Can ChatGPT replace journalists and article writers?

A real fairground phenomenon, ChatGPT quickly became the event everyone is talking about in society. Boiling the teaching staff, it was banned by Sciences Po and caused the cancellation of an exam in Strasbourg!

In a futuristic world, he would even be able to replace journalists and other authors of articles or books! Faced with the machine and its “artificial intelligence”, humans would no longer be capable of the imagination that distinguishes them from more or less complex algorithms? Object of the craziest fantasies for some, ChatGPT is however compared to a “parrot” by Jean-Gabriel Ganascia. Faced with so much excitement, to form an opinion, you have to test it!

A fillet of salmon going up a river

Who hasn’t seen this image, on Twitter, of an artificial intelligence representing a net of salmon going up a river?


Could a human intelligence have made this error of interpretation from an image found on the internet and thus move away from the truth? Artificial intelligences are the fruits of the information they devour. They are the synthesis of the mass and of the majority signals with all the biases that this may represent. Intrigued by the ChatGPT phenomenon, the desire was strong to try to better understand it and to know if in the past this robot could have written a series of articles for Forbes in my place? Based on my previous posts, had to check! First question, which I thought was easy by reading the biographies on the internet:

Question : Who is Jean-Pierre Gibrat?

ChatGPT:He is best known for his adventure and science fiction comics, such as ‘The Goddess’, ‘The Meaning of Life’ and ‘Fort Navajo’. He has also worked on children’s comic projects… »

Node error in the algorithm I thought! The answer is a mix between the biographies of other comic book writers like Jean Giraud and Zep. Certainly Jean-Pierre Gibrat often cites Jean Giraud in his interviews as an artistic reference and he participated in the album “portrait of Titeuf by 30 authors” in tribute to the work of Zep, but any internet search invalidates this summary. Unlike Wikipedia, it is not possible to know which sources ChatGPT relies on to write its text and, faced with my perplexity, it answers:

ChatGPT: “MKnowledge comes from public data such as online articles, books, newspapers, etc. I do not have access to a list of specific sources for this information »

To check, I asked him twice the original question and got two new different answers. All wrong!

ChatGPT:He is known for his work on the comic book series “La Guerre des Sambre”. »

ChatGPT:He is best known for his comic strips on historical themes and for his series “La Banquière”. »

The credibility of the answers and the sources is essential to form a judgment, I continued by:

Question : Can we trust your answers?

ChatGPT: I am trained to provide accurate and reliable information based on data available to my knowledge. However, it is possible that some information may be outdated or inaccurate due to my “cutoff date” and the changing nature of some information. It is always recommended to verify the accuracy of the information with several reliable sources. »

Concerning Jean-Pierre Gibrat, whose biography has been built up for years around his three main works, “Le reprieve”, “Le vol du corbeau” and “Mattéo”, this answer is clearly not satisfactory. The reliability of the data makes it possible to have confidence or not in a tool. On this point, ChatGPT has progress to make and its “cut off date” of 2021 does not explain everything.

Writing an article is not just about summarizing

Bernard Pivot said that “ The journalist is an interpreter of public curiosity. » An article is built both on a desire to inform but also on puns that allow its development. Based on the titles of several articles, I continued the test.

Question : Can management be inspired by Saint Exupéry’s Little Prince?

ChatGPT:Yes, the book “The Little Prince” by Saint-Exupéry can offer lessons on human relations, communication, simplicity and the meaning of existence that can be applied to management. »

Question : Does Twitter Cultivate Headline Art?

ChatGPT:Twitter can incentivize the practice of headline art by imposing a character limit for messages (tweets) that require concise and impactful writing. However, Twitter is not exclusively dedicated to title art and can include a wide range of content, while encouraging brevity.»

Question : Is The World Of Digital Innovation Getting Closer To Game Of Thrones?

ChatGPT:No, the world of digital innovation does not come close to the television series “Game of Thrones”. Although both can include elements of competition, strategy and power, the world of digital innovation focuses on the development and application of advanced technologies to solve real problems and improve people’s lives..”

