“Or availability heuristics or whatever.”
It had been a tough day at the end of a tough week in the middle of a tough month. That same old story.
I was scrolling on my phone on the couch — like one does — and was remarking aloud at the wild specificity of the articles and ads being offered to me.
“Oh wow!” I said aloud. “The algorithms are bullying me.”
“Or it’s availability heuristics or whatever,” my partner Justin said.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I said. “Look at you, talking about actual science right now. What about my feeeeeeelings?”
As I mentioned in an earlier post on how people underestimate the number of non-monogamous folks out there, the availability heuristic is a mental shortcut we use when evaluating information. It causes us to operate under the premise that if something is easily remembered or recalled, then it must be more important and/or more common than other things that aren’t as easy for us to recall.
In this particular situation, availability heuristic would mean that I’d notice the times when the advertising algorithms corrected guessed what I’d like to look at — and I wouldn’t register all the times when they guessed and were way off.
So I’d tend to overestimate how well targeted the marketing was.
I sighed, knowing Justin was probably on to something. And then he said something really interesting, “Let’s do a little experiment.”
I Let an AI Take Over My Blog… Kinda
On a lark, Justin fed an AI a variety of my existing blog post titles — and it spat out a bunch of suggestions for new titles.
I was horrified to see that most of the suggestions were actually pretty good. Granted, a few were bizarre, even approaching sus.
But inspired, I found myself able to turn and immediately write 3 essays with suggested titles:
And I pulled another 4 into drafts that I could credibly finish.
The weirdest part of it all was that nearly all of the suggestions are something I would click on if I were scrolling and saw an article called that. There are a bunch of suggestions in the mix that are things I’d love to read, but I’m not sure if I would be able to write them.
We’ll see though!
I was very interested to see what the readers would think of the AI-suggested posts. Generally speaking, y’all loved “Your Toxic Ex’s Self-Deception.” It ended up being very popular (hilariously, this was the piece I was least excited to write).
My favorite article of the bunch (the one about what not to say to someone who is about to cry) did the worst. Not popular at all.
And “Why I Bet You Don’t Think You Can Do It” received an average reception.
Apparently the AI Can Write Entire Posts
I guess Justin has the ability to feed it entire blog posts I’ve written and ask it to write posts in my “style.”
I’m torn on this. Part of me is very curious re: what it would come up with. On the other hand, I think it might hurt my feelings! I’m sure it’d end up mocking my style in the process of imitating it.
I suppose we’ll see if it I surrender to morbid curiosity.