Background: We're a tiny pre-launch startup that makes smartphone fitness games where you have to exercise to play. Our core tech uses AI (machine learning) to figure out players' exercise effort from their heart rate. We wanted to start a fitness blog, but haven't got a staff writer yet. No problem! We're nerds, we know AI! Why not just make one*?
So we did.
I honestly didn't expect it to be any good but IT BLEW MY FREAKING MIND.
(* I grew up in the 80s. I blame "Weird Science".)
The best text generating AI currently is GPT3 by OpenAI, but we don't have access to that. The next best thing, GPT-J-6B, was released by EleutherAI about 10 days ago. It's a pretty big model and needs to run on high-spec server with a TPU. Using Google colab I was able to get our very own AI fitness blogger up and running in under an hour.
I really wanted to give it a name, but all my name ideas sucked. So I figured, why not just ask it? Here's how that conversation went:
Me: Hi. So, you're an AI fitness blogger?
AI: I am indeed!
Me: That's very cool. What's your name?
AI: Well, I'm actually called Babiee, but everyone calls me Betsy...
Yeah. Er... No. I ran it again. This time it decided its name was "Jen". I liked that. It fit with -J- in the GPT-J-6B.
So, Jen it was. Our shiny new AI fitness blogger.
Jen's First Assignment
I asked Jen to write a post entitled "TOP 10 TIPS FOR FITNESS SUCCESS".
90 seconds later, "she" had produced a full, coherent blog post matching my request with exactly ten fitness tips in it.
I ran this experiment a few times to see what she'd write each time. I gotta say, Jen turned out to be a little fast and loose with the science. Her recommendations are a mix of really solid advice and blatant post-truth porky pies. (I'm pretty sure "Dr Colin Smith and Professor Peter Thomas" are made up, not real people, for example. And really, do not "Try drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day." Jen, you naughty, naughty computer.)
Please bear in mind, in the following blog posts, everything except the title and first sentence in bold were *entirely* written by a computer...
TOP 10 TIPS FOR FITNESS SUCCESS (#1)
by Jen, AI Fitness Blogger for Beat Fitness Games
Whatever your reason is for keeping active - losing weight, building strength, improving your overall fitness - you need to make sure you’re on the right path for success. The list below, compiled from two scientific studies from Dr Colin Smith and Professor Peter Thomas, contains our recommendations for the top 10 tips for a more fit you. And the key here is FAST.
It’s a month since we’ve started a new month and I can feel myself starting to become more lethargic, perhaps a little more sluggish in the days ahead.
So, as I begin this month I thought I would put together a top 10 tips list of things to get your month off to a good start.
1. Set yourself up for success by making fitness a habit - do this by scheduling regular physical activity into your week.
2. Watch your diet - make sure you’re consuming healthy fats, lean proteins, fibre and complex carbohydrates.
3. Do a mini detox to kick-start the new month - get rid of old, unwanted toxins from your body by giving your liver a clean slate.
4. Get a weightlifting program under way - if you want to see major results in a short space of time then you need to start with a weightlifting program. This also improves your flexibility, balance and coordination - all things which will improve your fitness.
5. Drink plenty of water - this makes you more energised and keeps you focused. Try drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day.
6. Push your boundaries - discover the limits of what you can do. Push yourself in the gym and in the activities of daily life.
7. Keep doing it - even if the month goes past with you going a little soft, remember that you can pick it up again.
8. Learn something new - be it on the treadmill or the weights - challenge yourself in some way.
9. Make fitness fun - get involved in an activity you love. Find a sport, join a team or just do a little exercise every day to help keep you motivated and excited about the months ahead.
10. Don’t compare yourself to others - there is no point in comparing yourself with those you know who have achieved what you want to achieve. Focus on your own goals and the progress you’re making.
Happy new month to you all. Enjoy those new goals and do what it takes to make this a successful month for you.
Was I disappointed that tip 9 didn't recommend playing our amazing fitness games? A little, but hey, she's what, like an hour old? She can learn... I was mostly stunned by how coherent the piece was.
This was her second attempt:
TOP 10 TIPS FOR FITNESS SUCCESS (#2)
by Jen, AI Fitness Blogger for Beat Fitness Games
Whatever your reason is for keeping active - losing weight, building strength, improving your overall fitness - you need to make sure you’re on the right path for success. When it comes to your health and well being, the basics are in place – diet, sleep, exercise – but we all have different goals and preferences. And, we all have to eat differently. There are some things you can’t control: your health and your genetic history, so you’ll need to be clever and work with what you have. There’s a host of factors to consider as you plan your way to a healthier, happier life – here are the top 10 fitness tips for success:
1. Eat your greens – Lots of research shows that people who eat a well-rounded diet full of fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and lean protein are healthier than those who don’t. And eating more of these foods makes it easier to achieve other fitness goals. Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies for a more diverse selection and more flavor. Also, don’t forget to use spices and herbs to add extra flavor and nutritional value. You can even cook with herbs and spices like turmeric and ginger. You can eat your greens from the produce aisle of the grocery store, from a salad bar, at a farmers market, or in a box with protein (see tip #9 below).
