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Does ChatGPT spell the end for travel writing? — Travelling Tom

2 min read
Does ChatGPT spell the end for travel writing? — Travelling Tom

Unless you don’t use the internet or you’ve been living under a rock, then you will at least be familiar with the name ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is the web’s newest toy, has taken the online world by storm and, to put it in simple terms, is a chatbot. When you ask ChatGPT what it does, it gives the following response:

“I am ChatGPT, a large language model created by OpenAI. I’m designed to understand and respond to natural language questions and prompts from users.

“I was trained on a massive dataset of text from the internet using a transformer architecture, which allows me to generate human-like responses to a wide range of queries.

“Whether you’re looking for information, trying to complete a task, or just looking to chat, I’m here to help!”

Whilst reviews have been mixed, ChatGPT’s popularity is undeniable. Just three weeks ago, Reuters reported that it “is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after launch, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history.”

Some people love it and have been quick to praise its benefits. For some it’s lightened workload, for those doing research it has been able to simplify information pulled in from multiple sources, and its customer service benefits in the long term will surely make it a worthwhile investment for businesses across the world.

But it’s not all positive. Universities and schools have been ramping up their efforts to review assessments as the AI tool (quite brilliantly) has been utilised by students looking to make their assignments and homework a little easier, Google have started to feel threatened, and even a judge in Colombia used ChatGPT in a controversial ruling.

But there’s also a lot to worry about when it comes to authorship, especially in my field – travel writing.

For those who are freelancers or creators who have travel blogs or even a magazine column, an artificial intelligence program with this level of public backing can appear dangerous.

Sure, there are benefits. You can use it as a research tool, get it to expand on ideas you have, suggest alternative ways to word things or even generate ideas for your next article.

But whilst those can be quite useful and have benefits that make your own workflow less painful, there is the big worry that ChatGPT – or something similar – could replace travel writers all together.

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