This morning I read an article about how a philosophy professor in Michigan who had a paper submitted that was, in his words, “the best paper in the class.” The paper discussed burqa bans with "clean paragraphs, fitting examples and rigorous arguments." He questioned the student about his sources, and the student confessed that he had used an AI chatbot named GPTChat to write the paper. The article then went on to discuss the restructuring of courses that some colleges are doing and the preventive measures they are taking to avoid this happening in the future. (Sorry, I can't gift the article - I'm out of my allotted links).
While I was reading it, I got curious so I signed up (it's still in beta form and free but I believe they are planning to start charging soon) for the chatbot and asked it some questions. I'm heading to Naples, FL in about 10 days so I asked it for some ideas of things to do there. Within a few seconds, it shot back a list of about 10 suggestions in short, concise sentences of things, such as "Take a walk or bike ride on the Gordon River Greenway: This 10-mile trail offers scenic views of the Gordon River, mangroves, and wetlands."
Next I asked it to give me info about traveling to Glasgow. It spit this out within seconds:
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the fourth largest in the United Kingdom. It is located in the west of Scotland and is known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture, as well as its cultural scene, which includes museums, art galleries, and live music venues. To get to Glasgow, you can fly into Glasgow Airport, which is located about 8 miles west of the city center and has flights to destinations throughout the UK and Europe.
Alternatively, you can take a train to Glasgow's main train station, Glasgow Central, which is located in the city center and has regular services to destinations throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK. Once in Glasgow, you can get around using the city's extensive bus and subway system, or by walking and cycling. The city is also served by a number of taxi and ride-sharing services.
Some popular tourist attractions in Glasgow include the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Glasgow Cathedral, and the Riverside Museum, which is dedicated to the city's industrial and transport history. The Glasgow Necropolis is also a popular spot, which is a Victorian cemetery with many notable tombs and monuments.
The city is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and music venues to choose from. The West End and Merchant City areas are particularly popular for their nightlife scene. Keep in mind that Glasgow has a temperate oceanic climate and rain is quite common, so bring an umbrella or raincoat and comfortable shoes for walking.
Yes, this is pretty general information but it is well-written and it was nice not to have to wade through Google searches, affiliate links and pop up ads to get to this information. And when I get more specific in my questions, it gave me more specific information. For
example, asking about good hotels with reasonable prices in Glasgow for a solo traveler gave me 7-8 options, with info on their comfort, location to the center, price, whether breakfast was included, restaurants on site, and if wifi was available. I'm sure I could get directions to places, info on bike rentals and so on.
I asked about Stornoway on Harris and Lewis in Scotland and it gave me a number of sights to see there, and even some ideas for day trips. At any rate, I could easily see making a small guidebook using AI responses that are tailored to my specific destinations. I'm going to try it for this Naples trip and see what happens. I think I'll keep it digital for that trip but for Scotland, I will make my own physical book. 😊