AI is in the news A LOT at the moment. It all seems very complicated to me, issues around who is using it, how they are using it etc. Is it cheating? Plagiarism? Copying? Worries for artists about how their art is being used. Then all the thoughts around if it going to get out of control and become a danger. I have no idea! Some people are sure it’s all potentially very apocalyptic and some people think it’s all gonna be just fine.
Squarespace, the platform I use for Sum of their Stories has just introduced a feature where I can ask the Squarespace AI to write a paragraph or two for me. I assume this is supposed to be a writing aid. My initial thought is “no way”! I share my thoughts, crafting tips, creative ideas and tutorials here on the blog and have always written in my own voice. You can probably tell as my grammar is a little flaky sometimes and I know there are typos galore.
But not wanting to be a complete Luddite (although I actually think the original Luddites had a point and were treated shamefully, which is another whole story) I thought I’d give it a go and ask the Squarespace AI to write a craft tutorial which I would follow to the letter to see how it went.
You have to tell it what you want and be reasonably specific so I asked it to write me “An upcycling craft project for an old plastic container” and this is what it produced:
Upcycling Craft Project: Reusing an Old Plastic Container
Are you tired of throwing away old plastic containers? Here’s a way to upcycle them into a beautiful and useful craft project! This fun DIY is a great way to help the environment by giving plastic containers a second life.
Old plastic container (such as a yogurt, margarine, or sour cream container)
Paint (in any color you like)
Decorative paper or fabric
Hot glue gun
1. Clean and dry the plastic container.
2. Paint the container with a coat of your chosen paint color. Let it dry completely before adding a second coat, if necessary.
3. Measure the decorative paper or fabric to fit around the outside of the container. Cut the paper or fabric to size.
4. Coat the back of the paper or fabric with Mod Podge.
5. Carefully wrap the paper or fabric around the container. Smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles.
6. Apply a coat of Mod Podge over the entire container to seal the paper or fabric to the plastic.
7. Use a hot glue to attach your embellishments if using.
All seems straightforward enough, right? Let me show you how it went.
The list of materials didn’t specify what kind of paint so I went for an acrylic paint. I chose an empty yogurt pot, a scrap of a sweet printed heart fabric and found some heart embellishments to match.
I followed the instructions as above, exactly as instructed. I found it interesting that Mod Podge was specified as the glue I should use, I guess it is the market leader/gold standard for this kind of thing.
It was really straightforward and took about 15 minutes plus drying times.
I’ve made a Useful Pot to put things in (Eeyore was always my favourite)
Did this tutorial work? Yes
Was I able to make something following the instructions? Yes
Where there any problems with the tutorial or finished upcycled pot? The pot is not suitable for anything wet as the acrylic paint will come off the insides so I can’t use it as a plant pot or vase.
Is it original, different and creative? humm, not really
So can AI write an interesting and creative craft project tutorial? Do I need to worry? What do you think?