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Artificial Intelligence

St Helena, according to A.I.

Imagination, not intelligence, made us human.{a}

This is St Helena, as described by Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)

Artificial Intelligence

St Helena by A.I.

Below: TestObservationsPS

The Test

We challenged the Nova™ Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Application to Write a Web page about the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic ocean. We reproduce below what came back (verbatim, with only formatting added):

Welcome to the beautiful island of St Helena, located in the South Atlantic Ocean. This island is one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world, known for its rugged terrain, fascinating history, and unique culture.


St Helena Island was first discovered by the Portuguese navigator, João da Nova, in 1502. However, it was not until 1659 that the island was actually settled by the British East India Company. Throughout its history, St Helena has been used as a stopover for ships traveling to and from India, and it also served as a prison for over 6,000 Boer prisoners of war during the Anglo-Boer War.


There are many things to see and do on the island of St Helena. The island is home to several historic sites, including the Longwood House, which was the residence of Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile. Another notable site is the St. James Church, which was built in 1774 and is the oldest Anglican church in the southern hemisphere.

Nature enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the island’s rugged terrain, which is home to a variety of unique plant and animal species. The island is also surrounded by clear turquoise waters that host a wealth of marine life, offering great diving and snorkeling opportunities.

The island’s main town, Jamestown, is full of colorful buildings and quaint shops. It’s an excellent place to meander through the narrow streets, take a stroll along the waterfront, and stop for a drink or a meal at one of the town’s many cafes and restaurants showcasing local cuisine.

Getting There:

St Helena is accessible by air and sea. You can catch a flight from Johannesburg or Cape Town, South Africa, or take a ship from Cape Town, which can take up to four days. Once you arrive on the island, getting around is easy with taxis, rental cars, bicycles, and walking.


St Helena has a range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets, including hotels, guesthouses, and holiday rentals. It’s always best to book ahead, especially during the peak season.


St Helena is a unique destination with a fascinating history and stunning natural beauty. This off-the-beaten-path destination is perfect for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and anyone looking to escape the crowds and experience something truly special.


This message has been generated by Nova - download it for free: novaappai.page.link/‌pVBB6w1XDrNzu8Nn8

Our observations

The first thing to say is that the script above is not wildly inaccurate, and though brief, could easily be used as the basis for an introduction to the island. It has some facts, though it is somewhat vague about some of them, and our only real quibbles are:

  1. Regarding stop for a drink or a meal at one of the town’s many cafes and restaurants showcasing local cuisine, something tells us that if you asked the same App to describe just about anywhere on the planet it might include something like this.

  2. Please tell us more about this ship from Cape Town, which can take up to four days? (see Getting Here)

We obviously don’t expect the A.I. to describe in one page what it has taken Saint Helena Island Info detail pages to cover, but nevertheless - a creditable effort.


In case you’re wondering, only the quoted text of this page was written by the A.I. - the rest was written by a human{1}. Apps have not completely replaced people… yet

SEE ALSO: To see how badly humans can describe St Helena, see our page Do they mean us?.

Other Experiments

Below: ‘Real St Helena flag with question mark’‘Napoleon on St Helena’‘Dawn on St Helena in the style of Picasso’

‘Real St Helena flag with question mark’

We wanted an image for our new page Fascinating Facts about St Helena and we thought we’d give the AI tool ‘Bing Image Creator’ a go. Sadly the results were less than satisfactory…

‘Napoleon on St Helena’

We thought it might be interesting to see what AI would make of the challenge ‘Napoleon on St Helena’. The result is shown below. OK, it isn’t a real scene from St Helena, but then it isn’t the real Napoleon either. It got the beach wrong too, but most people wouldn’t notice that. Not sure why he would have dragged a chair all the way from Longwood House to Ruperts or Sandy Bay but…

‘Dawn on St Helena in the style of Picasso’



{a} Terry Pratchett


{1} The editor of this website.