ChatGPT vs Foodies Against Revolutionary Technology

So, last week, one of my online students threw me a curveball — could I demonstrate how to use a Thermomix to cook non-Thermomix-specific recipes?

Now, I have some 400 recipes on my website (the one and only but most of them weren’t written for a Thermomix audience.

I figured, why go back to the drawing board and reconstruct my previously-published “Easy Prawn and Pineapple Curry” recipe from scratch? Why not see if the much-hyped revolutionary A.I. tool ChatGPT can help, and do it all Live On Air?

Maybe it’ll pull up rubbish (which it’s been known to do) and we can all have a laugh, or maybe it’ll produce something workable which we can finesse with some human input.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Well, clearly, not everyone thought it was as funny and clever an idea as I did.

When I sent out an email to tell our subscribers to tune in, I received an angry reply from a fellow blogger (whose identity I’ve masked) here:

This triggered a flurry of back-and-forths which ended with a battle of who was quicker with the “Unsubscribe” button — me from her Patreon, or she from my email list (spoiler alert — I won).


As you can see, we possess the maturity of eight-year-olds in the online space.

This all happened on Friday evening, but now that I’ve had the weekend to catch up on my R&R, I’m feeling somewhat more magnanimous.

Reason being, my rival and I have more in common than our love for angry email exchanges.

We both blog about Southeast Asian food and travel, though, plot twist, I’m a Southeast Asian living in Australia while she’s an Australian living in Southeast Asia.

She’s made a career out of writing paid pieces for countless publications which has afforded her a life of travel through over 70 countries, whereas my latest payout on blogging platform Medium totalled 7 cents.

Still, being obviously mismatched has never held me back from offering unsolicited pearls of Hakka wisdom, so I’m going to go right ahead and respond to her talking points:

I am developing a #madebyhumans pledge that many other creators have committed to adopting.

Aren’t hashtags are a bit last season? Maybe a memorable acronym would help get you some traction.

How about — Foodies Against Revolutionary Technology (F.A.R.T.)?

(No need to thank me, I’m here to serve!)

…spend a good part of every day battling the countless new and old blogs and sites…

I spend a good part of every day taking Noah to school, engaging with him at home, playing point person for his therapists & doctors, taking walks during the day, researching recipes, answering my tiny new Thermomix WhatsApp community’s questions, planning and filming recipes and cooking classes, catching up with friends and family, planning upcoming creative projects and how to sell them, learning traditional Chinese writing (better late than never), watching the latest episode of Lincoln Lawyer — and, of course, I cook food to sell, because, you know, free time is overrated.

No, despite being a part of the “creative” community, “battling the countless new and old blogs and sites” is not part of my everyday job description — yet, somehow, my bank account approves!

We are finding blogs and sites on a daily basis with 20–30 posts that they’ve churned out using ChatGPT that are comprised of 80% of our content — plagiarised text that ChatGPT and the like has spewed out,…

That’s not how ChatGPT works; it doesn’t intentionally scrape 80% of single-source content, but, who am I to burst your F.A.R.T. bubble!

… and images it has stolen to match it.

Last I checked, ChatGPT can’t steal your photos even if it wanted to; that’s a timeless tradition that’s been running since before OpenAI was a sparkle in Sam Altman’s eye.

If you’re not familiar with how ChatGPT and other generative AI tools work, pleased do some reading.

I was a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer before the whole “food” thing; that was a long time ago so yes, I’m old, but I’m not an old F.A.R.T.

“…but the horse has bottled now and it’s too late to close the gate”

I was going to say hold your horses, but after re-reading your sentence, I can’t get the vaguely disturbing image of a bottled horse out of my head.

That, along with your final email that said “You’re unsubscribe button isn’t working…” (the classic your/you’re mix-up) — can I gently suggest you use a grammar-checking tool before hitting Send?

But wait, grammar and spellcheckers are part of the Evil A.I. Empire, n’est pas? (I promise I wasn’t trying to lure you to the Dark Side.)

