How to Recognize the Work of an Artificial Intelligence

In the last year, we have written several articles about the use of artificial intelligence in a variety of settings. AI technology can automate some processes that can free humans up for other tasks, which sounds ideal. However, because AI runs on algorithms fed by existing information, it can amplify the biases that are present in the data. For more information about AI bias, check out this article. Another concern is that of teachers and college admissions departments who fear AI writing assistants could be creating the essays assigned in their classes. Thankfully, AI scientists are working on ways to identify whether a writing sample was created by a human or a machine.

AI, Know Thyself

It probably isn’t a surprise to learn that the best way to detect whether a writing sample was created by an AI is to ask an AI. There are two new tools, GPTZero and, designed specifically to detect whether a human wrote a text sample. As an added bonus, also checks for plagiarism, making it a very popular tool for teachers.

But if AI technology has built-in flaws, how accurate will it be when used to detect itself? While no tool is perfect, especially when built on imperfect information, both of these tools are promising in their results.

Comparing Detection Accuracy

On one of my favorite tech sites, Your Nerdy Best Friend, Beth Z. created an experiment to see how accurate the AI detections were, and how consistent the tools were with each other in their findings. I found the results very interesting. If you’re interested in seeing how they did, head to the experiment’s post on her blog.


It seems artificial intelligence tools taking hold in every industry, with new applications for AI being created each day. While this whirlwind change can be dizzying, it’s nice to know there are developers out there concerned with the ramifications of this technology who are willing to develop counter-tools to keep AI use in check. Are you using any AI tools? Let us know what you are using and what you think of it in the comments.

ChatGPT Is the Latest in Artificial Intelligence

By now, most of us have encountered “bot” technology. In its simplest form, we encounter them in phone menus, where we are asked questions by the computer to help direct the call. Another place basic bots are used is on a website chat box. In either case, if the answers you give don’t fit what the bots are expecting, the “conversation” comes to a halt with a response that indicates you were not understood.

The next generation of artificially intelligent bots was much more impressive. Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant are much better at understanding natural language and responding appropriately. Many of us have one of these digital assistants within reach for most of our day, and some rely on them heavily to manage tasks, appointments, home appliances, and more.

A Leap Forward

There is no doubt that today’s digital assistants are extremely capable. However, ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence created by OpenAI (the same firm that created Dall-E/Craiyon), is next level. Not only can you ask it questions and get detailed answers, it learns from your previous conversations.

There is one caveat, though. ChatGPT gets its information from the internet, which, as we know, is not always factual or correct. Like all AI models, it is only as good as the quality of information fed into it. Earlier AI models ended up revealing our racial biases, such as a racist HR bot or Microsoft’s Tay experiment. Even the Dall-E/Craiyon AI has equity issues. OpenAI is working to offset those issues, but many are skeptical that they can be overcome.

Trying ChatGPT

Currently, you need a free account to use ChatGPT. When you sign up, you are asked for your name and phone number, as well as the reason you want to use ChatGPT. I created one and took it for a spin to write this article. First I asked it what the best fiction book of 2022 was. The answer was a little disappointing.

Screenshot showing the AI responding that it can't access information about current events because it was trained in 2021.

So I asked about the best fiction book of 2021, and I thought this answer was great! Just like a librarian, it tried to remove the subjective “best” and provide titles popular with the general public. Although, a librarian would have asked about books you have liked in the past to personalize the recommendation.

Screenshot showing the AI stating opinions on literary quality can vary from person to person, and lists 8 popular titles.

Next, I asked a question that I didn’t think had an answer. As it turns out, ChatGPT had a pretty good answer.

Screenshot of a complicated answer about how there are many theories and beliefs and goes on to explain some. It concludes that the meaning can be different for each individual.

ChatGPT doesn’t just deal in facts. It can also make up stories, which is why some teachers are concerned.

ChatGPT created a detailed six-paragraph story about cats catching mice.

What Would You Ask ChatGPT?

Even though ChatGPT is not a mystical oracle that can guide us through life, it is a big step forward in the development of artificial intelligence technology. It’s not perfect, but it’s a work in progress. If you had access to ChatGPT, what would you talk to it about? Let us know in the comments.

How to Use AI to Ask the Literary Universe for Answers

Artificial intelligence is being explored for use in every sector, for every purpose you can imagine. Today’s tool leverages the information in Google Books to allow a user to pose a question and see a list of “answers” in related quotes from books.

Google Talk to Books is an experimental tool designed to respond to questions asked using natural language, as opposed to using keywords. In other words, you can type a question in sentence form (Why do dogs bark?) and get better results than using a sentence fragment (Why dogs bark).

I feel obligated to issue a warning that this is the kind of tool that you can lose a whole afternoon (or more) to. Asking the same question in different ways will get different results, and those results often lead to engaging book passages. Next thing you know, your “to-be-read” pile is out of control.

That said, let’s try some sample searches.

Simple Search Interface

In true Google fashion, the page features a search box that prompts the user to “say something to books.” I started with a basic question with a scientific answer – “Why is the sky blue?”

Screenshot of search results including passages from books in all categories.

This brought up a list of five passages, with the option to load more. Each entry includes a citation and is clickable. You can follow the link to read more.

For my next question, I went for something more informal. It turns out this had scientific responses, too.

Question posed: Why are cats so weird? Search results include their keen senses and other attributes that differ from other animals.

To see what sort of non-factual answers I might get, I narrowed the results to fiction using the filters in the upper right.

Filter books by category list includes: arts, current events, fiction, history, literary criticism, and more.