2. Drink more water – This will naturally increase your metabolism as your body needs to work harder to process and detoxify the water. To stay hydrated, have two water bottles and fill one up every day. Another option is to try the alkaline water trend. You can get these at your local grocery store, in a specialty store, or with a hydroponic system at home.
3. Get a coach – Everyone needs a coach to help them with goals and fitness tips. A coach can work with you on a personalized plan or hold you accountable. It’s worth investing in a coach for the ongoing guidance. Working with a coach will make a huge difference in your fitness goals.
4. Stick to the plan – By definition, there’s a plan to accomplish your fitness goals. If you’re working out and feeling good, then stick to your plan. If you’re not, take the time to look for new ways to challenge your own fitness plan and goals.
5. Cook, don’t rely on takeout – Learn how to cook, so you can prepare food for yourself. If you are lucky enough to have a culinary arts school, look into taking classes. Cooking at home is more affordable, healthy, and less wasteful. Not only will cooking for yourself provide a full nutritious meal, but you’ll get an opportunity to create delicious dishes for your friends and family. If you don’t have any cooking skills, cook at home even once a week to get some practice.
6. Move your body – Regular physical activity can make a big difference. Try out a new fitness activity – anything from Pilates to dancing – to really challenge yourself. If you want to get more fit, it’s a good idea to mix up your routine. Move your body.
7. Be prepared – Preparing your workout meals the night before, or even packing a bottle of water, means that you’ll be ready to move when you get to the gym or park.
8. Fitness is best in moderation – Work on your fitness routine so you’re enjoying the gains you’re making, but don’t overdo it. In other words, you can have a great, healthy day of exercise, but you don’t have to go to the gym for three hours. Getting exercise is a great way to improve your health, but it’s just as important to take the time to relax. You don’t have to be a couch potato.
9. Be creative – What can you do at home to move your body? Simple activities like jumping jacks or arm swings are great ways to get your heart pumping and get your metabolism going. If you have time, there are also some great challenges online.
10. It’s all about balance – There is no such thing as a perfect diet, workout plan, or balance of fitness activities. Find what works for you and stick with it. For example, if you like running but you’re eating a lot of grains, have a salad as your main meal. Don’t give up on any fitness activities that you enjoy. Try to get a mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercise to make sure you’re healthy in every way.
Here are some of the other key factors to consider for your best fitness plan:
Diet – For most people, diet will be a big part of any fitness plan. You need to eat to live – or at least to get the right nutrition to live long and prosper. But the one area where the medical community can agree is that we all need to have a better balance of diet. We should be eating whole foods, with a healthy variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins. We should also be drinking enough water. Try to eat your greens. Also, try to eat more vegetables and fruits with high water content like cucumbers, oranges, bananas, and other melons. Finally, try to eat a diet that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Fitness – Of course, it’s one thing to eat well, but it’s another to make sure you’re getting the right kind of exercise. Exercising three to four times a week is plenty. You’ll be stronger and healthier.
Wellness – While you’re on the right track with your diet and fitness, it’s also important to make sure that you’re giving your mind and body the rest it needs. Don’t forget to balance physical activity with downtime and other activities to make sure you have a healthy mind and body.
So take time to think about the key aspects of your fitness plan. It’s likely to be a long-term commitment and will require a little planning and work. But, when you set your fitness goals and are sure that you’re on the right track to achieve them, you’ll feel great and be prepared for anything that comes your way.
Honestly, I am floored that a computer can write all this given just a few words to start. The only thing that isn't 100% coherent is in the reference to tip 9 at the start which turns out to have no relevance.
Maybe she just has a thing about messing up tip 9?
Generating Blog Title Ideas
A good blog post needs a great title and it's best to write a few and then choose the best. I wondered if Jen would be able to help come up with some alternatives.
I asked her for alternatives for my first title idea, "This fitness blog was written by AI and it's INSANELY GOOD!". She came up with these:
1. "AI Is A Genius And Writing This Blog Sucks"
2. "This Blog was Written by AI and It's INSANELY GOOD"
3. "I'm a Genius and Writing This Blog Sucks"
4. "This blog is So God Damn Good! It's Written by AI", and
5. "This blog was Written by AI and It's SICK!"
You know what, Jen? You just might just be a genius. Maybe I should ask you to write something that stretches you a little more next time.
What was the point again?
My top tip for anyone who finds exercise boring is to try our fitness games. They're the whole reason we wanted a blog in the first place.
You just need any standard bluetooth heart rate monitor and an Android phone (iPhone version coming soon). Our AI (don't worry, not Jen) will figure out your effort and use it to power the elements in the games. They're super motivating: exercise for more fire power in Dynamo Defender, or to race faster through a solve puzzle challenges in Dynamo Dash.
Both games are in Early Access so expect a few bugs but do let us know how you get on!