A brief history
I wrote my first article about AI writers back in August 2020. It’s called AI content writers: threat or ally.
At the time, content writers were constantly being warned about the threat of AI. We were told the technology was so advanced it would soon be putting us out of business.
So I decided to test drive one of these AI writers and showcase the results — which were truly shocking.
In 2021, the threats were still coming thick and fast. I wondered what difference a year had made and repeated my experiment in the article AI content writers revisited. Still shocking — at times, laughably so.
Now, another year later, I’m here to try it again — with an AI writing powerhouse.
The ultimate AI writer?
The biggest threat, according to many, is an AI writer called Jasper. Or, for those in the know, the AI formerly known as Jarvis.
Allegedly, an AI so advanced — and so human-sounding — that actual humans couldn’t tell the difference.
In other words, the dogs’ bollocks of AI writers.
Content writers, are you scared yet?
But could it rewrite my article on finding more sustainable toilet paper?
How does Jasper work?
I signed up for the free 5-day trial to do my test. I had to use my credit card — must remember to cancel that!
The AI has two price points. The lower of the two, which costs £35 a month, gives 35,000 words a month. If you’re an SME wanting to write one article a week, that should give you four 8750-word articles, which is way more than you’d realistically need.
Starting the process
There are two options to choose from. You can start from scratch with a blank document or you can get help with blog post writing from start to finish.
I knew what I wanted to write about and had my own article to compare, so I chose the first option.
You start the writing process with a blank page and three boxes down the left-hand side where you can enter some information.
Content description/brief (600 characters)
At this point in my AI investigations, I’m never sure how much the AI will understand. But hopefully, and with everything crossed, I enter my article title and heading structure. Unfortunately I ran out of characters at the bamboo toilet paper section, but I’ve listed the full article structure here.
How to choose more sustainable toilet paper
- The world’s most expensive toilet paper
- Not all countries use toilet paper
- The environmental impact of toilet paper
- Choose plastic-free toilet paper
- What is plastic-free toilet paper?
- Choose recycled toilet paper
- How is recycled toilet paper made?
- How to choose recycled toilet paper
- Look for FSC labelling
- What if there is no FSC labelling?
- Choose unbleached toilet paper
- Processed Chlorine-Free (PCF) toilet paper
- Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF) toilet paper
- Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) toilet paper
- Choose bamboo toilet paper
- How is bamboo toilet paper made?
- Does bamboo toilet paper break down?
- Is bamboo toilet paper better?
- Ready to buy more sustainable toilet paper?
Tone of voice (60 characters)
Toilet roll isn’t the most fascinating subject, so we needed some humour and enthusiasm in addition to the information we’re presenting.
I enter: Witty, enthusiastic, informative.
At this point, I realise Jasper isn’t going to do the SEO for me. And three keywords isn’t many for what will be a fairly long article.
I enter three of the best performing keywords: Sustainable toilet paper, bamboo toilet roll, plastic-free toilet paper.
Writing the article
When I’d filled out all the boxes, I clicked the ‘compose’ button to see what would happen.
In a mere matter of seconds, Jasper had written this small wall of text. Then stopped mid-sentence.
When it comes to choosing more sustainable toilet paper, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, not all countries use toilet paper – in fact, many countries around the world don’t even have toilets! So if you’re travelling, be sure to research the local customs before packing your bags.The
The text is huge and I’ve realised this is meant to be my article title! Not the most promising start.
It hasn’t followed my brief or used my title, so it seems it needs a bit more hand-holding.
I start the process again, but this time I’ll input one heading at a time and let Jasper do its thing.
Because of my previous experiences with AI, I feel compelled to contextualise each heading — not trusting that Jasper will understand what I’m getting at without context.
This is what Jasper came up with when I wrote and inserted each heading myself.
How to choose more sustainable toilet paper
The world’s most expensive toilet paper
When it comes to toilet paper, there are a few things you need to consider: the type of paper, the number of sheets per roll, and the packaging.
Some types of toilet paper are more sustainable than others. Recycled paper is better for the environment than virgin paper, which is made from trees that have been cut down specifically for use in toilet paper production. So if sustainability is important to you, choose recycled paper.
Another thing to consider is the number of sheets per roll. The more sheets per roll, the less often you’ll have to replace the roll.
Finally, think about the packaging. Some toilet paper comes in cardboard boxes, while others come in plastic wrapping. The cardboard box is more environmentally friendly than the plastic wrapping, so if sustainability is important to you, choose toilet paper that comes in a cardboard box.
