Embracing AI because I'm Lazy

17 Aug 2023 02:21 UTC

I'm not the biggest fan of AI outside of code completion, even then that tends to be like working with your own junior developer. That said, I've used ChatGPT a few times for things I'm capable of doing but have little/no ambition of doing. Here's my list of "successful" uses of AI. As you'll soon read, it never did exactly what I watned but was at least enough to break through the getting started issues.

Disclaimers galore:

  1. I was asked to use AI for a couple of things
  2. I don't care if you use it or not I'm not advocating nor do I care your opinion (it's too late in the evening of me writing this for that)
  3. I work at a company that is heavily involved with AI so much that we're being constantly pushed to talk about AI. I wasn't asked to write this and I hope they honestly don't read it.

Use Case 1 - Writing things that no one will read

Earlier this year, my daughter was denied enrollment to our first choice school. We were allowed to dispute and write a letter of consideration. This was definitely something that I'm sure only one person would read and they probably didn't care. It wasn't a college essay, it was "please explain why we should make the exception for your child". ChatGPT did a decent job but definitely didn't give the "you'd be lucky to have us" vibe I was looking for. A little proofreading and editing made it good to go. I've also used it to craft emails that I was too lazy to write on my own because words are hard.

Use Case 2 - Writing things that don't matter

I've been working on a demo and needed some boilerplate code that felt more realistic than "Go here because fun fun fun fun".

My prompt and an excerpt of the response

This was cool because I had the dataset and the scenario. I just said okay write me a couple paragraphs for each of these situations and ChatGPT basically said here's a sample for like 2 of the 10 you need. It totally didn't follow instructions but it was better than what we had so yay! A few more prompts saying "keep going. I believe in you (kinda)" and we were set.

Again stakes were low because this was glorified Lorem Ipsum. Looks better and makes me look like I paid more attention to small details.

Use Case 3 - Writing code that I know but am too lazy to write

I've had this little project for Conduit for like 4 months now. I've honestly been too lazy to write the 10 lines of code that actually does this and was definitely overthinking the process...

prompt for random language code

Two prompts later and I have the code written. Did I know how to write it, you bet absolutely. But getting the data (literally "Thanks in 50 languages") had me stalled... I hope they got it right because I'll probably mispronounce them and tell someone nicely and humbly to "suck a butt" on accident is a great way to get cancelled. That being said it was on the list and now it's not so yay!

Modified version of that generated code in action In the end, I do think that AI is useful but like a pocket knife is useful. All of the examples required my proofreading and some simple modifications but even getting a good starting point was enough to get me moving through the project.

I love some folks are coming up with funny businesses and things with it (Shout out to my Conduit Co-host for an amazing business I won't spoil) but I still believe that investing in people over AI and community over product won't make me filthy rich but will definitely give me that feeling that I'm helping people achieve more than they could have imagined before (with or without AI's help).

Also, I didn't write this with ChatGPT because honestly I didn't think to until it was done. Also that feels kinda gross to me still as I'm capable of writing my own self-deprecating poor blog post that 5 people will read. No reason to get robots involved.