Should Christian Writers Use ChatGPT or Other AI Writing Tools?
Is using ChatGPT or other AI writing tools like Google Bard or Microsoft’s Bing chatbox a moral dilemma for Christians? There is a lot of controversy about AI writing, and Christian writers should have thoughts on the topic.
First, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is neither artificial nor intelligent. These content tools extract human intelligence from massive databases. The results are not often intelligent and need human thought to make them usable.
AI and machine learning technologies have been around for a number of years, but they have only been recently released for general use by the public. New tools and platforms are emerging almost daily, supporting content creation. One of the most popular is ChatGPT, a language model created by OpenAI that can generate text based on prompts provided by users.
While ChatGPT has many potential benefits for content creators, it also has some potential drawbacks that should be considered. This article will explore the pros and cons of using ChatGPT to write book chapters or blog posts.
Positive Reasons for Using ChatGPT
One of the primary benefits of using ChatGPT for content creation is the time it can save. Rather than spending hours researching and writing a book chapter or blog post from scratch, you can input a prompt into ChatGPT and generate a draft in a matter of minutes.
Notice I said, “Draft.” I have heard of some “writers” in the third world and elsewhere who are using ChatGPT to generate articles that they sell to the unwary for a few dollars. The articles are of low quality, but many of these people don’t realize that because English is their second language. They may have learned English in university but they don’t understand idiomatic English, so their articles are generally sterile.
Google has had a longstanding campaign to wipe such low-value articles off the internet, so many generated articles are often a complete waste.
In my view, ChatGPT is best when you use it to generate IDEAS, not content. Use portions of the ChatGPT as source material, not as the final article. Rethink and revise, and include other sources. Make it your own. Add your own personality, experiences, and insights. Also, do independent fact-checking.
ChatGPT is great for topic generation. If you’re struggling to come up with new topics for your blog posts, ChatGPT can be a great resource. By inputting a general topic or theme, the model can generate a list of potential subtopics or slants that you may not have considered. You can generate a year’s worth of high-quality blog ideas in an hour.
ChatGPT can provide unique perspectives and insights that may not have occurred to you. It will help you think outside the box. Because the AI model has been trained on such a vast range of text, it can draw connections and make associations that may not be immediately apparent to a human writer.
Negative Reason for using ChatGPT
One of the primary drawbacks of using ChatGPT for content creation is your limited control over the output. While you can provide prompts and suggestions, you cannot control every aspect of the generated text, which can lead to inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the content. The secret to using ChatGPT effectively is in discovering how to pose questions in the chat box. The more precise your request, the higher quality response you will receive.
While ChatGPT can provide unique perspectives and insights, it may not be able to replicate the creativity and originality that comes from human writers. If you’re looking to create truly innovative or thought-provoking content, ChatGPT may not be the best solution. This is particularly true when it comes to Christian topics. “Woke” people get better answers than people with Christian values. In my tests, I believe that ChatGPT has a bias against Bible-believing people.
ChatGPT administrators admit to bias. They say their tool generates text based on statistical patterns in the data it has been trained on, and there is always a risk that the output may contain errors, inaccuracies, or biases. While the model is continually being refined and improved, there is still the potential for quality issues in the output. That’s another reason why you never want to use raw ChatGPT-generated content. Read it carefully and eliminate their bias.
Can you use ChatGPT to help you understand the Bible? No. It that sense ChatGPT is more like a Ouija Board. It cannot provide sound Bible teaching or God’s will for your life without supervision. ChatGPT cannot replace the Holy Spirit, even in superficial ways.
Are there legal or ethical concerns that may have a negative impact? We’ll have to wait and see, but most concerns may be overblown. Some content creators have complained that their writing is being recycled, but that’s not really the case. They have spit in the ocean of creativity, and now they are claiming they must get credit for all the fish caught in the ocean.
The fact is, individual writing is part of the ocean of creativity of all humans of all ages, and AI computers are just extracting it randomly based on certain queries and putting it together in unique ways. That is exactly how the human brain works, so AI just augments our natural cognitive functions. Writers must take the same precautions against copyright infringement and plagiarism as always.
Do you need to attribute AI sources? Some believe it is an ethical necessity. But it depends on how you use the content. Do you copy it like a Wikipedia article and call it your own, or do you use AI-generated content to stimulate your thinking? You should attribute cut-and-paste content used under license, but there is no ethical issue if you rethink and make unique the ideas offered by AI content generators. Some academics are bound to require disclosure, but it is not required for non-academic writers.
What’s the Verdict for Christian Writers?
ChatGPT has many potential benefits for content creators, but it also has some potential drawbacks that should be carefully considered. While the tool can save time, don’t let it write full book chapters or articles for you. Use it to turbo-charge your thought processes, but don’t let it think for you. Rethink the content, revise, and edit it.
I see ChatGPT much as I see a tool like Grammarly. Grammarly is another AI tool, although most do not understand that. The reality is you cannot use Grammarly effectively unless you already know how to write, including the many facets of grammar. You cannot depend on Grammarly to make decisions for you. It is great at presenting options, but as professional writers know, many of those options should be rejected.
By the way, there is no cry that writers disclose they are using Grammarly even though it rewrites a lot of content if you let it.
Ultimately, the decision to use ChatGPT for content creation will depend on your specific needs and goals as an author or content creator and your comfort level with using AI-generated content. If you decide to use ChatGPT, it’s important to be aware of its limitations and to exercise caution to ensure that the content you create is of high quality and meets spiritual, legal, and ethical standards.