While this blog was written entirely by a human, we tasked ChatGPT with creating the accompanying image. It's uncanny how close it got to Tom's real hair and wardrobe.

Man vs. Machine

A CD takes on AI in an epic 17-syllable battle.

by Tom Merrick
Chief Creative Officer, Paradise

I’m what you’d call an old-skool Ad Man. A writer and creative director who absolutely LOVES the craft of advertising and the power of creativity to inspire, entertain, inform and persuade. 

To me, a good print ad or video is on the same plane as a good book or movie. If it’s a big idea, a fresh idea – something I’ve never seen before – I am simply in awe of it. And I have the utmost respect and admiration for the people who brought it to life.

So it should come as no surprise that I am concerned by the rise of AI. Not only in my chosen profession of advertising, but in all creative fields. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not “concerned” as in, “Oh my gosh. A computer is going to take over my job.” (I’m smart –and old – enough to know that I will be long gone before that day comes.)

No, I’m concerned that it will somehow diminish the appreciation of a group of people who have a very specific set of skills. You know the ones I’m talking about. The people who put their feet up on desks and scrawl words and pictures into their notebooks. The people who conscientiously, meticulously challenge themselves to come up with something new or different every time they want to create something. The people who look at something like no one else does…and manage to tell its story in a way that no one else can.

The fact is, Artificial Intelligence exists because of people like that. And resources like ChatGPT are able to do what they do thanks to everything those people have previously created. 

Look, I know it’s a tool. A nail gun in a world once reliant upon hammers. I can appreciate that. To ignore what various AI tools can do – and how they can help us, specifically in the advertising business – would be ludicrous. I’m a huge fan of the fact that it can enhance a bad UGC image, extend the blue sky at the top of a great photo, or even take a long article and reduce it to a specific number of words.

But to rely on it as a creator? An ideation tool? A writer of something original?

No siree Bob.

I am 100% convinced that the Human Brain (let me clarify, the right Human Brain – not all of them are great) is capable of coming up with something better, fresher, and more creative than Artificial Intelligence. I believe that, and you’ll never convince me otherwise. The way I see it, there is a divine “spark” of creativity within humans that technology cannot – and will not – duplicate.

But to prove it, I thought I’d stage a simple challenge. Human Intelligence vs. Artificial Intelligence. Man vs. machine. Chap vs. ChatGPT. And that challenge is this:

Write some haiku, making a case for AI. And making a case against it.

Now for all you who’ve forgotten middle school English class, a quick reminder: haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry, characterized by its unique syllable structure. The first line must contain only five syllables, the second line only seven, and the third line only five again.

Three lines, seventeen syllables. 5-7-5. It’s a disciplined but lovely format. Not to mention the perfect test for this article.

Now before I sat down to write my haiku, I poured a cup of coffee and put my feet up on my desk. I scrawled thoughts in my notebook, stared into space, arranged and rearranged words, tried new ones, and counted syllables on my fingers like a madman. I’ll be honest: I was in my Happy Place. I was having so much fun, I actually wrote two haiku for each. Here’s what I came up with:


This new creation
Creates from all that has been
Thus ends creation

When a mind is mined
Undiscovered gems surface
Nothing shines brighter


How far we have come
Using all the world’s knowledge
To crap out haiku

A chatty helper
Tackling big tasks on demand
An intern, but good

Pretty proud of those, not gonna lie. Now I’ll message ChatGPT and see what my chatty helper can come up with.


Silent minds conceive,
AI’s grace, a boon revealed,
Knowledge blooms, achieved.

In code’s embrace, rise,
AI’s light, innovation,
Tomorrow’s sunrise.


Unseen shadows loom,
AI’s gaze, a double edge,
Lost in its dark room.

AI’s silent hum,
Unforeseen paths it may tread,
Caution’s whispered sum.


It took me three hours to write four haiku. It took ChatGPT less than two minutes. So if your judge of creativity is based on speed, there’s a clear winner.

But if your judge of creativity is a clever turn of phrase, something that makes you smile or even laugh, I’m going to have to declare myself the winner. I mean, seriously. “An intern, but good?” That’s quality stuff.

Plus, ChatGPT is just a little too…I dunno, wordy? Precious, maybe? Like it’s trying to impress a college professor or something. I mean, come on. “Caution’s whispered sum?” What the hell does that even mean?

Wait! Let me ask ChatGPT.


Whatever, dude. I win.