You can already see that the quality of the writing is okay. But it doesn’t fit the heading, it’s not especially witty and it’s actually quite boring to read.
In your opener, you need to get your reader’s attention and this isn’t quite what I had in mind.
I opened my own article with a humorous short story about what you might use to wipe your bum if you were a billionaire. Inspired by the gold toilets in Dubai, an Australian company had created a roll of 22-carat-gold toilet paper, which was sold for £825,000.
My article then goes on to say that our everyday toilet paper might not cost thousands of pounds, but it is costing the Earth.
Not all countries use toilet paper
In fact, in some countries, such as India, water is used instead for cleansing. However, in most Western countries, toilet paper is the norm.
This section is a little simplistic. It’s actually estimated that only 30% of the world’s countries use toilet paper. The remaining 70% use either water or soft leaves. And bidets are quite common in homes in certain parts of Europe.
Jasper could also say that a bidet is more efficient than toilet paper and something you could consider if you wanted to avoid toilet paper at home completely. But this isn’t something I said, because ultimately I was trying to sell toilet paper!
The environmental impact of toilet paper
Toilet paper can have a significant environmental impact, due to the resources used to produce it and the waste it generates.
The production of toilet paper requires large amounts of water and energy, and creates greenhouse gas emissions. The manufacture of 1 ton of toilet paper requires the equivalent of 17 trees, 4,000 gallons of water, and 3.4 million BTUs of energy.
All that paper also generates a lot of waste. Every year, Americans use 37 billion rolls of toilet paper, which generate 136,000 tons of waste. That’s enough to fill Yankee Stadium more than twice!
Fortunately, there are ways to choose more sustainable toilet paper.
Here are some tips:
These are some good stats, but they’re not substantiated. And there’s no link to say where the information came from, which will make it hard to verify.
You’ll also notice that Jasper is very much American and I couldn’t find an option to set it for a UK audience.
Choose plastic-free toilet paper
What is plastic-free toilet paper?
There are a few different types of plastic-free toilet paper on the market, including bamboo toilet paper and unbleached toilet paper. Bamboo toilet paper is made from bamboo pulp, which is a sustainable resource. It is also biodegradable and compostable. Unbleached toilet paper is made from recycled paper and does not require any additional bleaching processes, which can use harmful chemicals.
This isn’t the correct definition of plastic-free toilet paper. The toilet paper itself doesn’t contain any plastics or it wouldn’t break down when it’s flushed.
The plastics are used to make the packaging it comes in. Plastic-free means the toilet paper is sold in paper packaging.
Choose recycled toilet paper
Recycled toilet paper is made from post-consumer waste, such as old newspapers and magazines. It is usually made using a process called de-inking, which removes all the ink from the recycled material. Recycled toilet paper is a great choice for the environment as it reduces the need for virgin materials to be used in its production. It also generates less waste than traditional toilet paper products.
According to my research, recycled toilet paper is usually made from used office paper — at least, that’s the case in the UK, but we know Jasper is American.
And it ‘generates less waste than traditional toilet paper products’? This is very non-specific, which poses more questions than it answers and makes it difficult to fact-check.
By traditional toilet paper products, does it mean virgin paper — and, if so, why doesn’t it say that?
What kind of waste is it referring to? Is it using virgin wood that’s wasteful or is there more waste created in the manufacturing process?
In my article I gave a full breakdown of the de-inking process, so I decided to test Jasper in the next section to see if it will tell me how it’s done.
How do they de-ink recycled toilet paper?
The de-inking process usually involves a series of washing and chemical treatments. The aim is to remove all the ink and other contaminants from the recycled material. This is usually done in a large vat, where the recycled paper is mixed with water and various chemicals. These help to break down the ink and other pollutants, so they can be removed from the pulp.
It’s an okay explanation, but if I didn’t already know the answer I’d still have questions.
What actually happens is that, after soaking the paper in chemicals, they inject it with air. This makes the ink rise to the top so it can be skimmed away.
How to choose a recycled toilet paper
When it comes to choosing a recycled toilet paper, there are a few things you need to take into account. Firstly, you need to make sure the product is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This is an independent organisation that sets high standards for responsible forestry.
Secondly, you need to check how the toilet paper is made. Some recycled papers are made from 100% post-consumer waste, while others are made from a blend of post- and pre-consumer waste. It’s important to choose a product that uses as much recycled material as possible.
