Longtime readers of this blog will have surely noticed the Flickr feed that has always appeared in its sidebar, labeled “Chris’s Camera.” For years it featured glorious photographs of California’s rugged central coast. There my brother had documented many of this portion of the West Coast’s most distinctive features and landmarks. Always captured near sunset, amidst the perfect lighting of the golden hour and with just the right amount of clouds to fill the frame. More recently though, Chris has switched his focus to the many, century old buildings in nearby Pacific Grove. Pictured here is the initial galley of a book that he has created. It is almost done and is well into the final tweaking phase of this project. So much so, that he is now casting about for a new photography project to fill his time. He just needs to capture a few more homes to finish his book. Like me, my brother Chris was never a great writer. So how did he write a book? I have for years been laboring to pullup my weak writing skills by their bootstraps, to this present day relatively lofty level, from where I had begun. Chris has chosen a more modern and much more expedient approach. In cooperation with many Pacific Grove based cultural and historical organizations who have contributed, who he prominently credits, he has accumulated plenty of text to accompany his photos in this coffee table book. How best to organize these disparate sources though? Enter the AI bot ChatGPT. It has been making an enormous splash in the news lately. Both heralding it as the next new, new thing and decrying it as a source blatant lies and disinformation. Chris has found that by limiting this robot to only quoting the text that he gives it, it does well at what it was always intended to do, before all the hoopla occurred. ChatGPT is just the next generation of autocomplete and if that is what you use it for, it does a good job. In this case organizing disparate text into a coherent paragraph.
Chris has created a ChatGPT version of this post. I think that it is better than mine:
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you probably noticed the Flickr feed in the sidebar labeled “Chris’s Camera.” For years, it showcased breathtaking photos of California’s rugged central coast, capturing the area’s distinctive features and landmarks in the perfect lighting of the golden hour. Recently, however, my brother Chris has shifted his focus to the century-old buildings of nearby Pacific Grove and has created a coffee table book featuring his stunning photography. Though he isn’t a great writer, he was able to gather enough text from various cultural and historical organizations in Pacific Grove to accompany his photos in the book. To organize these disparate sources, he turned to ChatGPT, an AI bot that he restricted to only quoting the text he provided. While ChatGPT has been both praised and criticized in the news, Chris found that it does a good job at its intended purpose of organizing text into a coherent paragraph. As he finishes his book, he’s already on the lookout for a new photography project to capture.