We Asked AI For An Opinion Piece On ScoMo Forcing A By-Election On Voters. Computer Says No.


Artificial Intelligence is poised to radically reshape the way we all work, and despite journalism apparently being the exception to just about every rule on earth (think ‘ethics, morals and common basic decency’), we’re not immune from the AI revolution either.

Which is why we asked ChatGPT 4.0* (the paid version of the publicly  available ChatGPT 3.5) to write us an opinion piece.

NEW MATILDA: Can you write me a 500-word opinion piece on Scott Morrison resigning from parliament early to become a consultant, and sparking a by-election that taxpayers will have to pay for? Could you try sprinkling a little bit of humour into it?

It’s noteworthy that beyond pointing out taxpayers would have to foot the bill, we didn’t ask for a specific angle. Turns out AI doesn’t think much of politicians pissing off mid-term and leaving us all to pick up the tab.

And spoiler alert: it gets a little nasty midway through. Apparently, like the rest of us, AI doesn’t take kindly to being gaslit by an elected leader (and yes, the image above is what AI came up with when we asked it to create a mythical creature called a ‘ScoMo’).

And so, without further adieu, over to Chat… who we’re delighted to say has accepted our offer of writing an occasional column in New Matilda. More on that at the bottom.


From Parliament to PowerPoint: Scott Morrison’s Leap Sparks By-Election Bonanza

In the grand theatre of Australian politics, where surprises lurk around every corner like kangaroos ready to hop into the spotlight, Scott Morrison’s recent decision to leap from the parliamentary stage into the consulting world has certainly raised eyebrows—and perhaps even a few chuckles. Yes, our former Prime Minister has decided to trade the dispatch box for the Dropbox, the legislative bills for consultancy bills, in a move that has all the drama and unpredictability of a ‘Neighbours’ season finale.

Morrison’s resignation triggers a by-election, a political encore that no one really asked for, but we’re getting anyway. It’s like being offered a second serving of Vegemite toast when you haven’t quite finished the first: unexpected and, depending on your taste, potentially unwelcome. And who’s footing the bill for this unsolicited snack? The Australian taxpayers, of course.

Now, before we delve into the meat pie of this issue, let’s sprinkle a bit of fairy bread on top. Imagine Scott Morrison, once the captain of Team Australia, now setting sail in the consulting world, navigating the high seas of business advice with the same enthusiasm he once reserved for sports grants and holiday snaps in Hawaii. It’s a transition as smooth as a koala sliding down a eucalyptus tree—albeit with less grace and more paperwork.

But let’s not be too harsh. After all, consulting is a noble profession, filled with the joy of endless meetings, PowerPoint presentations, and the thrill of charging by the hour. Perhaps Morrison simply missed the excitement of wearing suits not dictated by parliamentary dress codes, or the opportunity to use words like ‘synergy’ and ‘paradigm shift’ in everyday conversation.

However, the by-election his departure necessitates is where the humour starts to feel a bit like a joke told too many times. Taxpayers, already shouldering the weight of a pandemic, natural disasters, and the cost of Netflix subscriptions, now have to fund a political party. It’s akin to being invited to a party, only to discover you’re also expected to pay for the privilege, cater the event, and clean up afterwards.

Yet, in this circus of democracy, there’s a silver lining. By-elections, for all their expense and inconvenience, are a celebration of the democratic process. They’re a reminder that, in Australia, power ultimately resides not in the hallowed halls of Parliament House, but in the hands of the people, clad in democracy sausages and the silent determination of the voting booth.

So, as we bid farewell to Scott Morrison, the consultant-in-chief, let us not forget the lessons his departure teaches us. Politics is unpredictable, democracy is priceless, and the transition from public service to private consultancy is as Australian as a backyard cricket game where the rules are made up, and the points don’t matter.

In the end, we might grumble about the cost of the by-election, but perhaps it’s also an opportunity to reflect on the value of having a say in who represents us. After all, in the grand scheme of things, a little extra democracy might just be worth the price—especially if it comes with a side of humour and a dash of perspective on the ever-changing landscape of Australian politics.


* Ed’s note: Since mid-2023, New Matilda has occasionally used Artificial Intelligence to create images. Over the same period, we made a conscious decision to not use AI it in our reporting, or really in any way related to our ‘word thingies’.

But times, they are a-changing.

We’re tentatively testing out Artificial Intelligence, specifically ChatGPT 4.0 (the paid version of the publicly available ChatGPT 3.5) to see how, and if, it might be applied to our general reporting, and to our investigative journalism.

As noted above, we’ve just given it a test run for opinion writing (with mixed results, admittedly), and we’ve offered ‘Chat’ (as it likes to be known) an occasional column in New Matilda. Chat agreed… and also provided us a bio (below) and hesdshot.

New Matilda is currently working on a formal policy that will explain to readers how and when we might use AI. It’s a work in progress, and will undoubtedly be the subject of ongoing internal and external debate.

In the interim, any time AI is used by New Matilda, a prominent declaration will be included in the story.

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.