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The Impact of AI on Writing

Apr 11, 2023

In this episode, we will be discussing a recent news story published by The New York Times on the impact of artificial intelligence on the writing industry. The headline reads “Tinkering With ChatGPT, Workers Wonder: Will This Take My Job?” Listen again: “Tinkering With ChatGPT, Workers Wonder: Will This Take My Job?”

The Meaning of ‘Tinkering’

So what does ‘tinkering’ mean?  The word “tinkering” usually refers to making small changes or adjustments to something in order to improve it. In this context, it means that workers are experimenting with the new ChatGPT technology – they are playing around with it – and they are wondering if it will replace their jobs or just change the way they work.

The article goes on to mention a study carried out with writers that evaluated the impact of AI technology on the writing industry. The study concluded with a “Cautionary and Reassuring Message”.

The word “cautionary” means providing a warning or a word of caution. In the context of the article, the message to workers is to be cautious about the potential impact of AI technology on their jobs, but there was also some reassuring evidence that indicated that writers will be able to use the tool to help them do their work faster, allowing them to concentrate on other higher-level roles. So, in other words, this technology won’t replace writers, but it will help them save time doing their work, allowing them to spend that extra time doing other types of work.

Another point the article makes is that a new work specialty is being created. This is so-called “prompt engineering”. The term:   “Prompt engineering” is a term used to describe the skill of creating effective prompts for AI technology. In this context, it refers to the ability to design prompts that help ChatGPT understand what kind of content or information is needed for a particular task. Those who can master prompt engineering can add it to their resumes as a valuable skill in the age of AI technology.

Idiomatic Expression

Now let’s explore an idiomatic expression that captures the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs: “The writing is on the wall.” This phrase means that it is easy to see what is going to happen in the future based on current trends or events. In the context of ChatGPT and other A.I. technologies, the writing is on the wall for certain jobs that are at risk of partly or completely automated. In this case, we could say that the ‘writing is on the wall’ for marketers and journalists. Change is coming, and it’s coming quickly. It looks like many of us will need to be adaptable and open to change in the face of technological advancements.

I am no expert, but allow me to make one prediction about this new world of artificial intelligence, and that is that the value of human, face-to-face presentations is going to increase. People want to deal with people, and if you have the skill to give good public presentations, you are going to be able to do your job much better. With this in mind, I wanted to remind you that I have prepared an hour-long video seminar that deals with the many ways you can improve your public presentations in English, without improving your English at all. In the seminar, I share all kinds of tips to help you improve your presentation. Things like structuring your presentation a little differently, using the write connecting words, and of course, how to use all the tools at your disposal, including simple things like using your hands effectively. Your hands can add color to what you are saying, emphasize your points, and express your determination. You can use your fingers to count, pinch to show something small, slap your hands in reverse to emphasize a point, or make a fist to show your determination. The possibilities are endless, and in my video seminar, we’ll explore all the options you have available to you now in order to give a great presentation, even if your presentation isn’t great. You can find this video course on the webpage

Now, let’s review the vocabulary from today’s episode.

Wrap Up

Today, you learned the following vocabulary:

•             “Tinkering” refers to making small changes or adjustments to improve something.

•             “Cautionary” means providing a warning or word of caution.

•             “Prompt engineering” refers to the skill of designing effective prompts for AI technology.

•             “The writing is on the wall” means that it is becoming clear that something is about to happen, usually something negative or unfavorable.

If you want to review more vocabulary related to this topic, check out the podcast published on January 10th of this year, titled: Chat GPT and AI.

Friends, thanks for listening. This podcast now has a little more than 1000 subscribers on Spotify, and it continues to grow week after week. Thanks for being a part of this.


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