In a world where many people harbour dreams of writing their own book, few see those dreams materialise. For Yasmine Karimi, a 20-year-old French-Moroccan expat, this aspiration became a reality. She now boasts a memoir that not only chronicles her own life journey but also unveils the intricate narrative of her family's history.

However, what sets her endeavour apart is a unique plot twist. Instead of navigating the daunting task of writing a manuscript all alone, Karimi, who was 19 at the time, chose an unconventional collaborator to pen her autobiography—ChatGPT.

“My interest in artificial intelligence (AI)has been constant since my early teens, particularly after the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022. It was then that I delved deeper into exploring the potential applications of this technology, especially the capabilities of large language models (LLMs),” says Karimi, who’s currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Finance from Sciences Po Paris (The Paris Institute of Political Studies) in France.

Co-written by ChatGPT

The seamless integration of AI into our daily lives raises intriguing questions about its role in personal storytelling. How deeply can AI delve into authentically representing personal experiences? A question that sparked Karimi’s curiosity, leading her to probe the boundaries of what ChatGPT could accomplish in co-authoring a narrative as personal and nuanced as her own life journey.

“While I observed that others had utilised the technology to write fictional works for commercial purposes, my intention was different. No one had yet ventured to use AI to craft an autobiographical narrative. This presented an exciting opportunity for experimentation and encouraged me to write the memoir,” says Karimi.

Titled 19, the first-of-its-kind memoir comprises personal anecdotes spanning three generations of the family. From her grandparents who endured the hardships of the 60s and 70s, facing extreme poverty in Morocco, to her parents, who moved to Dubai when Karimi was four, the memoir showcases her unique life story. Being exposed to diverse cultures growing up in the UAE also forms an integral part of this narrative.

“There's no such thing as being a stranger here because everyone comes from somewhere else, bringing along their own background, culture, and story. Despite this rich diversity, I feel a strong sense of unity and purpose. It’s like we’re all moving in the same direction, collectively working towards achieving a better life,” she adds.

‘More of a collaborator than a tool'

Giving voice to stories that might otherwise remain untold—this is the power of AI. “It’s more of a collaborator than just a tool,” says Karimi. “Typically, a tool is something that performs a single task, but ChatGPT goes way beyond that. It's almost as if you're engaging in a conversation back and forth with it.”

According to the young author, generative AI doesn't diminish or hinder our intelligence or creativity but can instead help amplify human potential. “In fact, I see generative AI as even more powerful because it acts as an equaliser. For the first time, individuals who may not have strong writing skills or access to traditional publishing resources are able to write a book on their own,” says Karimi.

19 hours, 19 chapters

What’s astonishing is that with 19 chapters in the book—one for each year she has lived—it only took Karimi 19 hours to write the elaborate memoir. “The methodology was quite straightforward. It began like any conversation with ChatGPT, with a prompt. Within that prompt, I provided personal data.”

Karimi began the writing journey by feeding ChatGPT with information about the stories of her parents and grandparents as well as data about herself. “I submitted cover letters, emails, and tweets that I had written, showcasing my unique writing style. I also included photos of myself and images of places I had lived in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so it could add depth to the narrative.”

Through specific prompts, she then instructed ChatGPT to identify 19 important moments that would constitute the 19 chapters. “I instructed it to capture my writing style and replicate it throughout the 19 chapters, through adopting an iterative approach based on feedback loops,” says Karimi, who used GPT4 to create the memoir.


Signifying a notable advancement in the realm of AI, GPT4 stands as the latest version of Generative Pre-trained Transformers, a class of deep learning models specialising in natural language processing and text generation. “In GPT4, you can submit photos, and it can also generate images. Even the cover of my book was entirely generated by GPT4. It costs $20 per month, but it's definitely worth it,” says Karimi.

Highlighting the biggest difference she observed in the latest version versus the older one, she points out, “GPT4 seems more human than ever before. It has more depth, and its ability to convey emotions is significantly enhanced”.

“There's a particular passage where it describes my childhood years, growing up in Abu Dhabi, near a corniche. I was really surprised by how it described the whole experience with such emotion, it makes me teary-eyed each time I read it. It's so accurate,” says Karimi, adding that she was amazed at how ChatGPT conveyed the scene even better than she would.

“I remember as a child, whenever I looked out the window, I was always amazed by the view, and the description captured that feeling perfectly.”

Can AI aid in the creative process?

The influence of generative AI in storytelling transcends the mere benefits of time optimisation and efficiency, challenging and expanding our traditional understanding of creativity, once believed to be solely human territory.

“People imagined that AI would initially come with arms and legs, essentially in the form of robotics, primarily working in manufacturing, factories, and similar settings. We now realise that with the advent of AI, creativity is the first domain to be disrupted,” says Karimi. “AI has the capability to generate content, images, music, and other creations that were previously unfathomable. It's already disrupting creativity and storytelling.”

Karimi argues that just because her book was written through the help of ChatGPT, doesn't make it of any less value. “Books can be written by humans, they can be written by AI, and they can be written by both AI and humans. Just as we can have art—like paintings or digital art—that can be created by both humans and AI. One doesn't exclude the other,” says Karimi.

“Ultimately, it's up to the market, whether it's the art market or the book market, to determine value. The law of supply and demand will naturally determine what has more value, and what doesn't have value.”

‘No shame in using ChatGPT’

When contemplating the impact of AI on the workforce, one should express a sense of cautious optimism, believes Karimi. “We are not going to find ourselves without jobs,” she adds. “But AI could replace certain types of jobs, the more repetitive ones.”

Karimi believes this trend could actually be quite beneficial, serving as a “liberating force”. “Instead of being occupied with highly automated and repetitive tasks, people might shift their focus towards more creative pursuits. Humans have a knack for discovering new occupations, so I'm optimistic about our ability to adapt. However, the transition period could pose some challenges, so its better to tread with caution,” says Karimi.

Establishing a framework, either at the regulatory or organisational level, to help anticipate and address potential challenges before they arise is of utmost importance, argues Karimi.

“It's inevitable that technology will continue to progress, so there’s a critical need to educate people about this transition. People need to be educated on how to use such tools effectively, including how to write better prompts and optimise their output. There's no shame in using tools like ChatGPT. You can’t fight the wave, you just have to embrace it,” she signs off.

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