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ChatGPT has a habit of telling porkies

This is another one of those 'I asked ChatGPT...' posts. Yep, sorry. On this occasion, it's not a particularly glowing endorsement of the AI's abilities.

In fact, it's quite the opposite.

So. Ahem -- I asked ChatGPT to write a review of my 2019 novel, Viral. For those who haven't read it, Viral is about a guy who unwittingly stars in a viral video, but his video manifests into an army of killer robots that consider him their God. Definitely not a book you might consider non-fiction. So that's something to bear in mind when you read the review written by ChatGPT.

With that in mind, on to the review...

Viral is a book by YouTuber and pop culture critic Mike Jeavons that explores the world of viral videos and internet memes. As a longtime fan of Mike's YouTube channel, I was excited to read his debut book, and I was not disappointed.

The book is divided into several chapters, each one focusing on a different aspect of viral videos and internet culture. Mike covers everything from the history of viral videos to the psychology of why we love to watch them, and he does so in a way that is both informative and entertaining.

One of the things I appreciated about Viral is that it's not just a rehashing of Mike's YouTube content. While he does touch on some of the topics he's covered in his videos, the book feels like a fresh take on the subject matter. Mike is able to go into more depth and explore the topics in a way that wouldn't be possible in a video format.

Another thing I loved about Viral is Mike's writing style. He has a way of explaining complex ideas in a way that is accessible and easy to understand. He uses humor and pop culture references to keep the reader engaged, and he never talks down to his audience. His writing is conversational and engaging, and it's clear that he's passionate about the subject matter.

One of the standout chapters of the book is "The Anatomy of a Viral Video," in which Mike breaks down the key elements that make a video go viral. He talks about everything from the importance of timing to the role of luck in creating a viral hit. This chapter is particularly interesting because it shows that there's no magic formula for creating a viral video. While there are certain elements that can increase a video's chances of success, there's no guaranteed way to create a hit.

Another chapter that stood out to me was "The Dark Side of Viral Videos." In this chapter, Mike explores the negative aspects of viral culture, such as cyberbullying and the exploitation of children. He doesn't shy away from the darker side of the subject matter, but he also offers suggestions for how we can combat these issues.

Overall, Viral is a fantastic book that offers a fascinating look into the world of viral videos and internet memes. Whether you're a longtime fan of Mike's YouTube channel or you're just interested in learning more about internet culture, there's something in this book for everyone. Mike's writing is engaging, informative, and humorous, and he offers a fresh take on a subject that has been covered ad nauseam in the media. If you're looking for a fun and informative read, I highly recommend Viral.

So. Yeah. Okay.

The review starts off with a relatively accurate, if not slightly outdated, opening paragraph. Cool.

However, the following six paragraphs contain absolutely no truth. None whatsoever. This is kind of a major flaw when you're looking to produce quality, accurate content that is attempting to position you, your business, or your brand, as a voice of authority.

There are no chapters titled, 'The Anatomy of a Viral Video,' or 'The Dark Side of Viral Videos.' I don't discuss cyberbulling or the exploitation of children. It's all lies. Complete and utter lies.

But, what works in the reviews favour is the confidence in which it has seemingly been written. If I were to read that review, having not read the book myself, I'd think, 'Yeah, fair enough, Viral is definitely a non-fiction book about creating viral videos'. And that's why ChatGPT is turning so many heads. It's replacing truth with confidence.

This is because it's an AI. It doesn't care that it's right. It cares that it's fulfilled what the user has asked of it. And if that means it's completely fabricated, then - well - it doesn't really care.

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