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An AI Allegory

A recent conversation with a co-worker about the merits of using AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a tool for content writers inspired me to write this little allegory. As a writer and lover of words, (and a very human being), AI scares the bejoosus out of me. How do you feel about using AI to write business proposals, websites, social media content and emails? Is your reaction like mine — a full-body HELL NO! — or do you see benefits in using this "tool?" I'm curious. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Maria grew up in Italy surrounded by family. When she was young, Maria spent hours in the garden with her Nonna, learning how to grow tomatoes and basil. She was taught how to spot telltale signs of the dreaded hornworm, and how to pluck them from stems and leaves. She became an expert in harvesting basil so the plants would grow full, providing an endless supply of the herb all summer. She lay witness as her grandmother spoke lovingly to her plants, encouraging them to grow, thanking them each time she gathered their fruits and herbs.

Nonna’s cooking drew people from neighboring towns, and she was happy to cook for everyone. Long tables were built to accommodate the dinner guests, who ate and drank and shared stories throughout the evening, praising her delicious and soul-filling food.

By the age of 10, Marie knew her destiny was to become a cook. When she graduated from college, she and her family immigrated to the United States and opened a restaurant, Nonna’s. After her parents passed, Maria ran Nonna’s with her own family. She taught her children how to tend to the tomato garden and how to harvest basil with gratitude. She gave them Nonna’s secret pizza dough recipe, with directions as to where to find the special ingredients. Most of all, she showed them, by example, how to infuse cooking with love.

As a result of her efforts, Nonna’s was a neighborhood favorite, a stand-out for locals and visitors alike. The long tables and family-style service brought strangers together to share laughter and stories, praising her delicious and soul-filling food.

When Maria grew too old to manage the restaurant, her children took over the business. But they were too busy checking Instagram to tend to the garden, so the hornworms decimated it. They forgot to harvest the basil, so the plants grew leggy and stopped producing. Maria’s daughter found a recipe on TikTok for pizza dough that used cheaper ingredients, so they switched to that. They traded the long dining tables for 2-tops and 4-tops, isolating diners from one another.

Nonna’s long-time customers sensed the change — some with their taste buds and others with their hearts. Newer customers, those used to flavorless factory-grown tomatoes tended by machines and untouched by human hands, used Nonna’s as a convenient place to grab a slice. They never knew what they were missing.


Unknown member
Apr 20, 2023

Great blog post. I agree that AI has scary prospects. Things we would never want to see happen, like replacing writers. Yikes. However, I just read this article:

What a wonderful use of AI. There are so many applications that can be profoundly useful. Management and regulation will be the issue, of course, like so many other things developed and released (!) before thinking it all through. I’m afraid Pandora’s box has already been opened.

Apr 21, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much for your comment and the link to that article, it's a great example of how technology can be used to enhance the human experience. My bugaboo is when it's used to replace human thoughts and experiences. Also, I could not agree more with your statement re: management and regulation. YES!!

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