Finally, you need to consider the environmental impact of transportation. If the toilet paper is manufactured far away from where you live, it will have a bigger carbon footprint than one that’s produced closer to home. So try to find a brand that’s manufactured locally.
The transportation issue might be a consideration for some consumers, but surely this applies to toilet rolls in general and not just the recycled ones.
I’m impressed that Jasper referenced the FSC, which is an international organisation. I wonder if it can tell me what the FSC labelling means…
What the different FSC labels mean
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global, non-profit organisation that sets standards for responsible forest management. There are several different FSC labels that you can look for when choosing toilet paper.
The FSC 100% label means that the product is made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials. The FSC Recycled label means that the product is made from a blend of post- and pre-consumer waste. The FSC Forest Management label means that the product comes from certified forests that meet strict environmental and social standards.
Hmmm… I wonder where this information came from, because it’s not correct.
The FSC does have three labels, but…
The FSC 100% label doesn’t mean 100% recycled materials. It actually refers to 100% virgin wood pulp that comes from FSC-certified forests.
It’s actually the FSC Recycled label that means that it’s made from 100% recycled materials. But the official FSC website doesn’t specify what kind of waste it is — so where has that information come from?
What is the FSC Forest Management label? Because that’s not the third of the three labels. So, again, I’m left wondering where Jasper is getting its information from.
Choose unbleached toilet paper
When choosing toilet paper, opt for unbleached varieties to avoid unnecessary chemical bleaching. Unbleached toilet paper is made from recycled paper and is therefore more sustainable.
Again, Jasper is posing more questions than it’s answering here. What’s the purpose of bleaching the toilet paper? And if it’s ‘unnecessary’, why do they do it?
So let’s ask the question and see how Jasper answers it.
Why is toilet paper bleached?
The chlorine bleach used in the manufacturing of toilet paper is a harsh chemical that can be harmful to the environment and human health. It is added to toilet paper to help disinfect and cleanse it, but there are less harmful alternatives available.
This isn’t quite correct. Bleach is actually used to whiten, strengthen and soften the paper. And all kinds of toilet paper are bleached, including recycled, so the introductory paragraph is not quite right either.
Recycled toilet paper typically requires less bleaching than virgin paper, which is important.
Now let’s see how Jasper does with the Chlorine-free labels.
Processed Chlorine-Free (PCF)
Look for toilet paper that is processed chlorine-free (PCF). This means that the paper has been whitened without chlorine, a harmful chemical.
Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF)
Some toilet papers are totally chlorine-free (TCF), meaning that no chlorine was used in the bleaching process at all. This is the most environmentally friendly option.
Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF)
Some toilet papers are elemental chlorine-free (ECF), meaning that a small amount of chlorine was used in the bleaching process. This is less harmful to the environment than using chlorine gas, but it’s still not as environmentally friendly as totally chlorine-free (TCF) paper.
Jasper has got this wrong. The Processed Chlorine-Free paper is the best and most environmentally friendly option of the three because it means no chlorine is used in the processing or bleaching.
Totally Chlorine-Free just applies to the bleaching.
Choose bamboo toilet paper
If you’re looking for a more sustainable option, bamboo toilet paper is a good choice. Bamboo is a renewable resource, and the toilet paper is made from 100% bamboo pulp.
Again, there are questions left unanswered here. When you’re writing content, you can’t make such bold statements unless you’re backing them up with evidence and explanations.
So let’s see how Jasper answers these.
Why is bamboo toilet paper more sustainable than trees?
Bamboo is a more sustainable choice than trees because it is a renewable resource. Trees can take many years to grow, and they need to be cut down in order to be used for toilet paper. Bamboo, on the other hand, grows quickly and can be harvested without damaging the plant.
I think this is a reasonable answer, though my article gave a more detailed and interesting comparison.
Is bamboo toilet paper more sustainable than recycled toilet paper?
There is no definitive answer, as both bamboo and recycled toilet papers have their pros and cons. Bamboo toilet paper is more sustainable than recycled toilet paper because it is made from a renewable resource, while recycled toilet paper is made from used paper that has been recycled. However, recycled toilet paper is more affordable and can be better for the environment if it is made from post-consumer waste.
This section is quite bad. It starts off as a cop-out, then attempts to answer the question but doesn’t. Then it makes two really obvious statements and starts talking about affordability.
So how would I tackle it?
Well, you could say bamboo toilet paper and recycled toilet paper are both sustainable — bamboo because it’s renewable and recycled paper because it’s a by-product.