A few days later, I asked the same questions again and obtained different and sometimes contradictory texts with the first answers.

Question : Can management be inspired by Saint Exupéry’s Little Prince?

ChatGPT:ChatGPT Yes, management can take inspiration from Saint-Exupéry’s “Little Prince” in terms of leadership and communication. The book addresses topics relevant to managers, such as simplicity, empathy, understanding diversity, and the importance of personal decision-making. For example, in the book, the Little Prince encounters different characters on his way, each with their own unique opinions and perspectives, and he must find a way to communicate with them to understand their needs and wishes. Likewise, a manager must be able to understand the differing perspectives and motivations of their employees and work with them to achieve common goals…»

Question : Does Twitter Cultivate Headline Art?

ChatGPT:Twitter can be seen as a space that cultivates title art due to its character constraints. Twitter users need to be able to get their message across in a concise and catchy way, which can lead to some creativity in writing headlines. Twitter users often use catchy titles to draw attention to their tweet and entice others to read it. However, it’s important to note that catchy headlines can also be misleading or inappropriate, and it’s important to be critical about the quality and reliability of the information in a tweet. Ultimately, while Twitter may cultivate title art due to its character constraints, it’s important to consider the quality of information conveyed in a tweet beyond its catchy title.»

Question : Is the world of digital innovation getting closer to Game Of Thrones?

ChatGPT:The world of digital innovation may have some similarities to the ‘Game of Thrones’ series, but it’s hard to say they’re completely close to each other. “Game of Thrones” depicts a complex and competitive world, where characters struggle for power and dominance, often using complex and ruthless tactics. Likewise, the world of digital innovation is also competitive, with many companies and individuals working hard to develop the latest technologies and gain an edge over the competition…»

A third iteration offers answers that are still different but all synthetic, often repetitive between several paragraphs and which can lead to sometimes different answer logics, as in the case of the comparison between the digital world and Game of Thrones. In all 3 cases, for an article writer, ChatGPT can serve as a clearing house but still requires further reflection. Faced with this challenge, humans can still resist.

Fear unleashes passions

To use ChatGPT effectively, it still needs to be available! During these tests, many times it was inaccessible: “ChatGPT is at capacity right now” generating an unknown waiting time. During certain time slots, it is unusable! In France, this behavior could be likened to a surprise strike delaying the delivery of a task; in IT, it corresponds to the enthusiasm aroused by this solution subject to a processing capacity limit.

Stephen Hawking said that ” Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. In many cases, the challenge offered by ChatGPT to authors will be to distance themselves from a trivial answer to arrive at a confrontation of ideas. Articles with no added value, the fruit of a rapid synthesis, will certainly disappear because they will no longer be distinguished from the answers that artificial intelligence will offer directly in the main search engines.

In any case, what ChatGPT will never be able to acquire is this ability to surprise, specific to humans. In his book Alexis Zorba, Níkos Kazantzakis wrote:

What a funny machine that man is! he said, amazed. You fill it with bread, wine, fish, radishes, and out come sighs, laughter and dreams. Factory ! »

Even if the discussions provoked by this machine can be addictive, they cannot replace lively and passionate discussions.

Finally, here is one of the answers offered by ChatGPT in response to the title of this article:

ChatGPT:As a language model developed by OpenAI, I can help journalists and authors by providing information and generating content, but I cannot completely replace the work of a journalist or author. Journalists and authors bring a personal perspective and in-depth analysis to their stories and articles, which is important for informing and educating readers. Additionally, journalistic ethics involves fact-checking, ethics and accountability to readers, which requires expertise and human judgment. Ultimately, language models like me can be useful tools for journalists and authors, but they can’t completely replace their unique and important work.»

It will never be able to replace the freedoms of tone and opinion that often show through in most articles.

<<< Also read: Google announces Bard, ChatGPT's new rival >>>

Can ChatGPT replace journalists and article writers? -Forbes France