AI-sourced views on HS2 Northern leg cancellation

Some of the text on this page was written by 'AI' using gpt-3.5-turbo. I have corrected some US spellings to UK spellings in the response as the prompt for British English seems to have partially ignored

Back at the start of the year, I shared a piece of generative AI that I had created to try to understand how a mainstream tool worked in a specific, more technical context. I think it’s great but, at this stage, it was a generalist.

One of the limitations of the models used is that they have been trained on data to a fixed point in time and many are not able to look-up new data or information against the wider knowledge of the internet. Poe is a collection of AI tools and I noticed a bot had been released that is capable of conducting a web search.

So, with this week’s news that HS2 is to be scrapped I thought I’d try out the this AI to see what it came up with. I am quite impressed with both the output and the referencing but it is limited to a couple of sources. In particular, the references to the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) are to a single 185 word statement. Nonetheless, I thought interesting new capabilities from AI.

The Prompt

Summarise responses to the cancellation of HS2 to Manchester. Use British English.

The AI generated response

The cancellation of the HS2 leg to Manchester has generated various responses. Here is a summary of the key reactions:

Disappointment and Concern

  • Many individuals and organisations have expressed disappointment and concern over the cancellation [1].
  • The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) described the decision as “extremely disappointing” and a significant blow to the UK construction sector [3].
  • Former Prime Minister David Cameron criticised the cancellation, stating that it was the wrong decision and would make it harder to build consensus for future long-term projects [2].

Impact on Plans and Confidence:

  • The cancellation has raised concerns about the impact on people who had made decisions based on the HS2 plans, such as moving or selling their homes [1].
  • The CPA warned that the decision could undermine confidence and impact future investment in the construction sector [3].

Alternative Funding and Projects:

  • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has promised to use the £36 billion of savings from scrapping the HS2 line to fund other transport schemes [2].
  • The government’s commitment to completing the HS2 line to Euston and diverting funding to other projects aimed at boosting transport infrastructure in the north has been highlighted [3].

Learn more:

  1. Tell us: will you be affected by the scrapping of the HS2 leg to Manchester? | HS2 | The Guardian
  2. LIVE: HS2 Manchester link cancelled by Rishi Sunak – updates and reaction – Manchester Evening News
  3. CPA Response to Cancellation of the Manchester Leg of HS2 | Construction Plant-hire Association


Interestingly, WordPress (which is used to maintain this site) now includes an AI assistant that can review what has been written on this blog. I generated a review of this page. One of the pieces of feedback was, “Include diverse perspectives by including reactions from a wider range of individuals and organisations”. It amused me that an AI was, effectively, telling another AI to do better.