Would you trust a tent review written by artificial intelligence?

Can AI write outdoor blog posts and articles?

I recently wrote a post about copywriting and artificial intelligence. It’s an interesting topic. One I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while now. One that represents a slightly disconcerting situation.

Because the software is already available that could put me out of business.

As a freelance outdoor writer, I’m never quite sure what I’m going to be asked to do next. But that doesn’t matter because I love my job, which includes, amongst other things, writing walking routes, giving outdoor tips and advice and exploring new places and ideas.

But bots are starting to be able to do some of those things too. At present AI-produced writing is on the generic side but unless you’re an expert on a subject, that might not be immediately obvious. In other words.

Articles written by artificial intelligence are so good you may not be able to spot them.

I can think of plenty of articles I have written that a bot could have a go at but yesterday I found myself wondering whether or not AI could take on my latest freelance task.

I’m in the middle of writing a set of tent reviews.

The house is covered in tents! There are so many I might need a bit of help. So I’ve invented my own ChatBot. Okay so he’s a pretend ChatBot but I find him more interesting than the real ones.

Plus, he doesn’t keep running out of capacity.

Meet ChatGO – the outdoor AI chat bot

If you haven’t guessed, the ‘GO’ in ChatGO’s name is short for Get Outside. Would you like to meet him?

Hello my name's ChatGO. I'm a bot. I don't walk but walking is fun. I don't run but I know running is also fun. I don't go in water but I know paddle boards are useful boards you can stand on in the water. I don't go outside but going outside is good for me. I don't sleep but people sometimes sleep in tents.

ChatGO has given the game away there. I thought I’d put his capabilities (and my imagination) to the test by asking him to help me with my tent reviews. He seemed willing enough (mainly because he doesn’t exist) so I took him up to Dartmoor (where wild camping is still currently allowed) and left him in a tent overnight.

Here’s what ChatGO my Get Outside chatbot wrote about the MSR Elixir 3 backpacking tent (which is, by the way, a really nice piece of camping equipment).

The MSR Elixir 3 backpacking tent is two colours #EBECF0 and #800000. I can't see its colours because it is dark in here. The MSR Elixir 3 backpacking tent also has three aluminium poles. I don't know what they look like because it's dark in here.

Aluminium is the 13th element in the periodic table. It is light and strong. Rubies and sapphires are aluminium minerals. The MSR Elixir 3 backpacking tent does not have rubies or sapphires but it costs £290.

The MSR Elixir 3 backpacking tent has gear pockets. I don't know what gear is but campers find tents, stoves and beer useful. They could store their spare tents, stoves and beer in the gear pockets.

It's minus one degrees centigrade inside this tent. I can operate to a lower temperature of minus three degrees centigrade. Being cold can cause campers and bots to die or switch off. Campervans are sometimes warmer than tents.

I didn't pitch this MSR Elixir 3 backpacking tent so I can't tell you how easy it is to pitch. I can tell you it took a camper 5 minutes and 46 seconds to pitch. I don't know how long it would take a camper to pack this tent away because I am a bot and I am still inside it.

The MSR Elixir 3 backpacking tent has no temperature control. It's minus two degrees centigrade inside this tent. It is still dark. The tent colours are still #EBECF0 and #800000. I still can't see them because it is still dark. This tent still has three aluminium poles but no rubies or sapphires.

My sensors detect sound outside the tent. This tent is not soundproof. Soundproof tents help campers to find a better night's sleep. Sleep is important because it improves human mental and physical health.

It's minus 3.5C inside this tent...

What do you think?

Has ChatGO’s artificial intelligence-generated copywriting encouraged you to make a purchase?

Me neither but I think I would take ChatGO camping with me.

He’s unlikely to snore and definitely wouldn’t steal my chocolate.

Artificially-generated writing is no joke

The tent review above wasn’t real and I currently rely on my own intelligence rather than the artificial kind but AI-generated copywriting is a serious business.

With the capacity to analyse algorithm expectations and results faster than I can type ‘AI’, I predict the use of artificial intelligence to generate online sales is about to take a massive leap.

If you look carefully, you’ll soon be spotting hard-to-identify, AI-generated text in online reviews, product descriptions and some blog posts. But perhaps not in outdoor gear reviews.

Not yet anyway!

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