Artificial intelligence is one of the most promising, if not daunting, up-and-coming technologies of our generation. It can help us predict the weather, provide shopping recommendations, and even detect fraud – all of which are generally regarded as useful, non-threatening uses of the technology.
However, AI copywriting has received a more sceptical reception, fostering concerns for the place of organic, human-driven creativity in the 21st Century. Even the creators of South Park dedicated a full episode, which was partly written by AI, to the capabilities of ChatGPT, and its threat to spoil work ethic and replace genuine, heartfelt interactions. But does the growth of AI copywriting truly usher in the death of writers?
But first – what exactly is AI copywriting?
AI copywriting is computer generated writing that uses a few prompts to create a more extensive body of text. This tool utilises an immensely complex algorithm based on machine learning techniques to scour the internet looking for patterns, locating relevant knowledge, and feeding back this information to the user in the form of the generated text. The sub-category of computer science this is based on, called natural language processing, is designed to understand how humans write and talk with the aim of mimicking this behaviour.
Natural Language Generation is already a huge part of our daily lives. When we ask Alexa ‘what is the weather like today?’, we are interacting with NLG technology. AI Copywriting is based on a similar premise wherein a prompt is fed, and a result is produced by running your request through an algorithm that conjures up what it predicts will be the most desirable response.
There is an abundance of AI copywriting softwares available for use, with new variants being created at a rapid pace. From Copy.ai to ChatGPT, each copywriting tool comes with its own capabilities. However, most AI copywriting tools tout the following abilities:
o Able to tailor your writing to specific audiences, promotions and occasions. If you input your messaging, the AI will build its content around this core principle
o Can slice research time in half by allowing you to track viral topics and give you inspiration on what to write about. The AI can even collate the sources it deems most relevant for you to use in your writing
o Provides multiple options of final copy to choose from, with each varying slightly: your choice of option gives the AI an opportunity to learn what humans want from it
o Capable of writing for a variety of occasions: from social media captions, to movie scripts and bullet points for presentations. Tone of voice can also be designated
There is no shortage of uses for AI copywriting. In short, if you require assistance conjuring up engaging content, short or lengthy, you could benefit from AI generated content. From blog posts to social media posts, long form content to website copy – AI copywriting is able to create content for a plethora of situations.
This can be particularly valuable for smaller teams that do not have the resources at their disposal to hire a dedicated copywriter or content marketer. Rather than spend thousands on hiring a dedicated member of staff, businesses can utilise easy-to-use AI tools instead.
Even if your business already has dedicated content staff, AI tools can still be of use. When the dreaded writer’s block looms and stunts your content generation, artificial intelligence can be utilised to conjure up inspiration. This is particularly useful if you are looking for guidance when creating content plans, briefs and structures, especially for topics you may be unfamiliar with. More advanced AI copywriting platforms even integrate SEO guidance, giving content writers insight into what trends and keywords to target. Many also double-up as a plagiarism checker, encouraging writers to refer to the appropriate sources throughout their writing where necessary.
As useful as AI copywriting can be, especially for marketing professionals, artificial intelligence is a topic laden with controversy.
Many people worry that as a society we are becoming far too reliant on automated tools such as AI copywriting technology. Writers will do a small amount of work, such as fill in a prompt, and the technology will do the rest. This is deemed ‘lazy writing’ that lacks a personal touch or any creativity. This also poses the question of whether anything boundary-breaking or unique can ever be created by utilising AI, seeing as it learns from pre-existing content and patterns.
There are concerns that AI will eventually stifle our desire to learn and develop our literary skills. After all, if content as simple as product descriptions can be conjured up with a small prompt and a few clicks, is there any need for writers to continue to hone their skills?
AI copywriting is a fantastic start point for content and can provide inspiration that can alleviate writer’s block. However, in most cases the algorithm will produce inelegant text that often doesn’t read properly. Many users complain of bizarre sentence structure and disjointedness in their AI generated text. This makes human involvement via proofreading necessary. Sometimes, this can take up just as much time as it would to start writing the text yourself from scratch.
Thanks to modern media, the term ‘artificial intelligence’ conjures up threatening images of a technological takeover by heartless mechanoids that have suddenly reached sentience. This is worsened by the terrifying headline that hit the news in 2023 that AI poses a ‘risk of extinction’ to the human race on-par with nuclear weapons and pandemics. Although this may not have been in reference to the copywriting wing of artificial intelligence, the connotations are still negative.
Such scepticism surrounding AI copywriting isn’t without merit. 40% of business leaders have stated that they aim to purchase AI copywriting software within the next 12 months. Although this sounds like an indication of technology replacing humans, this does not necessarily bode poorly for writers. According to the same Deloitte survey, 82% of business leaders believe that this technology will make life easier for their employees. It can assist businesses in automating simple tasks, proofreading with speed, and providing SEO guidance. It can also mean that content teams can focus their efforts and time on larger tasks that require more human interaction, therefore increasing overall productivity and output. Apparently AI copywriting isn’t all bad…
When you ask AI Copywriters like Jarvis to amend their text to appeal to an investor audience, for example, it won’t be able to alter its tone of voice or select more relevant information for investors. Instead, it will simply address ‘investors’ throughout the text. Additionally, if you’ve asked your AI Copywriter to provide you with some specific information, it may not always be accurate. This is because it may not be able to determine which sources are worth listening to, and which are reliable. This is because, as intelligent as AI is, it does not have a definite concept of truthfulness. Even if you find valuable information in your AI generated text, you won’t be able to find the specific source. As such, citing your sources becomes immensely difficult.
Artificial intelligence is developing at a rapid pace, and the capabilities of AI-driven marketing tools are constantly improving. After all, AI tools learn from us – they analyse our patterns and acknowledge what content of theirs we approve of. This is how AI will be able to wheedle out its bad habits such as inaccurate information and poor grammar. So, as long as we continue to use AI tools, they will become more intelligent and therefore more useful.
Soon enough, marketers will be able to automate the most mundane tasks that take up unnecessary time in their schedule. From proofreading, to spell-checking and research, mundane and repetitive tasks will become a thing of the past. In fact, a recent study suggests that bloggers using AI spend 30% time generating content. If utilised smartly, AI can be an invaluable asset for time management for marketing teams.
With AI usage set to soar by 166% over the next three years, it seems as if sceptics will simply have to learn to live with the dubious nature of this technological innovation. After all, artificial intelligence is what we make of it. With proper regulation, it can become an asset to writers rather than a hindrance or a threat. One thing is for sure: content marketing specialists ought to keep a close eye on AI copywriting in anticipation of its projected growth. They need to focus on how they can use it to evolve their practices, enhance productivity and save time rather than seeing it as an unwelcome rival for their role.
This is why the Demand Generation Team has created a Marketing for the Future series. We’ve carefully designed this to keep you in the loop with all of the latest marketing innovations. From the development of team skills in the 21st Century, to the evolution of the Metaverse – we’ll be covering everything you need to know. Want to enlist the Demand Generation Team to help catapult your next campaign? Fill out the form below!
Posted by Jenna C on Wednesday 12th July 2023