How We Wrote the Your Favorite Edition
There are two reasons I figured I was safe from being replaced by artificial intelligence.
A) They don’t mint currency small enough to pay writers any less and B) for what it’s worth, I have the heart of an artist (and, yes, it’s amazing what you can buy on eBay).
So, imagine my chagrin when ChatGPT sashayed into my office (and by office, I mean my eight-year-old laptop) and showed me the future of writing for pay by removing “for pay” from the preceding clause. I prompted the AI with this: “Write an introduction to the 2023 Best of the North Bay edition of the Bohemian in the style of Daedalus Howell.” ChatGPT wrote:
“Greetings and salutations, fellow denizens of the North Bay! It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the much-anticipated ‘Best Of’ edition of the Bohemian for the year 2023. As a proud resident of this vibrant region, I am always thrilled to see our local establishments and personalities recognized for their excellence, and this year’s edition is no exception… Our beloved North Bay is teeming with creativity, innovation, and passion, and it is these qualities that are celebrated in the pages that follow.”
It was fast. It was free. And it was good—enough. I immediately killed the piece and reached out to a group of writers who I knew would yield the messy, emotional and irreplaceably human reflections of the North Bay experience that you, dear reader, deserve.
You see, back in the day, I’d assemble our Best of the North Bay team as though I was planning a bank heist. I’d carefully choose a crack team of professionals, each with expertise in an esoteric skill necessary to pull off that one last job. Not this time. There are fewer of us doing more for less, so I convened a suicide squad of merry pranksters so riotously authentic that an AI would rather self-destruct than pollute its precious algorithm with their pungent humanity.
Read on and you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll be reminded why Sonoma and Napa are still two of the best counties left to live in if you dare to be human in a world that insists that you be anything but.
Here’s to the wily free spirits who penned this year’s writers’ picks—news editor Will Carruthers and contributors Isabella Cook, Evan Davis, Mark Fernquest, Michael Giotis and Chelsea Kurnick. Thanks for being dandelions in the Astroturf. — Daedalus Howell, editor