Artificial Intelligence and Blogging or: The bot went to Ravenna and came back with the ultimate scrumptious word salad

Artificial Intelligence and Blogging or: The bot  went to Ravenna and came back with the ultimate scrumptious word salad

The first time I heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI)  and Machine Learning was a while ago. I think when I watched Stanley Kubrick’s “2001” for the first time, I got a better grip on its implications – not in a nice way as those who watched the film know. Given that the story was written in 1968,  I consider Arthur C. Clarke quite the genius in creating the most frightening AI application in the arts.

The first time I heard of it potentially being able to write my paper  was six months ago when I studied at the University of Nagasaki and was told that, for my assignment, any AI tools like  ChatGPT were forbidden in generating the required paper. Huh, that was the first time I heard of it, and admittedly, I know of algorithms and artificial intelligence helping to analyse tons of data. I mean, any ECG I write comes with a neat little report done by the machine, a form of AI. A lot of imaging in medicine is aided by AI. There are studies about it and I was well aware that AI is used in many aspects of life. But, Artificial Intelligence and Blogging, do they work together?

Artificial Intelligence and Blogging: Letting Chat GPT write a blog post

Would I let AI write an article? Hm. Anyway, article submitted, I didn’t revisit until I heard discussions on the radio about AI writing poems and composing song lyrics. I read some blog posts generated by AI. This left me wondering whether AI will be able to write a half decent blog post. So I signed up to Chat GPT and asked it to write a blog post about Ravenna Mosaics and one about a holiday and food in Ravenna. And it delivered – about twenty seconds and I was gifted two short blog posts.

Do you want to read them? Here they are, the first one about the mosaics, the second one about a foodie holiday in Ravenna. I have done some minor editing, removed a few words and reordered the paragraphs a little. I also added some of my own photographs, noodled through a homemade Instagram-style Lightroom preset to make them all look the same. I used to have a software that was even more liberal with images, replaced skies and added things, but it’s on my old laptop and I really cannot be bothered to pay for it. I write some cheesy captions because I am not clever enough to get Artificial Intelligence and Blogging cultivated so far to let it  write the captions.

If you want to read the real posts, entirely written by me, please check out my posts on a budget-friendly Ravenna Holiday and my post about the Ravenna Mosaics.

“Ravenna Mosaics: A Timeless Tapestry of Art and History”

“Nestled in the heart of Italy, the city of Ravenna stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of art and history that has woven itself through the centuries. One of the most captivating aspects of Ravenna’s cultural heritage lies in its magnificent mosaics, which have endured the test of time and continue to mesmerize visitors from around the world.

The Legacy of Ravenna: Ravenna, once the capital of the Western Roman Empire and later the capital of the Byzantine Empire in Italy, boasts a heritage steeped in political and religious significance. This historical backdrop has given rise to a remarkable collection of mosaics that adorn the city’s churches, baptisteries, and mausoleums.

The Art of Mosaics: Mosaics, an ancient art form dating back to at least the 3rd millennium BCE, involve the arrangement of small, colored pieces, often glass or stone, to create a larger image. Ravenna’s mosaics, however, stand out for their intricate designs, vibrant colors, and the sheer scale of the compositions.

  1. Basilica di San Vitale: A Byzantine Masterpiece One of the crown jewels of Ravenna’s mosaic artistry is found in the Basilica di San Vitale. This 6th-century church is a prime example of Byzantine architecture, and its interior is adorned with stunning mosaics that narrate biblical scenes and showcase an array of celestial figures. The intricate detailing and skillful craftsmanship of these mosaics transport visitors to a bygone era of opulence and religious fervor.
  2. Mausoleo di Galla Placidia: A Jewel in the Night Sky The Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, another marvel in Ravenna, features a celestial-themed mosaic adorned with stars, crescent moons, and biblical imagery. The subtle yet captivating use of color creates an otherworldly ambiance within the mausoleum, making it a must-see destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
  3. Baptistry of Neon: Baptism in Color The Baptistry of Neon, renowned as one of the oldest buildings in Ravenna, boasts a spectacular mosaic ceiling depicting the Baptism of Christ. The golden hues and intricate details of this mosaic make it a visual masterpiece, capturing the solemnity and sacredness of the baptismal rite.
Artificial Intelligence and Blogging
The brilliant blend of the celestial and historical , San Vitale

The conservation efforts dedicated to maintaining Ravenna’s mosaic heritage are commendable. Various restoration projects and protective measures have been implemented to ensure that these priceless works of art endure for future generations to appreciate.

