My first foray into blogging was between October and December in 2016, where I wrote several posts, around ten I believe, on various topics in food science and agriculture. It wasn’t until July 2019, that I restarted my blogging endeavours, but this time on travel. Between July and December of that year I wrote 15 travel blog articles, before putting my travel blog on hold. I relaunched it this month actually, which is super exciting. However, on 12 December 2019, I wrote my first blog article on food microbiology. Today, on the last day of February in 2023, I post the 100th article on my food microbiology blog. What a journey it has been, largely through the COVID-19 pandemic too.

In this super special, big milestone article, I want to write about generative artificial intelligence. This super amazing form of AI is really taking the world by storm of late, ruffling some feathers, but also making others very excited about what lies ahead and the potential of our future with AI. Really, at its most fundamental, it is a tool. It’s a tool that humans can use, so they can spend their time and their own intelligence and mental capability on other areas. It offers a revolution, if we are willing to accept it.

This year, we published six blog articles here at Food Microbiology Academy. All of these have largely been written by ChatGPT. Is this cheating? Is this unethical? Not at all. Generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT are here, and not only are they here to stay, but they are rapidly getting more powerful. While most of the words were written by ChatGPT, the words didn’t write themselves. It needed human input, to prompt it to write, and then the output needed review, evaluation, editing and then compiling neatly into an article with a logical flow. First of all, the article came about because I had a thought about a topic and I then had to offer the most appropriate prompts to get the most appropriate outputs. It’s one of those ‘rubbish in, rubbish out, concepts. The actual generation of the text was one part of the whole process, a part which now can be handled by AI. Human involvement is still substantial – we haven’t got to the point yet where a blog can be connected to an AI platform to generate it’s own SEO blog articles with images and post them! Until those days arrives, the human brain still has a lot of work to do with regard to maintaining and progressing a blog. It’s just that now, text can typically be written by generative AI, or can it?

While I have been raving about how AI systems can write the text of blog articles, there are certainly some topics where this just can’t be done. In science-based blogs where the focus is on sharing of facts and some limited general opinion, then generative AI is perfectly suited. Thus, the articles contained in this blog, on food microbiology and related topics, are really well suited to writing by AI, with myself ‘packaging’ the raw output of words from ChatGPT into a form that is a (relatively!) polished blog article. Now, in addition to my food microbiology blog, I also blog on travel. Most of my travel blogs are first-hand experiences about places, the food and local places for example. I also blog about itineraries, what to do, where to go and the best things to see. Most of these must be written by myself as they are not so much facts, rather my views and perspective. As I said above, I’ve relaunched my travel blog this month, and yet to actually post any new content, rather, I have relaunched my previous 15 blog articles. However, I have various posts in draft about experiences, first-hand experiences about eating, taking flights, experiencing attractions and so on. These have been written by myself, there’s really no other way to do it. However, for at least some of these posts, I plan to start off with some AI-generated text of a general nature. What I mean by this is topics like history or climate. These are facts and can be easily written by AI to set the scene and give some general information about a city or region. Then I go into my experience(s) there.

In summary and to conclude – AI is here, and it is an amazing tool that we need to embrace. It can do so much for us and has so much potential to do so much more. Use it to make your life easier, so you can spend more and more time doing something else. This really is a sudden godsend, freeing up time that can now be spent on any number of other activities. Jump on the generative AI bandwagon and reap the benefits instead of spending time writing copy!