How Many Stories On Medium Have Been Written By AI?

After using to craft a thinkpiece, I’m wondering

Clive Thompson
7 min readSep 28, 2022


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

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, or not; and it’s the not-knowing that gets us hooked.

Then I let Jasper take the reins.

As it continued …

The pull-to-refresh mechanic is simple but effective: You pull down on the screen, and then release, and new content is loaded. It’s a way of telling the app, “I’m ready for more.” But it’s also a way of putting yourself in a position of uncertainty, because you don’t know what new content will appear. Will it be something interesting? Or will it be a bunch of junk? The pull-to-refresh mechanic taps into our innate desire for novelty and our hunger for information. We can’t help but pull down and see what’s new. And that’s what keeps us coming back, time after time.

Not too bad! Jasper was surprisingly good at keeping the argument going. And that observation about how that “pull” gesture represents you “putting yourself in a position of uncertainty”? My hat is off. A deftly made…



Clive Thompson

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