Ravenna’s mosaics are not merely static images frozen in time; they are living testaments to the city’s cultural richness and historical importance. As visitors wander through the hallowed halls of Ravenna’s churches and mausoleums, they are transported through the ages, connecting with the artisans and patrons who, centuries ago, contributed to the creation of these awe-inspiring mosaics. The legacy of Ravenna’s mosaics continues to shine brightly, bridging the gap between the past and the present, inviting all who behold them to marvel at the enduring beauty of human creativity.”

“Savoring History: A Culinary Journey Through Ravenna’s Rich Past”

Nestled in the heart of Italy, Ravenna is a city that not only boasts a rich tapestry of art and history but also tantalizes the taste buds of those fortunate enough to visit. As you wander through its ancient streets, exploring mosaic-laden churches and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a culinary adventure that reflects the city’s vibrant past and delicious present.

A Gastronomic Prelude: Before delving into Ravenna’s culinary delights, take a stroll through its charming streets and soak in the atmosphere. The air is filled with the enticing aroma of freshly baked bread, aromatic herbs, and the subtle perfume of Italian coffee. This sets the perfect stage for a gastronomic exploration that promises to be as rich and diverse as Ravenna’s cultural heritage.

  1. Piadina: Ravenna’s Iconic Flatbread Start your culinary journey with Ravenna’s iconic piadina. This thin, unleavened flatbread is a local specialty, often filled with a variety of savory ingredients like prosciutto, cheese, and fresh greens. Take a leisurely walk through the city’s bustling markets and indulge in this simple yet delicious street food that has been a staple in Ravenna for centuries.
  2. Seafood Extravaganza: Adriatic Delights Given Ravenna’s proximity to the Adriatic Sea, seafood takes center stage in many local dishes. Venture into one of the city’s seafood restaurants and savor the freshness of Adriatic catches. From grilled fish to succulent calamari, the seafood offerings in Ravenna are a testament to the city’s maritime history.
  3. Trattorias and Osterias: A Homely Feast For a more intimate dining experience, explore Ravenna’s quaint trattorias and osterias. These traditional eateries offer a homely atmosphere and serve dishes that are deeply rooted in local culinary traditions. Try handmade pasta dishes like cappelletti or tagliatelle, accompanied by rich, savory sauces that have been perfected over generations.
  4. Wine Tasting in Romagna: Raise a Glass to Tradition No culinary journey is complete without indulging in the local wines, and Ravenna’s province of Romagna is renowned for its vineyards. Sample the robust Sangiovese wines, a perfect accompaniment to the hearty flavors of the local cuisine. Many vineyards offer wine tastings, providing an opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s winemaking heritage.

Dolce Finale:  No trip to Ravenna is complete without satisfying your sweet tooth with a taste of the local desserts. Indulge in delicacies like ciambella, a ring-shaped cake, or try the piadina dolce, a sweet variation of the savory flatbread filled with Nutella or jam.

Ravenna’s culinary landscape is a delectable journey through time, blending the flavors of its rich history with the vibrant present. Whether you’re savoring the simplicity of a street-side piadina or relishing a seafood feast by the Adriatic, every bite tells a story of Ravenna’s cultural and culinary evolution. So, as you explore the city’s marvels, be sure to indulge your taste buds and let the flavors of Ravenna linger as a delightful memory of your Italian sojourn. Buon viaggio e buon appetito!

Will I let Chat GPT near my blog anytime soon?

So, what do you think? Would you enjoy this post? And where on earth would you get any decent actual tips on where to eat and where to stay from?

Reasons against AI

To be honest, the posts started off nicely enough. Easy to read, etc. But then I stumbled about the “rich tapestry”

Where AI might be helpful in travel blogging, “indulgence” and “savouring” a bit too often and the language quickly began to annoy me – yes, even as a non native English speaker the flowery word salad of these posts, all style and no substance, was like listening to a bit of elevator music. Good thing it was so short!

