Chatbots have been around for decades, but the launch of new generation tools like ChatGPT and Bing was a game-changer.
For those who haven’t tried them out yet, chatbots are basically superpowered search engines with added performance.
If you have a question, a bot will search millions of documents and paste together various bits of them into one coherent answer. It does this in seconds.
Chatbots can also correct grammar and punctuation. Additionally, they can rewrite information in various styles.
For rescuers and animal lovers, chatbots offer a wonderful opportunity.Good posts help pets
“Paws has over 200 cats, 250 dogs and two rabbits looking for a home,” Celine Chum from Paws Selangor points out.
“Writing adoption notices is a constant job, and sometimes your brain dries up. I’m interested in any tool that helps.”
Shannon Lam, KL Pooch Resort & Rescue, Kalumpang, Selangor, agrees.
“Writing an engaging post can take 10 minutes, if I’m inspired and not distracted, but more often it takes longer,” she shares. “If there’s a tool, I’m interested!”
There are general bots like ChatGPT and Bing. Additionally, PetFinder.my also launched PetGPT AI Writer. It’s based on OpenAI ChatGPT technology but has been tweaked to help rescuers and shelters craft creative, engaging pet adoption posts.
“A good adoption post helps pets,” Andy Koh, co-founder and CEO of PetFinder.my, points out.
“But putting that together isn’t easy.
“We are lucky because a team of five international artificial intelligence experts volunteered to help. They’re hot on improving animal welfare, and so they contributed their data skills.”
Working together, they spent two months on the project.
“In the past, we analysed 20,000 posts for a contest,” Koh explains. “We used that as a base and sorted information according to sentiment, keywords and overall tone. We put together rules for styles and introduced a random element.”
Each person who uses the tool gets different sentences but with some similar keywords.
“It’s experimental,” Koh says. “We don’t know yet how effective it will be. It’s a first step.”How it works
Users register on PetFinder.my and click through to PetGPT. Typing into the box, write a minimum of 100 characters, that’s two or three sentences, about the pet’s name, looks, character and needs. Then select for tone, style and perspective.
The writer can write in nine different tones: affectionate, witty, hopeful, compassionate, funny, sarcastic, sad, desperate or ecstatic. It also offers six styles: descriptive, persuasive, academic, fantasy, poem, or Q&A. You can write as the pet or the human. Finally, there’s a standard 300-word option or a compact 80-word option.
Although English is recommended, it also works in BM and Mandarin.
Lam shared details of Hazel, a tan female dog with a friendly, energetic attitude looking for a home with a garden. (read story below)
“For a small rescuer with one ad, the second one is great,” Lam observes. “It’s useful for generating ideas and different styles. And I think it would be helpful for people writing in a second language.
“But the poetic one, which Malaysian will relate to that? You’d sound like a fruit loop. I don’t think that style is useful.
“Overall, it’s interesting, but for shelters like ours that do multiple ads a week, it may be repetitive. I make an effort to make adoption notices unique.”
Chum has tried and tested PetGPT and other services.
“They’re convenient,” she shares. “You just type in details and it does the job.
“I’m getting the best results by being very specific. Like, I’ll mention a dog really loves a particular toy, or discuss a cute habit that a cat has. That helps make it different and stand out.”
For now, chatbots are new. ChatGPT and Bing are free for now, and PetGPT is fee-based.
“We have to pay a fee to OpenAI (co-founded by Elon Musk) for every word generated by their system,” Koh explains, “so there is considerable infrastructure cost.”
“So far we have distributed over RM32,000 of PetGPT credits to rescuers. If they wish to create additional profiles, a small fee of RM0.99 applies, which helps subsidise our infrastructure costs.”
With thousands of pets waiting in shelters to be matched with a home, all tools are useful. For now, if you’re struggling with writing posts, AI chatbots are definitely worth a look.
And if you have a one-eyed or three-legged pet, or it’s International Pirate Day, the fantasy style might be a winner!
Generating chatbot posts
For PetGPT we typed in, “Hazel is a sweet girl dog who likes to have fun. Affectionate and playful. Healthy, vaccinated and dewormed. Looking for a home with a garden.”
Selecting the short option and going for hopeful, fantasy and pet perspective got us this: “I am Hazel, a sprightly lass with a heart full of adventure! My coat is a dashing shade of tan, and I am blessedly hale and hearty. My owner has seen to it that I am fully vaccinated and free of worms. But oh, how I long for a garden to frolic in! If thou art seeking a faithful companion for thine own quests, look no further - I daresay I am the pup for thee!”
A second attempt at affectionate, persuasive and human perspective got us this: “You simply must meet Hazel! This little lady is a bundle of energy and a tonne of fun. She’s got a gorgeous tan coat of short fur and is healthy as a horse. Hazel’s up-to-date on all her vaccinations and has been dewormed, so you can rest easy knowing she’s in tip-top shape. Oh, and did we mention she’s a total outdoor enthusiast? If you’ve got a garden, you and Hazel are going to be fast friends.”
Moving to ChatGPT, we typed in the same information, adding, “Can you write us an 80-word adoption post?” got us this: “Meet Hazel! This adorable girl is searching for her forever home! Hazel is a bundle of joy who loves to have a great time. She’s affectionate, playful and always ready for fun-filled adventures. With her sparkling personality and wagging tail, she’s sure to bring endless happiness to your life. Hazel is in excellent health, fully vaccinated and dewormed. If you have a loving home with a garden where Hazel can explore and frolic, she’ll be your perfect furry companion! Give Hazel the home she deserves and let the adventures begin!”
HARRY is two years old, neutered, vaccinated and healthy. Being a Pomeranian Husky mix, Harry looks and is shaped exactly like a Husky but slightly shrunken in size due to his Pomeranian side. Harry is a sweet and loving boy who loves meeting new people and playing with them. However, he is also part Husky, so he is hyperactive and vocal. He voices his wants and needs loudly. Also, he requires a lot of stimulation as he is full of energy. Hyperactive Harry is perfect for a family that enjoys going out for adventures.
Interested adopters please contact Paws Animal Welfare Society, Jalan PJU 1A/20, Ara Damansara, 47301 Subang, Selangor and ask for Harry, tag number: D027 (2023.04.04). T: 011-2193 5651. Website: paws.org.my.