Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

AI is a little scary…

During a zoom call with the WV Press Association Board of Directors last week the discussion revealed that one of our scholarship selection committees was concerned that students were using AI (Computer generated Artificial Intelligence) to compose essays for submission with their scholarship applications. The committee mentioned that they planned to have future students submit their essay through a program that evaluates the likelihood that the student was using AI. I was quite surprised, but unfortunately know very little about the subject.

With Jeanine and I both still under the weather we didn’t get much lake time this weekend. We did manage to go out Saturday afternoon for a few hours to visit with our friend. Mary Hunt’s son, Tom was there, and I always enjoy our conversations. As luck would have it, he was telling me about his experience with AI and that he was finding it useful in his business.

Of course, I was at a bit of a loss with my very limited knowledge of the subject. Tom said he would give me an example… He opened the program on his phone and made a couple of statements about the Braxton County Monster and asked the program to write a story about the incident. Of course, the program has the ability to search the internet… In a matter of seconds, the story below appeared:

Braxton County, West Virginia – In a spine-chilling incident that has rekindled the age-old legend of the Braxton County Monster, a group of intrepid adventurers recently found themselves face-to-face with the elusive creature that has haunted local folklore for generations.

The encounter took place on a crisp autumn evening as a band of friends ventured into the heart of Braxton County’s untamed wilderness, lured by tales of the enigmatic being. Fueled by curiosity and a desire for adventure, they delved deeper into the dense woods, unaware of the hair-raising experience awaiting them.

A symphony of nerves and anticipation gripped the group as an ear-splitting screech pierced the otherwise tranquil air, freezing them in their tracks. Witnesses described the creature as an imposing figure, towering above them with piercing red eyes that seemed to radiate an otherworldly aura.

Desperate for refuge, the adventurers stumbled upon a dilapidated cabin hidden amongst the trees. Seeking sanctuary within its decaying walls, they braced themselves for an encounter with the unknown. Hours passed in anxious silence, the only sound permeating the air being the pounding of their own hearts.

As dawn broke, the group emerged from their makeshift sanctuary, awash with a mixture of relief and awe. The Braxton County Monster had vanished without a trace, leaving them to marvel at their unforget-

table encounter.

News of the recent sighting has rapidly spread throughout the county, reigniting a fascination with the long-standing legend that has enthralled Braxton County for years. Locals, captivated by the encounter, have delved into historical accounts, dissecting the tales in search of answers regarding the creature’s origins and intentions.

Theories abound, with some positing that the Braxton County Monster serves as a guardian spirit, protecting the wilderness that defines the region, while others view it as an embodiment of the town’s resilience and indomitable spirit.

As Braxton County grapples with this newfound intrigue, community members have gathered around crackling campfires, sharing their own accounts and attempting to unravel the mystery of the legendary creature. The recent encounter has ignited a renewed sense of curiosity and wonder, binding the community together in a quest for understanding.

As the sun sets over Braxton County, the legacy of the Braxton County Monster endures. The tales continue to be woven into the fabric of the community, reminding residents of the enigmatic forces that dwell within the depths of the county’s untamed wilderness.

I was amazed. I found the writing skills good and the story entertaining, though not historically factual. I began to think about how this new technology could be used in the newspaper industry. In fact, I now understand that I am behind the cure again and it already is. My thought is the accuracy. If this form of writing is going to be used, fact checking has to be intense, else we will lose the faith and trust our audience places in us.

Having a computer completely write a news story with little input from the reporter is more than just a little scary to me.