News & Politics

Can ChatGPT Save My Day-Editing Shift? A Washingtonian Investigation

Prompt to Dall-E 2: "Robot writing a blog post for Washingtonian."

Every Tuesday it’s my turn to be “day editor” of Washingtonian. That means I am responsible for getting posts out about the news. But some days, news that fits within our coverage area can be elusive. So I asked ChatGPT to help me out.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot from the company OpenAI, which also built DALL-E 2. A New York Times columnist calls it “quite simply, the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public.” People are having fun with it. People are worried about it. I decided to ask this magnificent technology to write me a blog post.

As the winter chill sets in and the holiday season approaches, Washingtonians may find themselves with a little extra time on their hands. If you’re looking for something to do on a slow day, here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of your time in the nation’s capital.

One idea is to take a stroll around the city and explore some of the many museums and historic sites that Washington has to offer. The Smithsonian Institution is always a popular choice, with its many museums and galleries showcasing everything from art and history to science and technology. Or, you could visit the National Mall and see iconic landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, consider spending the day at one of Washington’s many parks. The city has a number of beautiful green spaces, from the sprawling National Mall to the tranquil Tidal Basin. Take a walk, have a picnic, or just sit and enjoy the scenery.

And of course, no trip to Washington is complete without trying some of the city’s famous food and drink. From fine dining to casual cafes, the city has something for every taste and budget. So why not spend your slow day indulging in some of Washington’s culinary delights?

No matter how you choose to spend your time, there’s always something to do in Washington, even on a slow day. So go out and explore all that the city has to offer!

Hmm, not exactly what we’re looking for. Then, at the suggestion of a coworker, I asked it to write about two subjects that dominated our Slack conversation this morning: Where to get a good Caesar salad, and an after-school “Satan club” at a Virginia elementary school.

It is a commonly held belief that Satan and good Caesar salads have a complicated and fraught relationship. Many people believe that Satan himself is deeply jealous of the deliciousness of a well-made Caesar salad, as it represents all that is good and pure in the world of cuisine.

Satan, being the embodiment of evil, is known for his hatred of all things wholesome and tasty. As such, he is said to go to great lengths to ruin good Caesar salads, either by sneaking ingredients into the salad that ruin its flavor, or by tempting chefs to make bad choices when preparing the salad.

Despite Satan’s best efforts, however, good Caesar salads continue to thrive. Many people believe that the deliciousness of a good Caesar salad is a reminder of the inherent goodness in the world, and that even Satan himself cannot destroy it.

In the end, the relationship between Satan and good Caesar salads remains a mystery. Some say that Satan continues to be thwarted in his attempts to ruin the salads, while others believe that he has finally given up and accepted that he will never be able to destroy the goodness of a well-made Caesar salad.

This is more like it! Pretty quickly, the humans on staff began to ask the robot to do their work for them. But the fact that ChatGPT’s knowledge ends at 2021 presented immediate issues.

It is difficult to recommend a specific Washingtonian to interview in a Q&A style without knowing the context and focus of the interview. Washington, D.C. is home to many influential and prominent individuals from a wide range of fields, including politics, business, media, and more.

If the focus of the interview is politics, it may be interesting to interview a current or former member of Congress, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or Senator Chuck Schumer. If the focus is on business, an interview with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos or Washington Post owner and CEO Fred Ryan could be interesting.

Alternatively, if the focus of the interview is on media, an interview with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer or Washington Post political reporter Robert Costa could be engaging. There are many other prominent Washingtonians to choose from, depending on the focus of the interview. It may be helpful to research and consider the specific area of interest before deciding on a specific individual to interview.

Usually here’s where I’d end a post with a final “beat.” But I’m having a hard time figuring how to get out of this article. Though—what if I ask ChatGPT how to end it?

When writing a blog post about ChatGPT writing blog posts for Washingtonian, there are a few different ways that you could choose to end the post. Here are a few suggestions:

• One way to end the post is to summarize the key points that you have made throughout the article. This could include highlighting the benefits of using ChatGPT to write blog posts, as well as the unique perspective that ChatGPT brings to Washingtonian’s content.

• Another option is to end the post with a call to action. For example, you could encourage readers to try using ChatGPT for their own blog posts, or to check out some of the posts that ChatGPT has written for Washingtonian.

• A third option is to end the post with a quote from ChatGPT or Washingtonian, highlighting the collaboration between the two entities. This could be a quote about the benefits of using ChatGPT, or about the unique perspective that ChatGPT brings to Washingtonian’s content.

Ultimately, the best way to end a blog post will depend on the specific content and tone of the article. It may be helpful to re-read the post and consider which ending would best fit the overall message and tone of the piece.

To sum up, ChatGPT offers a tantalizing peek at the future of writing blog posts. I hope you’ll write me to discuss it. As ChatGPT says, “the relationship between Satan and good Caesar salads remains a mystery.”

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.