Home Cyberpsychology & Technology The Human Behind the Message Connects with Authenticity in an AI World

The Human Behind the Message Connects with Authenticity in an AI World

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Do you remember the launch of ChatGPT back in 2022?  Suddenly, articles on any topic could be written at the push of a button. Unsurprisingly, this was the start of a flood of AI-generated content.

Social media platforms are not discouraging AI-generated content. LinkedIn has built AI text generation into its platform and plenty of third-party post generators are available.  The result is a race to the bottom as content creators spew forth a stream of empty content competing for our attention. There is only one way to stand out against this deluge of computer-generated text: the reader must be able to connect with you, the authentic and human being behind your message.

The Turing Test 

The Turing Test is why everything changed in 2023:  Back in 1950, computer pioneer Alan Turing set out a simple test to establish a computer’s intelligence; he called it the imitation game. To pass the test, the computer must generate text indistinguishable from a human’s writing. After decades of failure, the test has now been turned on its head. Now the machine can pass as a human, so we must demonstrate that we are more than a machine. 

The good news is that there is a well-established model to help us do this: The SUCCESS model.

To stand out as a human, you need to create:

  • Simple, 
  • Unexpected
  • Concrete
  • Credible 
  • Emotional 
  • Stories 

Let’s play the imitation game  

Consider these two versions of a social media post.  Only one of them was written by a human.  

Version A

Amazing day yesterday at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics Summer School. Fascinating presentations and wonderful to spend time with interesting people and have the opportunity to share ideas and discuss important topics. Came away buzzing and looking forward to going back on Thursday.

Version B

Just wrapped up an inspiring week at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics Summer School. Engaging presentations, intriguing discussions, and connecting with diverse minds made for an intellectually enriching experience. Feeling energised, enlightened, and motivated to contribute to positive change in animal ethics.

I asked the AI to keep it snappy, and I rejected the first version so that we could get something of comparable length, so both are simple and equally credible.  The first is slightly more concrete since it references a specific day of the week. Looking at emotions, things get interesting.  The second article lists more emotions when it talks about feeling energised, enlightened and motivated.

But the first post uses just one highly emotive word: “buzzing”. There is also something about the way in which the single run-on sentence uses so many “ands”. It won’t impress the grammar police, but it conveys so much emotion.  Breaking the rules like this is a little surprising and very human. It’s hard to incorporate a story into something this short, but the other clues are there.

Here is a slightly longer example for you to consider:

Version A

There are lots of hidden gems on Andros. Tiny villages clinging to the mountainside where cars cannot go and mules are still used to transport goods and building materials (and suitcases). 

Glittering waterfalls with clear pools surrounded by flowers and foliage and the famous picture-perfect Bridge of Love featured in the hugely successful Greek movie Little England.

And there is always the comedy element with a serious side. A house balanced precariously over the path, with wooden supports clearly rotted and breaking under the strain. Put in metal supports, maybe? No, just warn visitors to run as fast as they can as they make their way under it! Thank you to our guides Fotis and RG from Explore Andros for sharing these wonderful treasures with us. 

Version B

Nestled in the mountains, Andros captivates with its car-free charm. Mules serve as transport to the village, adding a touch of tradition. Waterfalls and the famous Bridge of Love from “Little England” create a serene backdrop. The village’s unique architecture, like a house balanced over the path, adds intrigue. Guided by Explore Andros’ First and RG, our journey was enriched with local insights, making it a truly memorable escape.

Up until now, the shorter and simpler text has always been human.  Does that mean that the second version was written by a human?  No, because emotion and story are the true markers of humanity.  Look again at the third paragraph of the first version.  Consider the comedy element when visitors are told to run fast before the house collapses over them.  This surprising solution to the problem can only make us smile.  A good emotional story remains out of reach of an artificial intelligence that is capable of credibly concrete simplicity.  Did you notice that the AI replaced “Fotis” with “First”. It mistook the name for a spelling mistake!

Takeaway

If you are a small business communicating with your established and prospective customers, you have something very powerful.  A shared story that is either in progress or about to begin.  You are providing something that they need, joining together in a mutually beneficial relationship.   Human relationships are rich and complex, spinning myriad narratives.

Now, take a look at what you are writing.  Is it simple, credible and real?   How can you weave those stories into your text?  How can you surprise your readers and make them feel emotional? By applying the “Success” model, you will show your readers and potential clients that you are human and connect with them in a way that no machine ever could.




Ged Byrne is a member of Toastmasters International, a not-for-profit organisation that has provided communication and leadership skills since 1924 through a worldwide network of clubs.

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