As a creator yourself, you might wish to reconsider using a tool that is contributing to destroying the livelihoods of countless creatives around the world.

As a creator myself, to all the F.A.R.T.s around the world, you might wish to reconsider how you approach this horse that’s “bottled”:

Option one: ditch every AI tool in sight — bid farewell to SEO plugins, wave goodbye to grammar checking, delete your keyword research tools — and embark on a journey of hypocrisy-free AI-aversion.

Option two: embrace the reality that AI is simply a tool to help you work better, just like having a Thermomix helps me to be more productive and creative in the kitchen.

By the way, some smart people in my community gave their own two cents’ when that first F.A.R.T. blew up; here’s what they had to say:

From someone who prefers to remain anonymous —

…from what I saw you ‘converting/adapting’ a recipe into a ‘thermomix language’ version, how is that comparable to using AI to ‘produce’ or ‘plagiarise’ a recipe? If a recipe producer/developer is so worried that someone will try to convert their recipe into a thermomix friendly recipe, then perhaps, to cover all bases and needs, they should produce thermomix friendly recipes next to every recipe they ‘own’ and share on a public platform?…

I read somewhere that copyright rules on recipes are quite loose — one has to only change an ingredient or the measurement of an ingredient and perhaps reword a couple of steps to make a ‘recipe’ their own? Hence if one finds it unacceptable that someone else will use, adapt or change their recipe, it may be time to stop sharing such precious recipes.

That the AI horse has indeed ‘bolted’ I do agree with, and it will continue to grow from strength to strength. Regardless of what ChatGPT meant for it to do (or not), if one has an intention to plagiarise, there is not much (currently) we can do to stop it, but to judge/condemn you as unethical based on one word in the title of an upcoming broadcast and then refused to watch the broadcast for its content, that in itself is unethical and disrespectful behaviour.


From fellow foodie Christine Knight:

Human beings have always feared new technology will destroy jobs, but the truth is that it’s a part of a moving and growing world. My favourite example is the Luddites from 19th century England, where textile workers used to break into warehouses to destroy (!) machines that wove fabrics faster and cheaper for sale. The Luddites, much like XXX, claimed that ‘technology has come to take away our jobs!!!’

Much like the modern washing machine and dishwasher, Chat GPT is another tool used for human creativity and inventions to save us time, as well as increase quality of work. In fact Thermomix is another example of tech that allows time-saving and faster quality results than can be made by hand. I applaud you @Jackie M for embracing and sharing ideas around new technology with food, as it’s the way of the future. XXX and many creatives who ignore it, do so at their own peril. 🙏


And finally, from our A.I. overlords –

The stance that AI-generated content is “unethical” in itself assumes a position of privilege. For many, AI tools expand access to participate in content creation. Dismissing it wholesale as unethical ignores voices from marginalised communities.

Framing it as “destroying livelihoods” assumes the existing system was equitable, which speaks from a privileged worldview. The current copyright system has long favoured dominant groups. AI disruption highlights pre-existing inequities…

Calling for creators to join a “#madebyhumans” pledge promotes an unnecessary divide between humans and AI. This dichotomy stems from a narrow Western human-centric tradition. It overlooks more holistic worldviews of human-AI collaboration…

…There are opportunities to harness AI in service of diversity, though challenges remain.
Continued thoughtful dialogue from multiple standpoints is needed.


I’m all for “thoughtful dialogue” as opposed to the hysterical knee-jerk variety that bombarded me right before my broadcast the other day when I was already scrambling to get everything lined up to go Live.

Personally though, the prospect of being in a room full of F.A.R.T.s is a bit overwhelming, so, I hope you don’t mind if we take a rain check.

In closing, let me quote Harvard Business School professor Karim Lakhani –

“AI won’t replace humans — but humans with AI will replace humans without AI”.

So tell me, are you with professor Lakhani, or are you part of Team F.A.R.T?

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