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Can’t Think of What to Say This Holiday? Try AI

Artificial intelligence writing programs can put the words right into your mouth


spinner image a woman writes a holiday card on a table with other cards
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Artificial intelligence (AI) writing programs are growing in popularity as a tool to communicate your thoughts clearly. AI creates an interactive experience similar to familiar online search engines like Google and Bing and smart speaker voice recognition systems Alexa and Google Home.

But AI is taking the user experience to the next level, adding a layer of connectivity and processing accessible data more intuitively to put the words you’re looking for right into your mouth.

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With thousands of AI tools entering the market, it is easy to organize, create and learn virtually anything you can imagine with ease and speed. These tools will soon be found in kiosks, robotics, automation and virtual reality to help you craft your thoughts and get what you need more easily.

You can try it now. When you sit down to write your holiday cards, consider enlisting the help of (AI) tools like ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer), Jasper or Copy.ai, among others.

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You may scoff at the thought of using a heartless tool to express personal greetings, but I am betting it wouldn’t be the first time you borrowed a sentiment. Ever buy a Hallmark card or quote an artist or philosopher? If so, then you have used someone else’s ideas. No big deal. This time, the source information is just a little more … synthetic.

Consider Edmond Rostand’s famous play Cyrano de Bergerac, the tale of an unattractive man in love with a beautiful woman but too afraid to tell her so. Instead, he helps the object of the woman’s affection say the words the man cannot think for himself, hoping she falls in love with his superior intellect over the other guy’s good looks. It is the ultimate tale of putting words into another person’s mouth.

Written in 1897, the Cyrano story has inspired many great movies, including Roxanne, with Steve Martin, Darryl Hannah and Rick Rossovich. Other versions include The Truth About Cats & Dogs and Green Book, where a renowned black concert pianist helps his mob-connected bodyguard write love letters to his wife while touring through the Jim Crow South. The story is so ubiquitous that even an AI program called Cyrano.AI touts itself as providing “real-time artificial empathy for customer interactions.”

AI writing tools excel at crafting compelling narratives and captivating prose, but they can only develop with the help of humans who can give the prose creativity and connection. AI best helps you tailor your messaging with your style, tone, audience and theme to reflect your personality, mood, charisma and charm.

I tried out ChatGPT to see if it could work this holiday season. I entered the prompt, “Help me write a thoughtful, loving holiday greeting to my dad.” ​ChatGPT generated this message:

"Dear Dad,

During this magical season, I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for all the love, wisdom and support you've showered upon me throughout the years. Your presence in my life is the greatest gift of all, and as we gather to celebrate the holidays, I'm reminded of the warmth and joy you've always brought to our family. Wishing you a holiday season filled with happiness, surrounded by the love of family and friends.

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Happy holidays, Dad. With all my love, Scott”

Not bad.

You can try it for yourself. Every prompt given to the tool generates a different result. If you don’t like a message, you can click “regenerate” for a new version. If you want to shorten the message, add a qualifying prompt like “25 words or less.” You can even add “Hanukkah,” “Christmas,” or any other holiday to tailor your message for your occasion.

I started a new “chat” to write an amusing Hanukkah card for my good friends Jay and Barbara. Here is what happened:

My Prompt: “Help me write a Hanukkah card to Jay and Barbara from Leonora and Scott. Add Seinfeld-style humor, along with literary intellectual wit, in less than 50 words.”

ChatGPT Response: "Happy Hanukkah, Jay and Barbara! May your holiday season be as joyous as a Festivus miracle, with candles shining bright like a Menorah in a postmodern novel. Here's to latkes, laughter and a 'yada yada' year ahead! Love, Leonora and Scott."

OK. Now I’m having fun. Here are some others:

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My ChatGPT Prompt: “Act as Shakespeare. Write a small holiday note to my wife.”

ChatGPT Response: "My dearest love, as winter's embrace enwraps the land, my heart finds solace in thy presence. 'Tis a season of mirth and togetherness, where love's light doth shine. Merry Yuletide, sweet Juliet.

My ChatGPT Prompt: “Act as Cowboy. Write a small holiday note to my wife."

ChatGPT Response: “Howdy, darlin'! Christmas time's here, bringin' joy like a tumbleweed rollin' in. Wranglin' love and laughter with you is my favorite ride. Merry Christmas, partner!”

Tools like ChatGPT-3.5 are typically free. The more advanced newer generation ChatGPT version 4.0 often requires a monthly subscription. AI app tools are available with MacBook, IOS and Android, and online cloud-based services.

Like many of you, my sentiments usually come straight from my heart and gut. But I can see how AI tools can help clean up grammar, offer suggestions and ideas and help with pesky writer’s block.

While you may raise ethical and moral questions like whether these tools amount to cheating or plagiarism, we faced similar questions decades ago with calculators and laptops in classrooms. We can glean from history that exciting innovations are part of our technological evolution and are here to stay. We may want to embrace them rather than ignore them.

Share your experience: How have you used an AI tool to express your thoughts and sentiments? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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