Happy 14th Anniversary to Zen & The Art of Legal Networking!

March 1st, 2023

Happy 14th Anniversary to Zen & The Art of Legal Networking!

Happy 14th Anniversary to Zen & The Art of Legal Networking!

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When I wrote my first blog post on February 26, 2009, I could hardly have imagined where we’d be 14 years later. It would be fun to try to predict, and maybe I’d have gotten some of it right, but I try not to guess at the future.

One of the things I suspect we’d all have gotten right in some form is ChatGPT. I have been loathe to try it for many reasons – I’m not a technophobe, as you can all imagine, nor am I someone who advocates for lawyers to run and try the next big thing. Though, for those of you who have clients who may be using it or dipping their toe in the water, you know I will suggest you get to know it intimately for the usual legal reasons.

But today, as I struggled to come up with how to talk about the last 14 years of blogging (FOURTEEN YEARS?), I thought, “let’s at least give it a look.” At a minimum, it could be a good tool for spitballing ideas to get the juices flowing.

The first two questions I threw out were a bust.

What are 3 ways lawyers can exemplify leadership excellence?”

What are five qualities for leadership excellence?”

You may or may not know that my undergrad degree is in computer science, so I, unfortunately, understand a little about computers (not as much as I used to because they advance SO fast). But what I DO understand is that they are made up of ones and zeroes and so they are VERY black and white. Which means when you ask them a question, even and perhaps especially an AI, you have to understand that they entirely lack nuance.

That makes it hard to break through any kind of writer’s block unless you can be VERY specific in your question asking.

So instead, I asked,

Pros and Cons of ChatGPT writing a blog post versus a human

Ah, there we are. Still no nuance, but as you’ll see, even ChatGPT knows that.

It says:

As an AI language model, there are some pros and cons to ChatGPT writing a blog post compared to a human. Here are a few examples:


Speed and Efficiency: One of the biggest advantages of using ChatGPT to write a blog post is the speed and efficiency with which it can produce written content. Unlike humans, ChatGPT can generate text at a rapid pace, which can be useful when there is a need for a large volume of content in a short amount of time.

Consistency: Another advantage of using ChatGPT to write a blog post is the consistency of the writing style and tone. ChatGPT can be programmed to adhere to specific guidelines and writing standards, which can ensure that the content produced is consistent and coherent.

No Bias: ChatGPT is not influenced by personal opinions or biases, which can be useful when there is a need for objective or neutral content. Unlike humans, ChatGPT does not have any preconceived notions or personal preferences, which can lead to more unbiased content. [From the human – I’m still on the fence about this – we’ve seen other supposedly unbiased machines that are programmed by humans to be racist, such as facial recognition, so although I agree that humans are absolutely biased, I’m not ready to say that ChatGPT is not biased]


Lack of Creativity: One of the limitations of using ChatGPT to write a blog post is the lack of creativity in the writing. While ChatGPT can produce text quickly and efficiently, it may not be able to generate unique or imaginative content that a human writer might produce.

Limited Contextual Understanding: ChatGPT is limited by its ability to understand the context and intent of the writing. While it can generate text that is grammatically correct and coherent, it may not be able to fully understand the nuances of language and culture that can influence the meaning of the content. [From the human: As I said, lack of nuance!]

Limited Ability to Edit or Revise: ChatGPT is not able to edit or revise its own writing, which means that any mistakes or errors in the text may not be caught and corrected as effectively as they would be by a human editor. This can lead to errors or inaccuracies in the final content. [From the human: this is an interesting one to me, and one I’m sure will get mentioned a lot – my guess is that this will become less important over time – similar to driverless cars. People worry that driverless cars are dangerous because they hold them against a standard of perfection. But they are SAFER than human drivers. Similarly, people may have concerns about errors from AI that require editing, but which are likely to be far less than human errors.]

So, fourteen years into blogging, do I worry that I’ll be replaced by AI anytime soon? No. As with anything, it’s a great tool that we’ll be able to use to enhance the work that we’re already doing once we can figure out how to use it effectively. I’m not sure if I’ll be celebrating a 28th blog anniversary or if some form of AI will be embedded in my brain and writing this for me.

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