Great works of writing, but generated by ChatGPT

What if Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, or Mark Twain had access to ChatGPT? What would have become of some of their most iconic prose?

I asked ChatGPT with a similar question they must have riffed on and did so as if I were them in the moment. So, I did not prompt it to “write a speech like Abraham Lincoln” because Lincoln would not yet have a body of work to work from.

Here’s what came of it, along with the originals.

An excerpted speech to youth by Mark Twain on firearm safety

“Never handle firearms carelessly. The sorrow and suffering that have been caused through the innocent but heedless handling of firearms by the young!

Only four days ago, right in the next farm house to the one where I am spending the summer, a grandmother, old and gray and sweet, one of the loveliest spirits in the land, was sitting at her work, when her young grandson crept in and got down an old, battered, rusty gun which had not been touched for many years and was supposed not to be loaded, and pointed it at her, laughing and threatening to shoot. In her fright she ran screaming and pleading toward the door on the other side of the room; but as she passed him he placed the gun almost against her very breast and pulled the trigger! He had supposed it was not loaded. And he was right — it wasn’t. So there wasn’t any harm done. It is the only case of that kind I ever heard of.

Therefore, just the same, don’t you meddle with old unloaded firearms; they are the most deadly and unerring things that have ever been created by man. You don’t have to take any pains at all with them; you don’t have to have a rest, you don’t have to have any sights on the gun, you don’t have to take aim, even. No, you just pick out a relative and bang away, and you are sure to get him.

A youth who can’t hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three-quarters of an hour can take up an old empty musket and bag his grandmother every time at a hundred. Think what Waterloo would have been if one of the armies had been boys armed with old muskets supposed not to be loaded, and the other army had been composed of their female relations. The very thought of it makes one shudder.”

(You can also read the full text of the speech.)

A speech about firearm safety to youth by AI

“Give me roughly 300 words on firearm safety to be delivered as a speech to youth.”

Ladies and gentlemen, today, I want to talk to you about a topic that’s crucial for our well-being and the safety of those around us: firearm safety. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter, a recreational shooter, or have never encountered a firearm before, understanding and practicing firearm safety is paramount.

First and foremost, always treat every firearm as if it is loaded. This golden rule is the foundation of firearm safety. Even if you believe a firearm is unloaded, always handle it with care, keeping it pointed in a safe direction. Accidents happen when this fundamental principle is disregarded.

Secondly, be aware of your surroundings. Before handling a firearm, ensure you’re in an appropriate environment for shooting. Never point a firearm at anything you don’t intend to shoot, and always be mindful of what lies beyond your target. Bullets can travel long distances and penetrate through barriers, posing a risk to unintended targets.

Furthermore, keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. This simple yet critical practice prevents accidental discharges. Your finger should rest outside the trigger guard until you’ve identified your target and made the conscious decision to fire.

Proper storage is equally vital. Firearms should be stored securely, unloaded, and out of reach of children and unauthorized individuals. Utilize gun safes, lockboxes, or trigger locks to prevent access by unauthorized persons, ensuring that only responsible individuals can access the firearms.

Lastly, seek education and training. Understanding how to safely handle, operate, and store firearms requires proper instruction. Take advantage of firearm safety courses offered by certified instructors. These courses provide invaluable knowledge and hands-on experience that can save lives.

In conclusion, firearm safety is not negotiable. By following these principles—treating every firearm as if it’s loaded, being aware of your surroundings, keeping your finger off the trigger, storing firearms securely, and seeking education and training—we can ensure the safety of ourselves and those around us. Let’s make responsible firearm handling a priority in our lives. Thank you.

Speech to the British Parliament after Dunkirk, by Winston Churchill

“I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation.

The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;

we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”

A speech generated by AI to the British Parliament after Dunkirk

“Generate a roughly 300 word statement to the British Parliament after a devastating British AEF loss.”

It is with a heavy heart and profound sorrow that I address this chamber today in the wake of a devastating loss suffered by the British Armed Forces in the recent operation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.

The loss of the British Expeditionary Force (AEF) is a stark reminder of the inherent dangers faced by our servicemen and women in the line of duty. Their dedication and unwavering commitment to defending our freedoms and upholding our values will forever be remembered and cherished by a grateful nation.

As we mourn the fallen, we must also acknowledge the immense bravery and resilience displayed by our troops in the face of adversity. Their courage under fire exemplifies the very best of the British spirit and serves as an inspiration to us all.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, it is imperative that we come together as a nation to provide support and assistance to those affected by this loss. We owe it to our fallen heroes to ensure that their families receive the care and support they need during this difficult time.

Furthermore, we must take stock of the lessons learned from this experience and redouble our efforts to provide our armed forces with the resources, training, and support they need to carry out their missions safely and effectively.

Let us also reaffirm our commitment to working closely with our allies and partners to confront the threats and challenges that we face together. In times of adversity, it is essential that we stand united and resolute in defense of our shared values and interests.

In conclusion, let us honor the memory of the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to our country by rededicating ourselves to the pursuit of peace, security, and justice at home and abroad. May their sacrifice never be forgotten.

The Gettysburg Address by President Abraham Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The Gettysburg Address by AI

“Give me a roughly 3 minute speech to be delivered as if I’m president on the battlefield encouraging a nation to fight on”

Today, I stand before you not as a mere leader, but as a comrade in arms, as a voice amidst the thunder of cannons, and as a heart united with each and every one of you in the fires of battle. Our nation faces its greatest trial, its darkest hour, but I am here to remind you that it is in these moments of adversity that the true spirit of a people is forged.

Look around you. See the courage etched in the eyes of your brothers and sisters. Feel the unyielding resolve pulsating through the veins of our nation. We stand not as individuals, but as one indomitable force, bound together by the noble cause for which we fight.

On this battlefield, we are not merely defending lines on a map or ideologies penned on parchment. No, we are defending the very essence of who we are, our freedom, our dignity, and our future. We are the guardians of liberty, the sentinels of justice, and the torchbearers of hope for generations yet unborn.

Yes, the road ahead may be fraught with peril. The enemy may outnumber us, outgun us, and seek to break our will. But I say to you, let them come! Let them taste the steel of our resolve, let them feel the thunder of our unity, and let them know that they face not just an army, but a nation united in purpose and undeterred in spirit.

For every fallen comrade, for every sacrifice made, we shall honor their memory by pressing ever onward, by refusing to yield even an inch of our sacred soil to the forces of tyranny and oppression.

My fellow citizens, I call upon you to summon the strength of your ancestors, the resilience of your spirit, and the unwavering determination that defines us as a people. Together, we shall write a new chapter in the annals of history, a chapter that speaks of courage in the face of adversity, of unity in the midst of strife, and of victory against all odds.

So let us raise our banners high, let us march forward with heads held high and hearts ablaze with the fires of freedom. And together, as one nation, one people, we shall prevail!

May God help us all, and may God bless our great nation!

May God help us all, indeed.

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Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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