Will professional copywriting be replaced by AI?

When ChatGPT – the most widely known form of generative AI – first launched in November 2022, it’s fair to say it caused a bit of a hoo-ha. Suddenly, nothing seemed certain any more, at least not in terms of the written word. How could we know if the article we were reading, the TV series we were watching, or the song we were listening to had been written by a living, breathing human and not some AI bot in heaven knows where? Suddenly, writers of anything from marketing materials to presidential speeches were worried that their livelihoods – not to mention the integrity of their professional copywriting – might be at risk. So, now some 18 months later, was their concern justified? 

The short answer? No.

After a tsunami of articles predicting the end of (this professional copywriting) life as we know it, it seems that a more balanced view is prevailing.

For a start, ChatGPT has been shown to have its limitations, making the wholesale ditching of humans as writers seem unlikely. For example, a recent LinkedIn article (FRACK Technologies) summed up its disadvantages as including:

Inaccuracies and ambiguities

Closer inspection of many texts that at first glance seem plausible are in fact incorrect and/or riddled with nonsensical content – apparently a common problem in language models and referred to as ‘hallucination’.

Search intent not satisfied

Whilst ChatGPT can answer user queries and provide data, it can’t interpret who you’re intending to reach as your targeted audience or know what their interests or demographics may be. In other words, all that nuance is missing.

Limited knowledge

Currently, ChatGPT can only provide limited information about events that happened prior to 2021. It will improve eventually, but for now that’s a considerable drawback.

Plagiarism

Anything generated by ChatGPT runs the risk of plagiarising someone else’s writing or research.

Ethics

Is it right to use AI such as ChatGPT at all? What about copyright infringement? And should it ever be used as a substitute for services requiring human interaction, like customer service?

What does ChatGPT get right?

The same LinkedIn post balanced the negatives with some positives, including:

Time savings

ChatGPT is certainly fast, writing in seconds what a human could take hours to conjure up.

Advanced technology

Subscription-based ChatGPT produces text of superior quality, making it difficult to know that AI was involved at all.

Great way to learn

You can ask Chate something you’ve written and then compare the difference. Likewise, you can ask it to translate something very technical into something easy to undersGPT to rewrittand, making learning faster and more enjoyable.

Improve quality

ChatGPT can improve overall language or content. You supply the basic text and ChatGPT can zhoosh it up. 

Open to change

Users can give feedback about responses, helping to improve results. And, as newer versions are released, ChatGPT will become even more sophisticated.

A single viewpoint 

Of course, the positives and negatives described above are but one viewpoint. However, it is a balanced look at a new tool that, for a while there, looked to be something the introduction of which could only end in tears.

The article concludes by encouraging writers to ‘use it wisely’ and not rely on ChatGPT as the be all and end all. Well, at least, not yet.

Others contributors to the debate agree. One participant advocates, ‘Just be ahead of the curve and learn how to write prompts that generate increasingly better results.’ 

Another forum contributor sees ChatGPT in almost Darwinian terms. ‘It’s inevitable that bad and mediocre copywriters will be replaced. Solution? Don’t be bad or mediocre. Stay relevant and embrace AI.’ The same contributor ends by declaring, ‘This is the beginning of a major technological inflection point. Time to learn to drive a car, so to speak, because soon the horse and carriage will become irrelevant.’  That’s us told, then.

Collaborate with AI 

It’s clear that ChatGPT and other similar AI tools are here to stay, so it’s time to think of their advent as not so much of a threat but as a new opportunity.

ChatGPT can do a lot of the heavy lifting for a writer, leaving them free to spend more time focusing on honing their message to be exactly what the client needs, adding in the oh-so-important human element and making the piece unique.  

So, will professional copywriting be replaced by AI? No, in fact, it may be just the push many copywriters need to make the transition from good to great.

Proofreading and AI

Proof Communications put ChatGPT through its paces to see if it posed a threat to the fine art of proofreading. You can read about the very interesting results here.

Get in touch with us today

If you’d like to discuss your professional copywriting needs, we’d love to hear from you. The team at Proof Communications has more than 24 years’ experience in assisting businesses with expert copy writing and we’d like to help you too. Call us today on 02 8036 5532 or 0448 566 377 or head to our contact page.   

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