The Herdbook Ag Media, LLC

AI Generators and Agriculture

If you have kids in school or tune into the news, you have undoubtedly heard of ChatGPT. Launched for public use just two months ago, the AI-powered text generator has already amassed 100 million users according to investment bank UBS. But the technology that drives ChatGPT has inspired other AI text generators to shoot their shot, including Jasper, YouChat, and WordTune, to name a few.

ChatGPT (aka Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer) is a viral bot that strings together words in meaningful ways in seconds. It taps into vast amounts of information and vocabulary and understands words in context, so can mimic speech patterns while dispatching encyclopedic information.

The concept of AI for content generation has generated many discussions about ethics, plagiarism, accuracy, and more. Will it replace humans? Will it replace writers?

While many will use these tools sparingly—to write an essay for example—and then abandon them, there is tremendous potential for those who earn a living creating content. And yes, this very much includes agriculture, especially our ag journalists, ag communicators, and ag marketers.

It behooves you to take tools like ChatGPT for a test run and become familiar with what they can do because they may help you become better in your job. AI text generators are no different than the other contemporary tools in your box, like Google, Otter, Grammarly, and anything else that saves time and enables you to better serve your client and customers.

AI (Agriculture) Content Generation in Seconds

While AI text generators can be used to generate entire essays—a major concern for teachers and professors—they are best used as tools to perfect text and become more efficient in generating it. Consider these uses:

  • Spark ideas for content and find pertinent information. While you will have to massage searches, asking the bot “what is a good blog idea for hay harvesting,” will generate ideas you can investigate further. Asking the bot “how robots are good for milking cows” generates several ways robots offer advantages over traditional milkers. Given the breadth of conversations tapped, it may yield some you never considered.
  • Get past writer’s block and brain fog. AI can generate content for partially written pieces, provide a creative spark when you are staring at the computer screen, and produce pieces that are optimized for SEO and incorporate keywords and phrases.
  • Edit content: AI is ideal for checking grammar and suggesting alternatives to improve content. The “spices” feature of WordTune can help you explain, give examples, counterargue, or change tone for more formal or casual audiences or totally rewrite text.
  • Find ways of pairing ideas that do not normally fit. Writers often use analogies and examples as a means of illustrating a point. AI is a great way of finding similarities and differences between concepts. Asking the bot “how an apple is like a marble” yields some insightful ways they are similar.
  • Generate graphics: some AI also allows users to create images.

What AI Text Generators Cannot Do

Though AI text generators can spit out content in a matter of seconds, they do not allow you to go on autopilot. Often the content is only skin deep. This will be readily clear to niche audiences like agriculture. To be effective, searches usually need to be finessed.

From the earlier robotic milking example, one may further inquire “how robots reduce stress in milking cows.” The bot’s explanation might include flexible milking schedules, which reduce udder discomfort. The bot can only go as far as its knowledge extends, though, and will repeat information it has already given when it reaches this point. It cannot make the leap to knowing milking frequency also helps with udder health if the information is not on its radar.

AI generated content can also sound robotic or unnatural, despite efforts to improve this. The most effective content has a human touch and comes from the viewpoint of a human being.

AI text generators can also seem authoritative. However, they can give wrong answers. Information still needs to be verified and checked for accuracy.

Though there are legitimate concerns about AI generated text, there are also forces at work to identify content not generated by humans. Among others, OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, has developed a tool to determine if text is human-generated or written by a computer in response to teacher concerns.

Ultimately, technology like AI will not completely replace human jobs, but rather transform the way we live and conduct business. In agricultural communications, technology can help us improve services to our clients, who rely on us to help them sustain the global food supply.


ZDNet reviews of different options for AI text generation.

A columnist’s take on how ChatGPT may help to overcome biases of Google.

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