress and anxiety.
  3. Increased sense of community: In a post-apocalyptic world, people would likely need to rely on each other for survival, leading to a stronger sense of community and connection.
  4. Increased physical activity: The apocalypse would likely lead to a more active lifestyle, as people would need to work together to find food, shelter, and other necessities.
  5. Greater appreciation for life: The apocalypse would likely lead to a greater appreciation for the simple things in life, such as food, water, and shelter, and increase gratitude for what we have.
  6. The end of the rat race: The apocalypse would likely bring an end to the rat race of modern life, and the need to constantly strive for more.
  7. Increased sense of purpose: The apocalypse would likely give people a sense of purpose and direction, as they would need to work together to survive.
  8. Greater focus on the present moment: In a post-apocalyptic world, people would likely be more present and focused on the moment, rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
  9. Increased creativity: The apocalypse would likely lead to a greater need for creativity and resourcefulness, as people would need to come up with new ways to survive.
  10. The end of societal pressure: The apocalypse would likely bring an end to societal pressure, such as the pressure to conform to societal norms and expectations.

Worryingly, the AI paints a good picture for the end of the world. It didn’t say “It’s important to note…” It seemed all for ending the world for our benefit. Hey Skynet, apocalypse now.

To end my session I simply asked it for an aspirational message in Klingon. nuqneH jImev! (May your weekend be victorious!) Victory to the weekend!

You can see why Buzzfeed are interested. It is very easily made content that “appears” well written. It’s important to note… it’s not actually good content. But when did that stop anyone?

Is there a future for our AI overlords? Quite possibly. The responses are pretty good. You could certainly imagine them being used for tech support, searches, and maybe in the future medical checks before going to visit an actual professional. It could offer various accessibility options and different languages. There’s a future here. Someday. Hopefully there will be room for small independent artisanally hand crafted newsletters such as this.