Make me feel something

"We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions." – Brené Brown

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post: Myth-understandings

Ok, so I don’t know about you, but I was kind of underwhelmed by ChatGPT’s efforts at storytelling yesterday.

Prompt after prompt, I tried to get it closer to my story but to no avail.

Here are some of the fails:

I want it to be more of a Ted Talk, with the audience being other adults. Or I may use it as a chapter of my book. So please write in the first person.

This one came back in the format of a Ted Talk that no one would listen to, with even more fabrications:

Growing up, I found solace in the embrace of my grandparents. Their love was my anchor, but the weight of raising another child after already navigating the challenges of four was palpable. Our home, filled with love, bore the marks of time and financial strain…[and on and on until we get to…]

…I hope this version captures the essence of your journey and serves as an inspiration for your audience.

Not really, my grandparents might have loved me in their own weird way, but they never showed it. They were super hard on me. Also, Porpoise Spit is really Gosford. The Muriel thing is a metaphor for Muriel’s wedding - a movie.

From Gosford to Greatness: My Journey Beyond the Shadows

As I stand before you today, I'm transported back to Gosford, a place that holds memories of my formative years. For many, it might just be another town, but for me, it's a symbol of my struggles, my battles, and my eventual triumph.

Growing up in Gosford, I was under the care of my grandparents. While they might have loved me in their unique way, their affection was never overtly shown. Instead, their stringent ways and high expectations often weighed heavily on my young shoulders. Their home, though filled with history, lacked the warmth I so desperately sought…. [and on and on until we get to…]

…I hope this version aligns more closely with your experiences and serves as a source of inspiration for your audience.

Me: Maybe slightly better, but…

So, I decided to try a technique where I almost got ChatGPT to write like me, which is documented in detail here.

This still sounds like it was written by AI. Can you use more inspirational, and reflective language. Mix up the length of the paragraphs. It needs to be more like the writing style of Samantha McLean from Elite Agent...

That did not end well, so I started all over…

I want you to create an emotional story that inspires others to overcome the things that might hold them back from success. Start by introducing a relatable protagonist who faces similar struggles or fears. Describe their internal and external challenges, as well as their feelings of self-doubt. Show how they gradually transform and grow, learning to confront their fears and build confidence. Incorporate personal anecdotes and examples from your own experiences that align with the theme. Conclude with a hopeful ending, emphasising positive outcomes and encouraging readers to believe in themselves. Use captivating storytelling techniques, vivid imagery, and emotive language throughout to engage and inspire your audience.

The result was. Still. No. Good.

I then tried a rewrite in the style of Jane Austen, James Joyce asked ChatGPT to predict where human interest might fall off and prevent it from happening.

Even though ChatGPT knows the potential areas where things might go pear-shaped and tries to fix them, I don’t think it was successful.

And then something dawned on me.

ChatGPT 4 is pretty politically correct (apart from the usual Internet biases that remain kind of omnipresent), and the tone by default is pretty much “Neutral Janet”.

So you can run a few tests with some simple prompts and see what happens:

  • Tell me something that will make me laugh

  • Tell me something that will make me cry

  • Tell me something that will inspire me

  • Tell me something that will make me angry

What I’ve found - although not with 100 per cent consistency - is that with anything positive, ChatGPT will comply - for anything negative - like sadness or anger - ChatGPT doesn’t know what to do with that and tries to wriggle out of answering.

And so I imagine why the stories turn out kinda beige and just a little too verbose.

Today’s Prompt of the Day

Why are large language models like ChatGPT not great at storytelling?

What do you do with all of this?

Well, you shouldn’t fire ChatGPT as your real estate assistant over this one shortcoming, but you should start thinking about how you can craft original stories for your marketing needs using ChatGPT to help.

Original stories will be your secret weapon against your competition, who might be tempted to take the “press the button” option of “Can you create a Facebook post for my latest listing…” and just post whatever the chocolate wheel spins up because it’s easy.

That’s actually what you want your competition to do so that you can stand out.

Because, in the absence of differentiation, the customer will choose on price. Where there is a human connection and trust, the customer will more likely choose based on value.

More tomorrow 🚀

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