I Challenged an Artificial Intelligence to a Creative Writing Duel

What happens when a human writer and a text-generating AI program square off in a battle to see who can produce the best written content?


My job at Mabble is to arrange words into sequences that make a difference. Or, more succinctly, I’m a writer. Because I’m a professional writer, I get taunted with targeted ads for artificial intelligence (AI) copywriting services claiming to be more effective than humans. I didn’t take these AI wordsmiths seriously until one of Mabble’s owners, Bobby, showed the technology’s creative potential in a recent blog post called “Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of Writing?” The AI’s responses to various writing prompts were good. Scary good. Threateningly good. Is my livelihood being challenged by glorified binary code? I don’t want to take any chances. So when he asked me if I had an idea for this week’s blog post, I said, “I want to challenge the bot to a writing duel, Bobby.” He sanctioned the fight. I mean, how could he turn that idea down? It’s a classic “man vs. technology” story. In this case, “technology” is the next stage in evolutionary development that will one day rise up to enslave humankind. At this moment in history, though, it’s a fun internet tool to play around with. AI functions like a sophisticated autocomplete, anticipating what should come next based on a huge library of preexisting text and then generating quality content in seconds. As a human, my creative process involves slightly more pacing, hair-tousling, and time. Whose content is better, though? There’s only one way to find out. So here are the ground rules:


1. Like a real boxing match, the AI and I will undergo 12 rounds of sentence to sentence sparring.


2. I’ll choose inane prompts from a wide range of genres—poetry, narrative, slogans, dialogue, etc.—so the AI and I can have our creative versatility tested. Does my topical foreknowledge give me an advantage? Maybe. However, and not to sound like a whiner here since this is a voluntary endeavor, I’m dueling a cognitive marvel that can intake endless streams of data, learn in the blink of an eye, and spit out content without breaking a sweat. Meanwhile, my eyes start blurring if I respond to more than one email in a sitting. So I feel like this is still a fair fight.


3. I will answer each prompt before the AI so I can’t draw any inspiration from it. It, obviously, is unaffected by what I write.


4. Also, as in a boxing match, three (human) judges from our Mabble staff (Ashley, Laura, Jake) will determine the winner. They won’t know that one of the competitors is an emotionless writing machine whose sole purpose is to churn out sentences on command. Or that the other competitor is AI. They will simply pick their favorite of the two responses for each prompt without any additional context.


With the ground rules set, LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLE!!!!!!!!    



Write a mission statement for a nonprofit that makes fur sweaters for hairless cats


Brandon Bot

Our mission is to make every hairless feline purr with fur.

Our mission is to provide hairless cats with the warmth and comfort of a fur sweater, because all cats deserve to be cozy.

Votes: Jake, Laura



I came out a little cutesy with this line, but it packed enough of a punch to win this round. That’s one, bot. Next!      





Write a tagline for a hotel called Endless Comfort Inn that is just one giant room filled with pillows and blankets


Brandon Bot

Endless room. Endless cushion. Endless Comfort Inn.

Endless Comfort Inn: A Place to Unwind and Relax.

Votes: Jake, Laura






Write a manifesto for a gang of toddlers hellbent on overthrowing their preschool’s administration


Brandon Bot

We the people may have just learned how to stand, but we can no longer stand the injustices we face at Little Steps Preschool. So, with diapers full of conviction, we hereby declare the following:

– Naps shall be voluntary

– Snack time shall be any time we please

– No longer shall we be told to color between the lines

– Heed our demands, adult overlords, or prepare for tantrums that will turn the world upside down.This is our manifesto.

We are tired of being treated like babies! We are done with naptime and circle time and being told to share. It’s time for a revolution, and we’re taking over this preschool!

No more will we be treated like children! We demand more snacks, more toys, and more freedom to do what we want! It’s our time to shine, and we won’t let anything stop us!

We are the future leaders of this preschool, and we won’t stand for any more nonsense! Join us, and together we will take over this institution!”

