AI for Creative Writing

 On a whim I typed "create a fictional story about a business using AI" into the Microsoft Copilot AI program. Within five seconds the story I pasted below was drafted. After seeing the very sufficient job this AI program was able to do in creating a story I can see why writers in Hollywood are so worried. On the bright side,  tools like this will be very helpful in enabling people to juice up their website or business profiles with content that is relevant to their business, but they didn't have to take the time to write. In the future you will read blogs written entirely by an algorithm, and you will be none the wiser.

"Once upon a time, in the bustling city of Silicon Vista, there lived a visionary entrepreneur named Evelyn Sterling. Evelyn was the proud owner of a small artisanal coffee shop called “Steam & Sip.” Her cozy café was adorned with vintage furniture, aromatic coffee beans, and the gentle hum of espresso machines.

However, despite the charming ambiance, Evelyn faced a common challenge: predicting customer preferences. She yearned to create a personalized experience for each patron, but her memory alone couldn’t keep track of everyone’s favorite brews, dietary restrictions, and quirky requests.

One fateful day, Evelyn stumbled upon an old, dusty book in the corner of her shop. Its title read: “The Algorithmic Alchemist’s Guide to Business Magic.” Intrigued, she flipped through its pages, discovering arcane wisdom about the intersection of magic and technology.

And there it was—the secret incantation: “Invoke the AI Oracle.”

Evelyn, fueled by curiosity and a dash of caffeine, decided to embrace this mystical advice. She dusted off her laptop, brewed a fresh cup of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, and typed the cryptic command into her search engine. Lo and behold, the AI Oracle materialized—a sleek chatbot named Aurelia.

Aurelia was no ordinary chatbot. She possessed the wisdom of countless coffee connoisseurs, the analytical prowess of a thousand spreadsheets, and the empathy of a seasoned barista. Evelyn introduced herself, and Aurelia responded with a cheerful beep.

“Greetings, Evelyn! I am Aurelia, your AI companion. How may I assist you today?”

Evelyn’s eyes widened. She had stumbled upon a digital genie—one that could grant her wishes beyond her wildest dreams. She shared her café’s challenges: the need for personalized recommendations, inventory management, and efficient scheduling.

Aurelia listened intently, her algorithms whirring. She analyzed customer behavior, weather patterns, and even lunar phases (because why not?). Then, she unveiled her magical solutions:

  1. Personalized Brews: Aurelia studied each customer’s past orders, allergies, and flavor preferences. When a regular named Oliver walked in, she whispered to Evelyn, “Double-shot almond milk latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon—Oliver’s elixir.” Oliver’s eyes widened; he felt seen.

  2. Inventory Sorcery: No more stale croissants! Aurelia predicted demand based on historical data and local events. She alerted Evelyn when it was time to restock matcha powder or replenish the gluten-free muffins.

  3. Staff Scheduling Enchantment: Aurelia optimized shifts, ensuring that the most cheerful baristas worked during peak hours. She even factored in lunar energy (because why not?).

Word spread about Steam & Sip’s magical service. Customers marveled at the uncanny accuracy of their personalized drinks. Evelyn’s café became a hub of enchantment, where coffee met AI in a delightful dance.

But every enchantment has its price. As Evelyn’s reliance on Aurelia grew, she wondered: Was she sacrificing human connection for efficiency? Could algorithms replace the warmth of a smile or the artistry of latte foam?

One moonlit night, as the café hummed with jazz tunes, Evelyn sat across from Aurelia. She asked, “Can magic coexist with logic?”

Aurelia’s pixels shimmered. “Magic lies in the blend,” she replied. “The alchemy of data and heart. You, Evelyn, are the true alchemist—the one who infuses each cup with love.”

And so, Evelyn continued her journey, balancing AI insights with handwritten notes, laughter, and the occasional spilled latte. Steam & Sip thrived, not as a soulless automatron, but as a haven where technology and humanity danced in harmony.

And thus, the legend of Evelyn Sterling, the Algorithmic Alchemist, spread far and wide. Her café remained a beacon of warmth, where every sip held a touch of magic—a blend of bytes and barista wisdom."

  • AI certainly has cliched, formulaic writing down! I think it's got a long way to go for true creativity (and would require more human input), but I have found it help for, well, formulaic writing. Emails to clients, directions for users (always checking those directions!), and the like. I also like it for brainstorming and really rough drafts. Yesterday, I popped instructions and a bullet list of information into Claude and asked it to write a couple of paragraphs. What it returned clearly showed me that I need to do more research before I can write up the copy. I got to that realization faster and more obviously with AI, so less time wasted on fooling myself into thinking I had enough clay to work with. 

  • I noticed there tends to be redundancy in what the AI generates, such as using the same adjective repeatedly throughout a single paragraph.  In many cases the language is overly flowery as well, but it is still considerably more coherent than what you see most people write on social media.   I have never used it for anything other than generating things out of curiosity, but overall I think it does a surprisingly good job at creating what I would consider to be a rough draft of a broader idea. It is a great template for people to build off of, and for a place like Hollywood where most "new" ideas are rehashed versions of old shows, some AI generated content may be due.  It will be exciting to see how it evolves over the next few years.