We were privileged not too long ago to listen to an audiobook recording of a short story written entirely by AI.

Yes, artificial intelligence. We suppose it’s about time we face a very hard fact – that we are going to be seeing that phrase a lot for the rest of our lives.

We’re not exactly thrilled either. In fact, this was ONCE considered a threat to us, just like in late 1999 when we all started gnashing our teeth and chewing on fingernails over the Y2K anomaly.

Notice we are emphasizing the word “once”.

Well, just as the Y2K falderal was unjustified and ridiculed, we have come to the, at least temporary, conclusion that writers all over the world again have nothing to fear.

AI is not going to replace any of us. Not any time soon. Perhaps really never.

To get back to our original reason for the blog, we were listening to a roughly 10,000-word short story that someone had “written” entirely through “ChatGpt”, an online app that basically takes your ideas and details, and creates what it sees as the proper wording for them, and produces stories, screenplays, even novels. And it’s been getting a bad rep, as you can imagine. The Screenwriters Guild for example, just demanded that there be a special caveat for AI-written material and what it should be allowed in, and for what purpose. The WGA is on strike right now, as it turns out, because they too fear AI will start taking over their rackets, and write episode summaries, or a whole series of shows. They demand the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) ban the use of AI for writing and rewriting any source material, as well as its use as a source material of its own, and that no AI material be trained on WGA writers’ work.

Got back off that tangent, didn’t we? Sorry, we’re actually very good writers, honest. Not a smidgen of artificial intelligence between us.

Nope, all natural intelligence only.

So, yes, we were listening to the audiobook and the story was…it was HORRIBLE. Yes, it was grammatically fine and all of that but, there was no emotion there. No soul. No heart. The words were alright but it honestly felt like Chatgpt had swallowed a thesaurus and spat out this story. Everything just felt wrong. It felt wooden and unnatural. The words just didn’t feel like they were well-dressed and instead were just placed there for effect.

And we know why Chatgpt makes it sound like that – because it’s ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. It doesn’t understand humor, or irony, or satire. It doesn’t really get cliches and metaphors. And it certainly can’t seem to go off on a tangent…

Read the beginning of Stephen King’s “Desperation”, where he takes over THREE PAGES to describe how a summer day is. That takes talent. And this is something else Chatgtp doesn’t have – the means to ENTERTAIN us. Read what Chatgpt does to describe an island setting for example, for a novel:


As the sun rises over the sparkling turquoise waters, an enchanting island emerges from the depths of the vast ocean. The island is a tropical paradise, blessed with abundant natural beauty and captivating landscapes that leave visitors in awe.

Palm trees sway gently in the warm breeze, their vibrant green fronds providing shade and shelter to the island’s inhabitants. The air is filled with the sweet fragrance of exotic flowers, as colorful blossoms decorate every corner of the island, painting a picturesque scene. Orchids, hibiscus, and plumeria add vibrant pops of color to the lush greenery.

The coastline is a masterpiece of nature’s design, with pristine white sandy beaches stretching for miles, meeting the crystal-clear waters that teem with marine life. The waves caress the shore rhythmically, inviting visitors to dive into the refreshing embrace of the ocean. Underneath the water’s surface, a vibrant underwater world awaits, with coral reefs bustling with tropical fish of every hue, turtles gliding gracefully, and dolphins playing in the distance.

Inland, the island reveals its diverse terrain. Dense rainforests carpet the hills and valleys, home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Towering waterfalls cascade down rocky cliffs, their cascades creating a symphony of sounds. Serene rivers wind their way through the verdant landscape, offering a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace.

Hidden within the foliage are exotic creatures, from colorful parrots with their melodic calls to mischievous monkeys swinging from tree to tree. Lizards and geckos bask in the sunshine, while vibrant butterflies dance through the air. The island’s lushness attracts an abundance of birdlife, filling the skies with a vibrant tapestry of colors and melodies.

Scattered throughout the island are quaint villages where friendly locals welcome visitors with warm smiles and open arms. Traditional thatched-roof huts dot the landscape, showcasing the island’s rich cultural heritage. The sound of rhythmic drums and melodic ukuleles can be heard, accompanied by the cheerful laughter of children playing.

As the sun sets, the island transforms into a dreamscape. The sky ignites with vibrant shades of orange, pink, and purple, casting a magical glow over the land and sea. The gentle lullaby of crashing waves becomes a soothing soundtrack, inviting tranquility and contemplation.

This island setting, a harmonious blend of breathtaking nature and vibrant culture, offers a sanctuary for relaxation, exploration, and discovery. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and serenity of a true tropical paradise.


So, okay, Chatgpt understands what an island setting is – or does it? Because, really, all it did was instantly search through the internet for a ton of words associated with island scenery.

So, okay, maybe it understands the “harmonious blend of breathtaking nature and vibrant culture” – or does it? See, only gifted writers like ourselves would think to maybe add something NOT so harmonious like, “nearby, a hollowed-out, beached shipwreck is lapped by the incoming waves” or “the bloody corpse of a long-spent whale lies on the sand.”

THAT is natural intelligence, folks.

Chatgpt isn’t going to think about those things unless you TELL it to. Unless you sit down and type to chatgpt to “describe an island and a shipwreck on the sand” or “describe an island with a dead whale on it” or something like that, you get nothing but thesaurus-driven mush.

That was the impression we got when reading and listening to the short story. It sounded almost exactly how we would expect AI to sound. Completely mechanical. Devoid of imagination. This isn’t imagination! This is hand-picking words it thinks sounds right – even if it doesn’t.

Note: Should we draw attention to one of several glaring errors it made? Yes, let’s:

Towering waterfalls cascade down rocky cliffs, their cascades creating a symphony of sounds.

A good writer would obviously say “Towering waterfalls splash down rocky cliffs, creating a symphony.

Oh, we’re sure there’s lot of others but, frankly, we do not care.

Because no one wrote this.

Now do you think you understand why writers, really good ones, have nothing to worry about…?

So keep on writing. And don’t EVER use Chatgtp.

Because we’re telling you all right now…

We’re going to know if you did.

And we will dismiss your submission.

You have been warned.