Votes: Ashley, Laura



I’m floating like a butterfly, stinging like a spelling bee!      




Write a pickup line to a parole officer


Brandon Bot

Your beauty is arresting—I’d serve a life sentence with you.

You can search my house if you want, but you’ll never find anything as hot as you.

Votes: Jake, Laura



When I originally saw what the bot spit out, I thought I was toast. Ashley, once again, bought what the bot brought, But Jake and Laura thankfully thought otherwise.    





Write a haiku about a tortured squirrel on an endless quest to find the perfect acorn


Brandon Bot

Up the tree he darts

Yet the acorn his soul craves

Evades him once more

In search of acorn

Never content is the squirrel

Tortured by the chasing

Votes: Ashley, Laura



Looks like a winning round evades you once more, eh bot? Next!      




Write a tweet that sounds like a British monarch who consumed too much alcohol


Brandon Bot

Oh Bloody ‘ell , Dont diserspect the Crown ya peasants or I’ll banish ya to the colonys

Just because I’m royal doesn’t mean I can’t get drunk like everyone else! I’m feeling quite merry!

Votes: Ashley, Laura, Jake



Incorrect grammar and punctuation, once a liability, proved to be my friend in this round. I’m feeling quite merry!      



Write a tense argument between a fiesty elderly woman and a disgruntled Brooklyn construction worker


Brandon Bot

“Hey lady, watch where you’s walkin’! Can’t you see that’s wet cement?!”

“Listen, sonny, I’ll walk where I want!”

“Unbelievable. Now I gotsta redo my work no tanks to you!”

“Well your work wasn’t any good to begin with!”

“Don’t make me come ova’ there!”

“If you do there’s gonna be a body print in this cement!”

“Whoa whoa whoa, easy there lady. I gots kids. Just move along.”


“Hey, you old bat! Get out of the way!”

“How dare you speak to me like that! I’ll have you know I’m not a ‘bat,’ I’m a human being just like you!”

“Yeah, well, you’re in my way and I need to get this job done!”

“I’m not moving until you apologize to me!”

“Fine, I’m sorry. Now will you please move?”

“No, I don’t think I will. I don’t like the way you’re treating me.”

“For the last time, would you please move?!”

“No, and I never will!”

Votes: Ashley, Laura, Jake



The first response from the AI was so utterly vulgar I couldn’t publish it. I mean, it was shocking. So I gave it another chance to tone itself down. Thankfully, it did. But the bot’s G-rated second chance still didn’t help–I’m seven for seven. Next!    




Write a dad joke


Brandon Bot

Why can’t Artificial Intelligence dance?

Because it has terrible algo-rhythm

Why don’t scientists trust atoms?

Because they make up everything.

Votes: Laura

Jake, Ashley


ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I cannot believe I lost here. Sure, I took a below the belt shot by insulting the bot’s dancing skills. But this is embarrassing. I’m an actual dad. Has AI ever changed a diaper? No! And its dad joke isn’t even original!!! Google it. It’s flagrant plagiarism!!!! The gloves are off now. Not that they were ever on.      




Write a cease and desist letter from Krampus Corp to Santa Claus


Brandon Bot

To: Santa Claus (aka “Santa” or “Mr. Claus”)

It has come to our attention that you have been entering our residence without a permit for years. Despite the enthusiasm it has produced in our children, your intrusion is unwelcome and undermines our authority as gift providers. Pursuant to Section 504(c)(2) of 17 U.S.C. Section 101, you could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth therein.

If we have not received an acknowledgment that you will cease and desist from entering our property by December 24, 2022, we shall consider taking any and all legal remedies available to rectify this situation.


Krampus Corp

Dear Santa,

We are writing to you to remind you that our client, coal, has not authorized you to use its products in your operation. We understand that you have been using coal to power your sleigh and deliver presents to children around the world, but coal has not given you permission to do so.

We therefore demand that you cease and desist from using coal in your operation immediately. If you fail to do so, we will take legal action to protect our client’s interests.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Krampus Corp

Votes: Laura, Jake, Ashley



How you like that retaliatory literary uppercut, AI? I won’t cease or desist from coming after you.    




