Who writes the better short story, Ray or ChatGPT?

I wanted to check out ChatGPT4’s story writing. So, here is a quick experiment. First, I write a short story about a dystopian future based on AI and market research. Then, I asked ChatGPT4 to improve it. Below are both stories.

In my defence, I don’t usually try to write fiction, and I wrote my story in about 30 minutes. ChatGPT wrote its version in about 30 seconds – but it did not need to create a plot ????

My opinion?
I mostly prefer the ChatGPT4 version, but if I were doing this for real, I would tweak the ChatGPT4 version a bit – and then call it a hybrid.

What are your thoughts?

Perhaps I should use a computer generated voice to read them both out, perhaps in the style Orson Welles – I think the opening is a bit derivative of War of the Worlds?

Prediction or Prescription?
Ray Poynter, 22 September, 2023

Over the last decade, since 2020, AI has increasingly replaced humans in the process of understanding the marketplace. Computers had advanced to the point where they knew what products people wanted, what messages would work best, and how best to maximize sales. This was a massive change, from the days, long ago, of humans with clipboards asking questions to other humans. First, we moved to computers asking people questions. Finally, the AI’s predictions of the answers that humans would give became so good, the computers did not need to talk to real humans at all. Computers generated questions and then predicted the answers. This was the high watermark of AI helping deliver products that the market actually wanted.

The problem with the all-AI model, was that it led to market stagnation. Since all products and services utilized AI, every initiative by one organization could be speedily met by countermeasures that were sure to work. The supply of countermeasures arrived in real-time. If company A launched a new campaign, the AI for company B assessed it as the campaign broke, detected the right countermeasures, and algorithmically deployed them.

Something new was needed to break the stasis of the market, and that something was a new program developed by the Elonet corporation called Nudge. Nudge shifted from predicting what the people would do to pushing them to do things. By hacking into media channels, payment options, and metaverse settings, Nudge utilized a push-pull strategy. The Pull strategy related to marketing and its predictive power. The push-strategy changed the user experience. If somebody went to buy the wrong product, their path through the purchase process would be slowed down; they would be exposed to negative (AI-generated reviews), and the color scheme of the desired product would be distorted to make it less attractive to the purchaser.

At first, the impact of Nudge was fairly crude, but it was enough to break the market stasis. The AI marketing systems of its more ethical rivals couldn’t keep pace and Elonet’s market dominance grew, as did its profits. The same prescriptive approach was applied to politicians, pushing them towards regulations that favoured Nudge and Elonet.

As Elonet’s dominance grew it was able to fine-tune Nudge, to make it less visible, and to make it more powerful and more prescriptive. The final step was to link the prescriptive AI to all aspects of the metaverse, including headsets, car systems, and smart homes. The most decisive step was to link Nudge to brain implants which had become so popular over the last few years – especially amongst the rich and powerful.

On the downside, people now have very little free will. People buy what they are pushed to buy. On the upside, most commercials have been removed. When you can prescribe what people will buy and use, you don’t need to waste money on persuading them. The metaverse is now free of popups, spam, streaming is free of ads, and the billboards are given over to art and motivational messages.

“From Prediction to Prescription”
ChatGPT 4, 22 September, 2023

In the ten years since 2020, AI evolved drastically, rising from being mere assistants to the main architects of understanding market dynamics. Gone were the days when individuals would stand with clipboards, gathering feedback. Initially, computers posed questions to humans. But, with advancements, AI’s predictions of human responses became so accurate that there was no longer a need to even ask the questions.

Yet, this all-AI driven marketplace reached a point of stasis. With every corporation relying heavily on AI, market moves were met with swift countermeasures. If Company A unveiled a campaign, Company B’s AI would instantaneously decipher it, formulate an effective counter-strategy, and deploy it, all in real-time.

To disrupt this stalemate, Elonet introduced a revolutionary program called ‘Nudge’. Instead of merely predicting human behavior, Nudge proactively influenced it. Manipulating media channels, payment gateways, and metaverse settings, it employed a dual push-pull approach. The ‘pull’ was rooted in predictive marketing, while the ‘push’ subtly altered user experiences. Purchasers could suddenly find their online pathways obstructed if they chose a ‘wrong’ product—negative AI-generated reviews would pop up, color schemes would shift, discouraging purchases.

Initially, Nudge’s effects were blatant. Still, they effectively rattled the equilibrium, giving Elonet a competitive edge. With rising dominance, Elonet refined Nudge, integrating it seamlessly into daily experiences, from metaverse interactions to brain implants, a trend gaining traction among the elite.

Now, free will is more a concept than a reality. People’s buying decisions are more guided than chosen. But with such pervasive influence, advertising became obsolete. The metaverse cleared of pop-ups and streaming platforms went ad-free. Billboards, once commercial spaces, now showcased art and inspiration.

The world may have gained an aesthetic serenity, but at the cost of its individualistic spirit.