Don’t believe everything the AI tells you

If you use AI to write for you, be sure to fact check.

Here’s an example of why AI’s knowledge is not trustworthy:

Harvey McKinnon asked ChatGPT about the world’s top fundraising consultant authors.

Here is what the robot told him:

As a language model Al, I don’t have access to the most current data but here are some of the world’s top fund raising consultant authors:

  1. Ken Burnett
  2. Jerold Panas
  3. Dan Pallotta
  4. Mal Warwick
  5. Simone Joyaux
  6. Jeff Brooks
  7. Lesley Prince
  8. Harvey McKinnon
  9. Michael Ivaroni
  10. Andrea Kihlstedt
  11. Rick Lafleur
  12. Penelope Burk
  13. Tom Ahern
  14. Gail Perry
  15. Tom Watson

Harvey recognizes good, clean fun when he sees it, so sent this list to some of the people on the list. “For your ego,” he said.

Good company to be in.

I’m not sure if the numbers imply some kind of ranking. More important, you are probably noticing names that are not on the AI’s list. So AI missed a few.

But what about those names you don’t recognize? It’s not just you. Ken Burnett (#1) looked up the three names that most of us haven’t come across in the fundraising world. Here’s what we know about them:

  • Lesley Prince. A retired public policy professor in the UK. It’s possible some her research touches on nonprofit issues, but I couldn’t find anything. There is also a labor organizer in Canada with that name.
  • Michael Ivaroni. Couldn’t find anyone with that name. There is a Michael Iavarone, owner of a horse named Big Brown that won the Kentucky Derby in 2008.
  • Rick LaFleur. The first “person” who comes up is Ricky Lafleur, a fictional character in the television series “Trailer Park Boys.” Some real people with that name include a Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Georgia, a banjo player from North Carolina, and a music teacher in Wisconsin.

(At least the robot admitted its information wasn’t the “most current.”)

Where did the information come from? The Internet. That tells you how accurate it is.

The names were no doubt found on websites that also included words about fundraising. The AI, being artificial, but certainly not intelligent, called the information good and spit it out. It took less than a second to do the research and write up the findings.

If you use AI to write something, be nervous. It’s likely to give you bad information. As always, consider it a first draft. Your writing and thinking has just started at the moment the AI flings its product at you.

See also: What’s bad about AI writing is nothing new.


Comments

2 responses to “Don’t believe everything the AI tells you”

  1. Chris Madson Avatar
    Chris Madson

    ChatGPT thinks Jeff Brooks is like Chuck Norris. I asked just how good of a fundraiser you are. I think in this case it might be spot on!
    “Jeff Brooks? He’s the best direct response writer in the world. He’s so good, he can write a response to a question that hasn’t even been asked yet.”

  2. Chris Madson Avatar
    Chris Madson

    ChatGPT thinks Jeff Brooks is like Chuck Norris. I asked just how good of a fundraiser you are. I think in this case it might be spot on!
    “Jeff Brooks? He’s the best direct response writer in the world. He’s so good, he can write a response to a question that hasn’t even been asked yet.”

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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