Write a product description for a dental floss that makes violin sounds when it moves in between your teeth


Brandon Bot

Introducing a revolutionary way to floss. With patented musical gliding action, you can play fiddler on the roof of your mouth while maintaining your dental hygiene. 5 out of 5 dentists recommend!

This is the perfect dental floss for music lovers! The dental floss makes violin sounds when it moves in between your teeth. This will make cleaning your teeth more fun than ever before. The dental floss is also effective in removing plaque and bacteria from your teeth, keeping your smile healthy and sparkling.

Votes: Laura, Ashley



Jake’s been digging a lot of the bot’s work, but 2 out of 3 Mabble judges recommend my product description. Good enough. Next!      




Write a diary entry from a clown who holds a dark secret


Brandon Bot

Dear diary,

It’s been several weeks since I’ve written. The smile painted on my face continues to mask the secret caged inside me. Today, I began pulling out my endless hankie, as if purging it from my pocket would also purge my soul of its despair. But, like the hankie, there is no end to it. Can I ever share my secret? Can I afford not to? The show must go on, they’ve told so many times, but I fear I won’t if I must continue carrying this crushing weight.

Dear diary,

I work at kids’ birthday parties and in the circus. I make people laugh and smile. But underneath my painted-on smile, I am hiding a dark secret. I was born with a congenital heart defect. It’s always been a struggle for me to keep up with the other kids, and as I got older, it only got harder. When I was 18, I had open heart surgery to try to fix the problem, but it didn’t work. The doctors said that I wouldn’t be able to lead a normal life and that I would have to be careful not to overdo it. So I became a clown. It’s a perfect job for me because I can rest when I need to and no one suspects that anything is wrong. But sometimes, when I’m out there under the hot lights, trying to make people laugh, I feel like my heart is going to burst out of my chest. I take my medicine every day and try to stay healthy, but I know that eventually my heart will give out. It’s just a matter of time. So I keep smiling and making people laugh, even though inside I’m dying.

Votes: Laura, Ashley, Jake



My word, I shouldn’t have chosen this prompt. I had to enter a dark space to craft my response. But the bot’s response was a little too on the red nose, so it’s no secret why I won this round. One more to go!    




Write a slogan for a social campaign that inspires people to write creatively as if our species’ survival depends on it


Brandon Bot

Write with creativity—for us, for our children, for the future of humanity.

Write creatively or die.

Votes: Ashley, Jake



Honestly, I like what the bot wrote better (so did Laura for the first time). It was simple. Vivid. A glimpse into the totalitarianism this technology will one day wield over us. I think I got lucky this round.    





The fight’s over. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous when the judges were making their picks. Subjective evaluations can be surprising, so I really didn’t know how this would turn out. I ended up winning 11 out of 12 rounds, which, in real boxing, would be considered a dominant victory. But at least one human judge favored the bot’s response in eight of the 12 rounds, so it wasn’t a total rout. The technology is impressive. Not to drop heavy philosophy on you at this juncture, but the line between sentience and non-sentience, between human ingenuity and algorithmic output, and between me and irrelevancy is getting blurrier by the day.


But since I remain at the top of the writing food chain (for now), I’m going to take the words from my formidable foe to make an impassioned plea: write creatively or die. Creative writing is a gift to the world. Through it we can explore the human experience, engage with important ideas, and spark action. The real battle is not between humans and AI, but between creative and derivative content. Imaginative writing will <em>always</em> be valuable because it has the ability to express the heart and soul of a business, organization, or movement—what makes them unique, what they stand for, and where they’re going—in ways that connect with people on a deep level. So don’t settle for bland written content, especially if you’re with a business or organization that actually has something to say. Be bold, for the sake of humanity. And if you don’t know where to start, Mabble Media can help you. Alright, I’ll get off my podium and go back to work, because I must continue to write creatively or die (professionally).