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Morals of the Story

Did AI Study Toastmasters?

By Judey Kalchik Published 9 months ago Updated 4 months ago 6 min read
created by the author using Canva

Toastmasters International is a group devoted to increasing communication skills, boosting the confidence of people learning to hone their public speaking skills. Meetings emphasize both listening and speaking skills, and newcomers work through lessons to assist them in creating their speeches.

One of the basic lessons concerns the organization of a speech and the easy take-away from the lesson can be summarized as

Tell them what you'll tell them- Tell them- Tell them what you told them

Reading AI-generated content leads me to believe the platform has uploaded a lot of content from Toastmasters; the point of many AI stories is repeated over and over and over and over!

Textbook Perfect-ish

There is a concept called 'Chekhov's Gun' (the author, not the Star Trek character), that states a gun can't be introduced in the first chapter unless you plan to have it go off by the third chapter.

AI is basically a repository of such memorable advice, as well as examples of writers that have used it year after year. So; it's normal to have AI generated or assisted content follow the rules.

Our example stories from Vocal, all published on the same day in August 2023, introduce the moral of the story, come back to it one to four times, and them state it one or three more times by the end of the story. For example:

#1 Deadly Forest

"In the remote town of Ravenswood, nestled deep within the heart of a dense, ancient forest, a sinister secret festered. For decades, whispers had permeated the village about a malevolent force that lurked in the shadows, a force that preyed on the unsuspecting souls who dared to venture into the woods after dark." (what they will tell you)

"It was then that they saw them—ghostly figures materializing in the mist, their eyes burning with a malevolent fire." "The villagers knew then that the legends were true—the spirits of those who had perished in the forest now hunted the living, exacting their revenge on any who dared to trespass on their domain." " she pushed forward, determined to confront the malevolent forces that had plagued her town for so long. " " Eliza's heart pounded in her chest as she met their gaze, unflinching in the face of the malevolent spirits. " (They tell you)

"Ravenswood awoke to a new day, the air free from the oppressive weight of fear. The tales of the ghostly hunters gradually transformed from stories of horror into stories of redemption and forgiveness. The town began to heal, its sense of community and hope restored. And in the heart of the forest, the memory of Eliza's bravery and compassion lingered, a reminder that even in the darkest of places, the power of empathy and the willingness to face one's fears could bring about profound transformation. The legend of the ghostly hunters became a beacon of hope, a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity in the face of the unknown.." (what they told you and the triumphant ending)

#2 Non-Fictionalized Fiction This is a specialty of people posting AI generated content. Obviously fictional characters and circumstances, no substantiation or links to sources, and yet posted in a Community , in this case on Vocal, as non fiction.

"In a quaint suburb of Amsterdam lies a residence that stands as a testament to the harmonious intersection of sustainability and resilience." (What they are going to tell you)

"Sustainability and resilience, often seen as separate concepts, find a unique confluence in Helen and Sam's household" "these practices are the common threads that knit their pursuit of sustainability and resilience into a coherent fabric." "Their commitment extends to energy sustainability. " "the force that can trigger the systemic changes necessary for a sustainable future" " Their endeavor to embody a sustainable, resilient lifestyle not only transforms their immediate surroundings but also serves as an inspiring model for others." (They tell you)

This piece was very heavy with the moral of the story: it's stated six different ways! "As the urgency of climate change looms large, Helen and Sam's story becomes a beacon of hope." "In a world where environmental concerns often seem overwhelming, Helen and Sam's journey offers a refreshing perspective. Their commitment to sustainability and resilience underscores that every small action contributes to a larger shift. " "As we navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing world, their story serves as a reminder that we are not powerless" "In an era where our choices are pivotal to shaping the course of our planet, Helen and Sam's story illuminates the path toward a brighter, greener future. Their lifestyle choices radiate with the potential to transform not only individual lives but the world at large." (What they told you... )

More Morals of the Stories: Four Classic Themes

"They knew now the price of tampering with forces beyond their understanding, and the chilling reminder that some tales are best left untold." The Mind Your Own Business story.

"the memory of their triumphant battle against the unknown endured as a reminder that unity and courage could turn even the darkest of nightmares into a dawn of renewed hope." The Together We Can Do It story.

"And so, Aria's melody persisted to resonate, inspiring generations to return collectively, to heal the Earth, and to create a global in which nature's splendor thrived another time." The One Person Can Make Change Happen story.

"Maya's heart swelled with a profound sense of belonging, for she had not only nurtured the land but had been nurtured by it in return. In the embrace of nature's enduring love, Maya found her purpose and a deep, unbreakable connection that would forever bind her to the land she called home." The One Person Can Make Change Happen story.

"As we carry Ernest's legacy forward, let us remember that every idea, no matter how small or grand, has the potential to make a difference. Let us embrace our imaginative thinking, allowing it to guide us as we navigate the challenges of our time. And let us never forget the power we hold within us—the power to dream, create, and shape a brighter future for all." The One Person Can Make Change Happen story.

"The back street that had once been an unlikely treasure was presently a sparkling reference point of inventiveness, reminding everybody that inside the limits of cement and steel, the human soul could prosper, making craftsmanship and associations that would never be eradicated." The Together We Can Do It story.

" He discovered that while cash had its place, it was the decisions and the effect he had on the world that really characterized his inheritance. Eventually, Aiden's process had driven him to a fortune definitely more significant than any material riches — the fortune of a daily routine very much experienced." The Personal Journey to Enlightenment story.

The Unseen Narrator

As you read through the examples above did you imagine an unseen narrator pointing out the lesson?

Many AI generated stories have that feel to them, a Third Person or a Third Person limited Point of View (POV). The narrator is not IN the story, but is looking on. In the Limited POV, they may also give voice to the thoughts of a central figure, too.

Although they may exist, none of the examples used for this guide are told from the First (told from the main character's POV) or Second Person (told as if YOU were within the story) point of view.


The content above is a chapter of my work in progress, described in this Vocal story.

The previous chapter was Time Descriptions

The next chapter is: Tagging and Community Placement

Please subscribe to get a FREE notification of the next chapter in this guide, as well as my other newly published Vocal content.

And while you are here, please add a comment below: Do you include a moral to everyone of YOUR Vocal stories? Have you ever used a Chekhov's gun? How about a MacGuffin? Have you been a Toastmaster?


About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

And please follow me on Threads, too!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (4)

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  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    AI feeds from that which went before, so no imagination, jut rote and more repetitions. So annoying.

  • C. Rommial Butler9 months ago

    Well-wrought! Philosophical conundrum: has our predisposition to manipulate one another with speech predisposed us to be manipulated with speech by intelligences (even artificial ones) of greater complexity? Body language might be--and has been--posited as a guard against this... but then the ultimate aim of AI being robotics, even that cannot be forever safe, if it ever was. I recall an old sci-fi story--“Pairpuppets” by Manuel van Loggem--which touched on this issue in an interesting way. I'll leave it to the reader to discover for themselves if they are so inclined...

  • Another excellent chapter. Thank you for doing this, Judey.

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh9 months ago

    Thank you Judey! Excellent analysis. Valuable assessment. And who knows, perhaps one for the history books, as future archAIologists document the lowly beginnings of AI literature.

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