The new results:

Same search with results filtered to fiction. Includes statements that cats are strange and that beings seemed wrong because they were descended from felines.

These results looked more like places I might find similar observations but in more imaginative settings.

Next, I tried rewording my question, which led to very different results.

Screenshot of question "are cats possessed?" with results about their relation to demons and how they can attack seemingly without warning.

These results were a little more interesting, for sure.

Give it a try and let us know how it went in the comments!

How to Run Better Meetings with an AI Assistant

A new productivity tool seems to pop up every day, but I recently learned about one that could be a game-changer for my meetings. is a tool backed by artificial intelligence that takes notes at your meetings (whether online or in-person) and helps keep everyone you share with on the same page about what happened in the meeting. The free version is fairly robust, but if you use this tool for business, the paid features and additional transcription allotment may make a subscription worthwhile.

Signing Up

When you start to sign up for an account, it makes it look like you need to subscribe to a paid plan, but you don’t. When prompted, pick a meeting platform. When it states you need a subscription, click skip in the upper-right. This will bring you to your free account dashboard, where you are offered a tutorial.

What Can Do for Me?

The free account includes 300 minutes of recording transcription and only 30 minutes per conversation. After conversation transcription processes, you can:

  • Edit the transcription, add highlights or comments, create action items, and insert images.
  • Share the finished product with attendees or other stakeholders using a link with embedded view/edit permissions.
  • Control whether users you have shared with can export your content.
  • Create folders to organize your conversations.
  • Export the conversation.
  • Send direct messages.
  • Create a group and invite collaborators.

Unfortunately, the scheduling integrations with Zoom and the creation of a workspace (team) require a paid subscription.

The Interface

The home page is clean and simple, with menus at the top and left. The top menu includes options for starting a transcription.

Screenshot of top menu items: box to paste meeting url, record button, and import button
Options for getting started

The left menu can be expanded by clicking the blue arrow that appears when you hover near your first initial (or avatar).

Screenshot of the expanded left menu
  • Access your conversations
  • See what others have shared with you
  • Manage groups and folders
  • Direct messages
  • Click on your account name to access all of the available settings for the tool.

After selecting a conversation from “My Conversations”, you can see the transcript in the main area, with a menu specific to that conversation at the bottom and additional options in the upper right.

Screenshot of the conversation page, showing the transcript, playback controls, and other options.
  • Use the edit link in the upper right to correct any transcription errors.
  • Use the bottom left menu to control recording playback.
  • Use the bottom right menu to highlight, comment, create an action item, or insert a picture at any point in the conversation.
  • See additional conversation options, including delete, by clicking the three-dot menu icon next to the blue share button.
  • Use the blue share button at the top to send view/edit links and control whether the conversation can be exported by others.
Screenshot of the sharing window, showing options to enter email addresses and change view/edit and export permissions

Pro Tips

  • When you use a meeting URL to record the meeting, it appears as a meeting participant. Depending on your meeting permissions, the user may not be admitted if you don’t have control of the waiting room or if meeting links are bespoke per user (as with some paid registrations).
  • If there is going to be downtime in your meeting, you may want to end the recording so you don’t waste your minutes. You can always name the individual recordings to connect them as part of a larger meeting.

Summary could be a valuable tool for any individual or group who doesn’t have an assistant or designee to take notes and follow up. Even if you do have a human who is tasked with keeping a record of meetings, having a transcribed recording leaves less room for interpretation or error.

Restore Your Precious Old Photos with This Free Tool

We have highlighted several artificial intelligence (AI) tools on this blog lately because it is being used to power so many emerging trends and tools. Many folks think of AI as a sort of substitute human, owing to the early days of automated telephone customer service up through the sophisticated Alexa/Siri/Google digital assistants, I’m sure movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Robocop, Terminator, Her, and so on, helped solidify this image. In fact, artificial intelligence can just be a really good algorithm that can learn from experience and patterns. Examples of AI without names or faces would be software that creates deep fake videos, creates images from text, or writes copy for you based on key points.

The tool we’d like to share today doesn’t have an exciting name or website, but what it can do seems like magic. It is so simple to use that there is zero learning curve. If you can attach something to an email, you can restore your photos. Intrigued? So was I.


This wonder tool is called GFP-GAN. You can either use the demo version at Baseten as I did, or you can download the code for free from GitHub. The demo page invites you to upload your own photo or choose one of their photos to restore. You are given the option to download the restored image.

I clicked on their image of Harriet Tubman and the cleaned-up version was so good I wondered if there had been manual intervention in the restoration:

Original and restored portrait images of Harriet Tubman in black and white side-by-side

Next, I tried my own photo from the 1970s:

Original image on left of slightly blurry Mom holding a baby with the restored image less blurry on the right

This is a less stunning transformation, but the restored version is definitely less blurry.

I didn’t have any really rough images to try, but in my research about the tool, I found an article demonstrating some really amazing restorations, as well as going into deep detail about how the tool works. Here is the one that made me sure I wanted to write about this tool:

Original photo of a woman's face is torn, creased and faded on the left, and the restoration on the right is crystal clear

The AI “looks” at the image to find patterns, and then fills in what it determines is most likely to fill in the damaged parts. Because the image I uploaded was just blurry instead of damaged, there wasn’t much to fix or fill in.

Would You Use GFP-GAN?

Do you have old photos you would like to restore, but don’t have the expertise or equipment to do it yourself? Professional photo restoration is expensive, but this free tool may be just what you need to clean up your treasured image collection. Have you tried the tool? We’d love to know how your restorations turned out. Let us know in the comments!