Friday 24 March 2023

My Biog and the Inaccuracies of Using AI for Text

My husband signed up for Google Bard, one of the AI text generating tools that's been made available for people to use. He tested it by asking it to write my biography. What it came up with was rather a poor effort. Here's what it said:

"Lucya Starza is an eclectic witch living in London. She is the author of Pagan Portals - Candle Magic, Pagan Portals - Poppets and Magical Dolls and Pagan Portals - Guided Visualisations. She also edited the community book Every Day Magic - A Pagan Book of Days.

"She was born in Poland in 1964 and grew up in a family where fortune telling and divination, as well as folk magic practices, were part of everyday life. She moved to the UK in 1981 to study at Kent University, where she gained a BA in Comparative Literary Studies and Drama. After graduating, she worked in publishing for all of her career, branching out into writing about witchcraft after decades of working on a local newspaper and as a freelance writer and editor.

"Her first book, Pagan Portals - Candle Magic, was published in 2012. It was followed by Pagan Portals - Poppets and Magical Dolls in 2014 and Pagan Portals - Guided Visualisations in 2016. Her fourth book, Pagan Portals - Scrying, is due to be published by Moon Books in February 2023.

"She is also the author of Every Day Magic - A Pagan Book of Days, which was published in 2017. The book is a collection of 366 daily rituals and exercises that can be used to connect with the natural world and the divine.

"She is a regular contributor to the Pagan blogosphere and has written for websites such as The Wild Hunt, The Witches' Almanac, and Pagan Dawn. She is also a member of the College of Psychic Studies and the Pagan Federation.

"She is a passionate advocate for the use of magic and witchcraft in everyday life and believes that it can be a powerful tool for self-empowerment and healing. She is also a strong believer in the importance of environmentalism and sustainability."

Well, for a start it's repetitive and inconsistent. It mentions my book titles twice, but can't make up it's mind if I edited or wrote one of them. Another issue I have is that a lot of it is cut and pasted from other sources I recognise. 

The biggest problem is that it gets facts and dates very wrong. For a start, I was not born in Poland. I was born in England and have lived here all my life. The dates it mentions are all incorrect. I was not born in 1964, I did not start studying at Kent Uni in 1981, my books were not published in any of those years mentioned. I don't think I've ever written for The Witches' Almanac and there are errors about my membership of organisations. 

Now, what it omitted. It should have said: "Lucya Starza is the pen name of Lucya Szachnowski." That's quite important really. It should probably also have mentioned the books I've written as Lucya Szachnowski, as I'm not secretive about them any more. It also doesn't mention my own blog, the one you're reading this on, which has been running a very long time. By the way, the reason I started using a pen name when I began writing my blog was because I wasn't out of the broom closet back then, Starza is easier to pronounce than Szachnowski, and it's a name from my ancestry. It also fails to mention that I have an MA in English Literature as well as a BA. 

I was seriously unimpressed and I am extremely unlikely to be using Bard to generate my blogs - or my biog - in future.

The photo at the top shows me standing on the Millennium Bridge near the real Bard's Globe Theatre.

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