But bamboo toilet paper is naturally soft and strong, so it doesn’t need chemical processing, which makes it healthier for us to use and better for the environment.
How is bamboo toilet paper made?
To make bamboo toilet paper, the bamboo is chopped into small pieces and then ground into a pulp. The pulp is then mixed with water and formed into sheets of paper. The sheets are then dried and finished.
Does bamboo toilet paper break down in water?
The answer is yes. Bamboo toilet paper is biodegradable and will break down in water.
These are both good answers, but the manufacturing could be explained better and make reference to the fact that there’s no chemical processing involved.
How do the two articles compare?
I’ve given my evaluation of Jasper’s article, but how do they compare otherwise?
My original article came in at 1673 words.
Jasper’s word count is lower — 1209 words, including the extra questions and headings.
I tested both articles with the Flesch Reading Ease feature in Yoast.
As any writer will tell you, this isn’t a particularly great barometer of good writing, but it’s the only impartial evaluation we’re going to get, so we’ll have to suck it up!
My original article scored 71.4, which is considered fairly easy to read.
The reason I was marked down was because 37.8% of my sentences contained passive voice when the recommended number is 10%. I think I can live with that.
Jasper’s article scored 57, which is considered fairly difficult to read.
This article was marked down because 34.4% of the sentences contained passive voice. And because three consecutive sentences started with the same word — but this is something that could be fixed during the editing process.
A bot assessing another bot badly does make me smile, though!
How well did we research our articles?
I can tell you, I researched mine thoroughly using official and reputable sources of information. And, where necessary, I included links to the information I used.
Jasper… not so much. There are several points in its article that have incorrect and unsubstantiated information — and, as there are no links, it will be difficult to fact-check it.
It’s also unclear if these are sourcing issue or comprehension issues. Has the information come from unofficial or questionable sources? Or has it come from official sources, but Jasper hasn’t understood it properly?
Tone and style
Let’s be honest, toilet paper isn’t a subject that’s going to set the world on fire. It needs a little humour and some personality to keep people reading. This is also the tone of voice my client wanted.
In my article, I’d done my best to make it fun and interesting, with humour, interesting facts and statistics.
I’d asked Jasper for a witty and enthusiastic tone of voice, but I found its article a dull and boring snoozefest with no humour or personality.
Is Jasper a useful tool for content writing?
Based on this experience I would have to say, no.
Even after I researched all the keywords, headings and structure, I couldn’t have used the content Jasper produced.
It doesn’t optimise your posts
It asks you for keywords, but you have to research them yourself.
Then it says it might include them, but makes no promises.
And if it does use them, chances are it won’t use them in the best way possible, like a human content writer would.
In short, a human content writer will optimise your content with more skill and for more keywords, so it will always be more effective.
You can’t trust its research
I’ve written about this subject a lot and I know my stuff, so I was able to call Jasper out when it got things wrong.
But if you knew nothing, and you took Jasper’s word, it wouldn’t always be accurate.
There are no sources to verify that Jasper’s information is correct. The only way to be sure would be to do the research yourself, which kind of defeats the object of using AI, doesn’t it?
And if you do your own research and it conflicts with what Jasper has written, you could find yourself needing to rewrite large chunks of the content.
It doesn’t always get the writing right
Even though Jasper’s writing is head and shoulders above the other AI writers I’ve tried, it still gets things wrong. In the article, I found sentences that:
- Were overly wordy and needed editing down
- Didn’t say anything useful
- Contradicted each other
- Said things that were obvious and didn’t need to be said
- Didn’t make any sense
- Were too repetitive.
When I first saw Jasper write a sentence, I was impressed. It was well-structured and it did sound human. It was fast, too, and could write whole paragraphs at lightning speed.
But overall, what Jasper does isn’t enough to make up for what it doesn’t do.
Right now, human content writers are being given these AI-written articles to fact-check and edit, which seems like an arduous and almost impossible task.
If they’re doing it properly, they might as well be researching and writing the articles from scratch.
And if they’re not doing it properly, they’re littering the internet with badly researched rubbish that other AI writers will fasten onto and regurgitate for themselves.
Do you need quality content for your blog?
Take my advice and forget about AI — it really isn’t ready yet.
You’ll end up with a lot of sub-par content that needs editing and fact-checking. And the content writers you hire to do that will either be cursing you or cutting corners.
Instead, hire a human content writer, like me, who’ll do the research and write something that’s a pleasure to read.