I wrote a Tall And True blog post in April 2024 about spending 62 minutes in a float tank on my 62nd birthday in March. In addition to Tall And True, I cross-share posts here on my eponymous writer profile and blog site, RobertFairhead.com. This website has an AI page builder, so I thought I’d test it with an AI blog post.

I’ve had limited experience with AI other than using the Grammarly spelling and grammar checker app to proofread my writing. While I accept its AI-generated suggestions for words and passages, I don’t use Grammarly’s option to compose complete articles, posts, and stories.


In April 2023, I experimented with ChatGPT for the #30Words30Days writing challenge. I asked the AI bot to compose a 30-word story using the daily prompt words for the 22nd, 23rd and 27th: Adjacent, Ritual, and Meeting.

It took a dozen attempts to get ChatGPT to follow my brief and not use more or fewer words for the 22nd, and most of its offerings were romances and featured cats. But its story for the 23rd, Ritual, was spot on 30 words the first time, not a romance, and didn’t mention cats:

As the full moon rose, she lit the candles and began her ritual. Her heart pounded as she whispered her intentions, feeling the power of the universe at her fingertips.

However, the 30-word story for the 27th was another soppy romance, only 27 words, and put me off further experimenting with ChatGPT.

Website AI

The AI page builder on my website works differently from ChatGPT, with two prompts:

  1. Describe The Page You Want AI To Create
  2. Tell AI About Your Website

I copied and pasted the opening paragraph from The Dea Sea and a Float Tank blog post on Tall And True into the first prompt:

I turned 62 on 30 March. In previous years, I’ve swam laps to match my age on my birthday (until I tore my shoulders), read 59 and 60 chapters, and written a 61-word story. This year, I spent 62 minutes in a float tank, and to prepare for it, I read my travel journal entry on my 1995 trip to the Dead Sea.

And for the second prompt, I used the introduction from the Profile page on my website:

In addition to blogging on his eponymous website, Robert is a writer and editor at the Tall And True writers’ website. He also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads storytelling podcast, which features his short stories, blog posts and other writing from Tall And True.

The AI then compiled the blog post’s layout, text and images. It’s fair to say the result wasn’t quite what I expected.

Flowery Text

Firstly, the AI replaced my opening paragraph with a leaner sentence headlined “Celebrating a Unique 62nd Birthday – A Journey of Reflection and Serenity”:

This year, to mark my 62nd birthday, I embraced a serene 62-minute float in a sensory deprivation tank, reflecting on a memorable journey to the Dead Sea chronicled in my 1995 travel journal.

It then expanded on the post and occasion under “A Unique Celebration of Turning 62 – Diving Deep into Tranquility and Memories”:

For my 62nd birthday, I embarked on a serene journey unlike any other. Instead of my usual physical challenges, I spent 62 minutes enveloped in the silent embrace of a float tank. This year’s celebration was about introspection and tranquillity, floating weightlessly, akin to my memorable float in the Dead Sea back in 1995.

Before stepping into the float tank, I revisited a cherished travel journal that chronicled my adventures at the Dead Sea. Reading through the dusty pages, I was transported back to the salty waters and sunlit vistas, a perfect mental preparation for my float. This reflective prelude added layers of meaning to my float tank experience, making my 62nd birthday profoundly memorable.

As for my writer profile, the AI was flattering, with a poetic opening quote, “Writing is the painting of the voice”:

Robert Johnson is a seasoned writer, editor, and narrator at the Tall And True writers’ website. With a passion for storytelling, Robert brings a wealth of experience to the Tall And True Short Reads podcast, where he shares his own short stories, blog posts, and other literary works. His dedication to the craft of writing is evident in every piece he creates, making him a beloved figure in the literary community.

I don’t know why the AI changed my name from Robert Fairhead to Robert Johnson in the profile. Perhaps it sensed the frustrated Blues guitarist within me?

Spicy Images

If I was surprised by the flowery text, it’s hard to describe the AI-generated images for the blog post without using the expletive phrase, “What the f—?”

The cover photo for my post featured a bare-chested 62-year-old me about to enter the float tank on my birthday:

Barechested selfie in front of float tank.

The AI decided to spice things up for the post with an attractive young woman in a bikini top floating serenely, with her eyes closed in the tank:

AI-generated image of a young woman in a bikini top floating in the tank.

To accompany the travel journal extracts from my visit to the Dead Sea in 1995, I posted a photo of me bobbing in the salty water with my hands and feet raised like an extra in Esther Williams’ Million Dollar Mermaid:

Photo of me bobbing in the Dead Sea in 1995.

The AI replaced the 1995 “extra” with a mermaid, or at least a young woman who could pass for one, levitating seductively on the surface of the Dead Sea:

AI generated image of a young woman levitating seductively on the surface of the Dead Sea.

I may have been shocked by the spicy AI-generated images for the post, but I won’t complain about the suave writer profile portrait it created for “Robert Johnson”: 

Suave writer profile portrait AI created for Robert Johnson.

The Future is AI

Like my dabble with ChatGPT for the #30Words30Days Writing Challenge, my test to create an AI blog post left me underwhelmed. The layout was good, but the generated text was too flowery, the images were sexualised, and it didn’t read like one of my posts.

But what troubled me most was the thought that AI could be the future of my three creative areas: writing, blogging, and podcasting (on Tall And True Short Reads).

AI Business reported in February 2024 that after winning one of Japan’s highest literary awards, Rie Kudan admitted she’d used AI to write parts of her novel about a futuristic Tokyo in which generative AI abounds. In a related article, AI Business also reported in January 2024 how the flood of AI-generated ebooks forced Amazon to introduce limits on self-published Kindle ebooks to three a day.

My website’s page builder is one of many offering AI functionality. What proportion of blog posts today are AI-generated, wholly or partly, like Rie Kudan’s novel? And should there be more prominent disclosures so we know we’re reading AI-generated or curated content?

As for podcasting, in an example of art imitating art, the characters in the audio drama adaptation of Keir Newton’s speculative political thriller “2032: The Year A.I. Runs for President” are all voiced by AI. It’s little wonder Hollywood writers and actors went on strike in 2023 over the threat posed by AI-generated content and avatars.

Traditional Approach

Except for the content quoted in the ChatGPT 30-word story and the extracts and images from my test AI blog post, a human wrote this post—me!

I will continue to take the “traditional approach” for my stories, posts, memoirs, other writings, and podcasts. For one thing, crafting a piece of writing is more satisfying than churning it out with AI. And for another, the result won’t be flowery or spicy. It’ll sound and look like me! 

Share Your Writing on TallAndTrue.com

Finally, as the AI footnote enthusiastically spruiked in my test post, don’t forget to … “Dive into the world of Robert’s storytelling on Tall And True, RobertFairhead.com and Tall And True Short Reads podcast. Explore captivating narratives, insightful blog posts, and engaging short stories that will leave you wanting more.”

© 2024 Robert Fairhead

Thanks to Viarami for sharing the old typewriter image on Pixabay.com.

N.B. Here’s a link to my #30Words30Days challenge from April 2024—with no ChatGPT stories!

Note: This post originally appeared on Tall And True.

This post was proofread by Grammarly
About RobertFairhead.com

About RobertFairhead.com

Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of Robert Fairhead. A writer and editor at the Tall And True writers' website, Robert also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads podcast. In addition, his book reviews and other writing have appeared in print and online media, and he's published several collections of short stories. Please see Robert's profile for further details.


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