Honestly, I think I would have reservations of publishing such a blog post and claiming it as my own. Where is the personal experience, the actual tips o n how to get there, anything to avoid, where to eat and where to stay? I know most of us have affiliate links, so other than slapping them somewhere in the post, they would make too much of a break, or perhaps AI can include affiliate links, too? I am all for creating some passive income, but at some point I like to have worked for it.

Artificial Intelligence and Blogging
Here’s a turtle but AI might recognize it as a rifle

And sometimes, AI just gets it wrong. In a recent, experiment, hackers manipulated AI and confused its recognition algorithm, resulting in AI wrongly identifying a turtle as a gun. Just imagine the implications from that if this were real life, not an experiment.

Where AI might be helpful in travel blogging

However – after laughing about this post Chat GPT gave me, I thought that perhaps I could use AI to improve my writing.

First of all, translation. When I travel, a translator app is my best friend. I try to learn a few basics of the language, then wield my phone and hope people are sympathetic.  When travelling , I rely heavily on translating websites, menus and talking to locals.

And I may have worked in England for ten years and am fairly proficient in English in my line of work, but writing a pleasant blog post is something I am still practising. I admit I often look up English words and I consult a Thesaurus regularly.

Secondly, AI condensates information on your chosen topic and gives you what it analyses as the most popular opinion. Therefore, it can give you prompts. Before I co-wrote this post, I read a few articles on Ravenna to prepare for our holiday, and after my return, I wrote one on the Ravenna Mosaics and one on holidaying in Ravenna. As The Basilica di San Vitale was mentioned most often, it came as no surprise that this is listed as the top attraction of Ravenna on several touristic websites.

I actually learned that piadina is a product of the region – no wonder there were so many piadinerie in Ravenna! As for the other bits- well, it goes without saying that any town near the sea probably has decent seafood, and about 99% of places in Italy have decent restaurants. The whole post about food in Ravenna sounded pretty pompous yet so meaningless – piadina excluded! I wonder if the posts on neighbouring towns are the same, and asked Chat GPT to “write blog post about holiday and food” in Ferrara, Bologna, Chioggia and Comacchio. On each occasion, Chat GPT, wrote a flowery, pompous post, always starting with the same sentence, but spat out the foods the town is most famous for. Getting carried away, I asked for a blog post on holiday and food in Berlin and then, my hometown, a rather unremarkable town that is definitely not famous for its food. Both posts quickly drifted into the “holiday season”, mulled wine and CHristmas markets we don’t really have pretty fast, resulting in pretty inaccurate gobbledegook. So, while the post is unuseable, it may give you prompts on what is popular right now.

Early Christian Art – less instagrammable, more impressive in situ

The Bottom Line: AI isn’t going to write my blog posts

No way will I let Chat GPT write my blog posts, but I am not cancelling the account just yet. I am sometimes quite single minded and this post is rather indie in the way I write about less travelled destinations, with a bit of sustainability and sewing thrown in, and I am not really into the big ticket attractions. However, since I sometimes use affiliate links, of course I would love more views and clicks, and maybe, one day, a small supplementary income from my blog.

And right now, plenty of AI applications promise to optimize your SEO and optimize your content. Wow, just putting this into a search engine results in tons of sponsored posts. AI in content creation is big business right now!

So it helps to keep track on what I should perhaps mention in posts in order to make them more attractive and helpful to potential readers. And with that, I am sending Chat GPT on a long break and thank you for reading this far!

Please feel free to join the discussion!

 

 

 



4 thoughts on “Artificial Intelligence and Blogging or: The bot went to Ravenna and came back with the ultimate scrumptious word salad”

    • Hi Bri, thank you for commenting! “This reads like it’s written by AI” is now my rather polite comment about something I did not enjoy reading. I am not worried professionally, as my job is, though there is some AI and robots, fairly irreplaceable by AI, although we have now installed Check-In terminals and I am looking forward to January when we have to go more paperless than we already are. The blog is just a hobby and I do rely on my job rather.

  • This raises some timely and important questions around AI use. I agree that AI for creation of blog content is inappropriate. As you mention though, there are likely some uses such as prompts and for SEO optimization.

    • Hi Sonia, thank you for your comment! I would not darte say that my content is now completely AI free as I do wonder what people might like to read. When I write about a popular destination, I do look for prompts. The posts are written entirely by myself, though.

Leave a Reply