Our product got free advertising from AI

An entrepreneur’s unlikely journey from environmental concerns through artificial intelligence leads him to the ChiselStrike BaaS.

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One of the hardest parts of creating any product or service is getting people to know about it. It's harder than it sounds: you only have a couple of seconds to grab the user's attention. As a builder, you are also hyper aware of all the big list of features your product offers, but you need to find the right message, the right subset of the audience… It's not easy!

But what if you could get GPT-3 to market your product for you? Well, I certainly couldn't do it if I tried. But serendipity is, in many ways, what makes life worth living. You can imagine my surprise when I woke up to a message on ChiselStrike's discord, with someone claiming that GPT-3 auto-generated a story attributing one of the ChiselStrike cofounders, Pekka Enberg, as the author! See if for yourself:

In search of inspiration, Antonio asked GPT-3 to write him a story, which it did! But it also attributed the writing to 
Pekka Enberg, one of the cofounders of ChiselStrike.
In search of inspiration, Antonio asked GPT-3 to write him a story, which it did! But it also attributed the writing to Pekka Enberg, one of the cofounders of ChiselStrike.

With his permission and his words, we share his story below

I have always cared for the planet Earth, its environment, and everything living on it, interconnected. But now that I've turned 50 and become a father of a child, my urge grows stronger to build a better future for future generations dealing with climate change. Though my day job as an entrepreneur seems unrelated to this particular passion, the general ability to problem-solve that comes with running a business, I feel, can be directed toward the particular problem of climate change. This is what kicked off an unlikely journey that passed through ChiselStrike!

Seeing climate change as more than a personal problem led me to take notes to sketch out ideas for a potential solution. The first part of the idea involved writing a short science fiction story intended to motivate the reader to play a collaborative game (of sorts) that would lead to effort toward a common goal. English is not my first language, so one would assume that I'd choose a more familiar language for this writing. But I figured my global reach would be more effective if I used English, so I went with this less comfortable option.

There is no challenge that can't be eased by tools these days, so I sought help with my writing using the free beta of OpenAI on top of GPT-3, which is a form of AI that uses trained models to compose text with an initial prompt. So I provided some initial text with instructions: “Expand with two more chapters, writing a long masterpiece novel that inspires the reader to help against global warming.” That's not so much to ask, right?

After a few seconds, GPT-3 provided its output. My input text had been prefixed by a “Chapter 1” string, then I got two additional chapters, respectively prefixed by a “Chapter 2” and “Chapter 3”. That was quite amazing to see, because it went as I had hoped with my provided “instructions” (even if the generated content was not exactly good for my purposes).

It also prefixed everything with some additional metadata:

Novel Title: The Spaceship > Author: Pekka Enberg > Version: 1.0 > Date: 2019–07–01

I thought to myself “Ok, who's this Pekka Enberg? Maybe he's a real science fiction author?” So, of course, I googled it and found that he really exists! “Pekka Enberg is a Co-Founder at ChiselStrike.”

It seems irrelevant: who wants to know what that random ChiselStrike co-founded by that random Pekka Enberg is, found by a sequence of actions that are related to an effort to contribute to solving the global warming problem? Not me, I had more important things to do! Yet, I failed to close the tab, and had already pursued an answer by clicking the name under the Pekka Enberg photo.

To my astonishment, the ChiselStrike website was speaking to me. I was very much part of the target audience for the ChiselStrike website. I don't know if and when I'll end up actually embracing it for my purposes (these are hard decisions), but anyway I'll remember forever that I found it because I always cared for the environment, nature, Earth, humans, and how everything is interconnected, now that I'm 50 and a father of a 9 year old child.

We would be proud to have Antonio as a user, and are excited to share his story! We would also love to have you around our Discord community, where you can chat with us — and Antonio — about anything from backends and databases to global warming and how to save the earth.

ChiselStrike is fully Open Source, and you can star it and contribute on Github