Did a Robot Write This Blog Post?

A robot did not write this blog post. But could it have?

The launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has many people asking if AI will replace content creators, particularly writers. Like many things in life, the answer is “it depends.” In my mind, the dependencies point in a singular direction.

Do you want volume or quality?

We’re inundated by the content of various qualities, but there’s no mistaking the significant quantity that’s out there. If you want to create lots of content that’s not necessarily of high quality, using AI is a great place to start. I’m going to talk a bit about quality further down the page, but the thing to remember is this – AI is trained using human conversation and writing. It’s only as good as the average. While it’s unlikely to make rules-based mistakes like grammar and spelling errors, which are easily found by an algorithm, there’s no quality filter. One way to consider it is like talking to someone who is highly intelligent but isn’t a great communicator. They may know the answer, but don’t necessarily know the best way to say it so you get it and remember it.

Do you want new ideas?

If you’re looking for new ideas, look the other way. AI can only regurgitate what it’s been taught. In cases where it’s been taught quite a lot, the ideas may seem novel, but you can be certain they’re not.

Do you want the correct information?

If you want to be certain the facts presented are correct, you have to do that yourself. Go back to how AI is trained. Human conversations and writings aren’t always factual, but misinformation and disinformation are often put forth as confidently as if they’re facts. ChatGPT, when it doesn’t know an answer, may lie convincingly. Even OpenAI is aware of this, as there’s a disclaimer on the ChatGPT website that the ‘bot may present incorrect or misleading information – but it will do so with absolute confidence.

Do you want your content to be good enough or great?

“It does a good job of producing the work of a 17-year-old who is kind of phoning it in,” he said.

That quote is from a high school educator who has embraced having his students use AI to help them develop essays, as he knows they’re going to do so anyway. Is that the level of quality you want for your marketing content?

I previously mentioned that we’re inundated with content. If your content isn’t great or original or presented in an original way, it’s not going to stand out. Your content will just become part of the flood of material we’re presented daily that many of us ignore. Think about that 17-year-old “phoning it in.” Would you hire that kid to write your content?

AI lacks personality, creativity, and emotion, all of which create engagement and great content. While it can create technically correct writing, AI lacks the thing to which we’re all attracted – humanity.

How should we think about AI?

Now that I’ve given you all the reasons why AI shouldn’t replace your copywriters, I’d like to talk about how you can use it. If you’re starved for ideas, ask it to generate topics about which you might write, and maybe even to dig into those topics. Use it to write first drafts of things that aren’t creative, but are required for your business. Have AI do a first round of copy editing to flag grammatical and spelling errors.

We’re not Luddites here, but we also recognize the limitations of machinery for creativity.

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