Happy New Year and welcome to the first newsletter of the 2024. I had this newsletter written by the end of January, but was forced to change newsletter sender as I was over their free limit. After a lot of setup I’m now with a new sender so fingers crossed this works!
Thanks to everyone who signed up to the newsletter recently, I really appreciate the support which is so vital for a small business like mine. If you haven’t signed up yet you can do so at the bottom of this page.
AI Rears its Head
Ever since Richard and I started work on Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way back in 2015 we have worried about a large publisher like Lonely Planet releasing a similar book. A strong competitor never materialised and in recent years it hasn’t be a huge concern. However, in the last few months a few books, quite similar in style to ours, have been published.
I won’t give their details, but I purchased one of them out of curiosity. The photos in it are pretty decent, given that it was obviously produced over the course of a single visit. On closer reading though the text seemed a little strange, quite repetitive and formulaic while lacking substance, more like a press release than a guidebook.
It took me a few days for it to dawn on me that it may have been written to some extent by AI. Inserting some of the text into a few of the many AI detectors made it clear that AI generated a large amount of the text, some pages were 100% AI, all I checked were over 50%. As I test I ran a few chapters of my book through the same detectors and they came back between 0 – 10% (see the image below).
To be clear none of my books have every and will ever use AI.
To be honest, I found the other book deeply lacking in insight. It’s disappointing that people are going to buy their book completely unaware that it hasn’t been written by humans and it’s also frustrating as they are going to be taking sales away from our book.
Anyway it’s just something to bear in mind when book shopping.
A few weeks ago I spent a very enjoyable weekend on the island. It was our first trip in January and it was somewhat urgent as the tarp covering the roof hadn’t survived the winter storms. Great progress was made and you can read all about it on the blog.
I have spend a bit of the time in the last month working on a few maps, I’m not sure where they will end up – either as standalone products or as content in a book. Either way they are very enjoyable to work on and make a nice change
I have also been working on a geometric map of the entire Wild Atlantic Way, consisting only of 45 degree angles that simplify the terrain and the infrastructure. Again I don’t know what I’m going to do with this, if there is sufficient interest I may print a small number of A2 posters.
Thanks for Reading
If you have any thoughts, suggestions or feedback then don’t hesitate to get in touch, I would love to hear from you.