How Many Stories On Medium Have Been Written By AI?

After using Jasper.ai to craft a thinkpiece, I’m wondering

Clive Thompson
7 min readSep 28, 2022

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Typing robots, generated by (of course) Midjourney

Here’s a question for you, my Medium readers:

Consider all the pieces you read on this site.

What percentage are currently being written by AI?

I started wondering, as I fiddled around with Jasper.ai

I recently wondered about this, because on a whim I tried out Jasper, one of the more popular sites with AI for auto-writing text. To get Jasper to write a blog post, you start it off with a prompt — a few sentences to introduce some subject matter.

In this case, I decided to write about the unsettling qualities of the “pull to refresh” mechanisms on mobile apps like Twitter, where you yank the screen downwards to get the latest posts. Both gesturally and psychologically, pull-to-refresh reminds me a lot of a one-armed bandit in a casino: It keeps the user in a fevered loop of compulsive yanking, each time hoping to get lucky.

So this is what I wrote:

The pull-to-refresh mechanic in Twitter — and many of today’s mobile apps — reminds me of the pull mechanism on a slot machine. And it has the same effect: It gives us a chance to possibly be entertained…

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Clive Thompson

I write 2X a week on tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer at NYT mag/Wired; author, “Coders”. @clive@saturation.social clive@clivethompson.net