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AI unleashed: from hype to everyday magic

· 8 min read
Wojciech Gruszczyk

Advancements in AI have long captivated and unsettled humanity. Recently, with user-friendly interfaces like website chats and prompt-supported Discord channels, this technology has made its way into our homes.

Initially met with widespread enthusiasm and curiosity, as evidenced by countless early adopters sharing their experiences, the ecstasy surrounding AI has begun to wane. People are growing weary of subpar content on demand and are increasingly focusing on identifying risks and limitations. Sadly, many have abandoned its potential without fully exploring its capabilities.

In this article, I will share my experiences and my indispensable toolbox. I hope it will help you to start, re-start, or continue your journey with generative AI.

Who made who? | AI is changing its creators.

ChatGPT with Copilot and Grammarly

For many ChatGPT and AI are synonymous. It is the most popular and one of the most accessible AI models - all you need to start is a web browser. Even though it is simple to start with, getting valuable results needs some practice and an understanding of the model's limitations.

My most common applications of ChatGPT are:

Expanding ideas into sentences

Whenever I need to write a summary of a meeting, present an offer, write a blog post, express acceptance criteria in a task, or answer an email, I try to express my thoughts in short bullet points. Then I use ChatGPT to expand them into sentences. It is a great way to get a first draft of a text. It is not perfect, but it is a great starting point. In addition, the generated text is no longer only correct, it also expresses your thoughts, which is the meat to the bone that you need to write authentic content. What may be still missing is the unique style of your writing, which usually requires you to do some extra editing, or prompt engineering to give it the twist you want.

tip

There are attempts to automate the process of writing in your unique style. It requires effort to prepare samples of your writing, yet the results are more than promising. As the topic is out of the scope of this post, I recommend you dig deeper, starting with this post on Reddit.

Let's take a look at an example:

Plain text
Write meeting minutes as short sentences explaining the task, responsible person and due date using the following information:
- John, next Tuesday, product strategy for the upcoming quarter,
- Marry, mid Sep, marketing materials for Twitch campaign,
- all, 2 weeks, review of provided materials.
Use marketing jargon. Do not exceed 120 words in total.

Code completion

Using Github Copilot, developers gain access to a powerful code completion tool. It is not perfect, but it is a great way to get a first draft of a code or generate less demanding code - like unit tests or documentation.

This functionality is handy when you are learning a new language or framework. From my experience and conversations with other developers, it works best with languages with a strong presence in open source, like Python or JS.

What may be less obvious, in the case of technical writing, the same tool can be used to generate documentation by the completion of sentences the person starts to formulate. This speeds up the process of writing, helps to keep the language consistent, and allows to avoid typos and other mistakes, which is especially difficult for non-native speakers.

tip

If you don't want to purchase a license for Copilot, you can still prompt GPT to generate the code. It is not as handy as Copilot, but it is still a great way to get a first draft of a solution.

Translations

The key message in an email or a document can be mistaken or misunderstood due to a language barrier. It happens especially when a native speaker and a non-native speaker exchange messages.

Whenever you are in doubt, use ChatGPT to translate the text into your mother tongue and then back to the source language. This way, you can check if the message is still the same. If not, try to rephrase it and repeat the process until the result is satisfying.

Even if you are confident with the message, it is still a good idea to ask GPT to rephrase it. It may help you to find a better way to express your thoughts, add dynamism to the message and make it sound more natural. The last step I always take before publishing or sending an important message is to review it with Grammarly. It is a great tool to check the grammar, spelling, and style of your writing. The limitation it has is that it only supports English. For me, that's usually not a problem, but if you are writing in other languages, GPT's translations are mostly good enough.

Midjourney

Last but not least, my favorite tool of today - Midjourney, one of the biggest competitors of DALL·E 2 that started the revolution. It is a great tool to generate images based on a text prompt. All you need is a Discord account and an open mind to experiment (there is a free tier, but I recommend upgrading to a paid one to get access to more generation time).

The tool is irreplaceable whenever you need an original graphical element that you can't create manually, you don't have the time to do it, or you are not skilled enough to do it. It is also a great way to avoid using stock images that are often overused and don't fit the context of your message. With Midjourney, you can create a unique asset that matches your message and taste perfectly.

In everyday life, I use it to create:

  • blog post poster images (like the one at the beginning of this post),
  • illustrations for my presentations and documents,
  • prototype designs for my projects,
  • and - obviously - for fun, it is SO addictive.
/imagine prompt: generative AI in everyday life, by Banksy, street art --ar 1200:627

Anyone can be Banksy now. At least in the digital world.

tip

When starting with Midjourney, make sure to get familiar with the documentation. It is a great source of information on how to use the tool and how to get the most out of it by applying parameters to the prompt. Aspect ratio, seed (to get consistent results) or chaos levels can be a game changer.

Summary

If used properly, the new toolbox can be a powerful weapon. It can help to work better, faster, and more efficiently. At the same time, it opens up new possibilities for creative people with limited skills in programming, design, and other areas reserved so far for experts. The ability to use the tools will be a crucial skill in the future, and, in my eyes, the sooner you start, the better. Share your thought on the topic in the comments below.