Is your computer after your writing job? Artificial intelligence and copywriting

Would you trust writing that had been written by a computer algorithm? Perhaps not if you knew its origin but artificial intelligence and writing are already working hand in hand and the time may well be coming when human copywriters will be required to pit their skills against artificial intelligence alternatives. There is still a place for person-generated web and social content but how long is it going to be before AI takes over the copywriter’s role? And more to the point, how on earth are we supposed to keep up with the natural language generation revolution?

Am I already using AI to help my content writing?

As content writers we already operate in a world that runs on artificial intelligence. Whether we like it or not, online marketing success relies on cooperation with Google’s algorithms, and online success is the reason many businesses employ copywriters in the first place. The next thing to take note of in the computer versus writer discussion is that lots of writers are already using artificial intelligence based copywriting tools. Grammarly is a great example:

Grammarly Writing Assistant

Free to add to Google Chrome, Grammarly is a spelling and grammar checker that takes things a step further with sentence change suggestions and explanations. Grammarly can’t write your web copy for you but it reckons it can improve it. Are such advanced writing assistants a threat to copywriter’s jobs? Possibly not but easy access to such detailed writing advice does increase the accessibility of writing for a living, and might perhaps flood an already crowded market.

How effective is AI generated content?

Web content that has been generated by artificial intelligence has been around for longer than most of us think. What’s more, the provision is growing as tech companies wrestle to grab this potentially lucrative market.

Phrasee

The artificial intelligence gurus at Phrasee look like they are doing a grand job when it comes to natural language generation. They claim to be able to, “Write marketing copy that sounds human – and fits your brand’s voice.” Here at Fi Darby Freelance, we believe them. Not only that, copy that is computer generated is really well placed to take in the minute details of measurable response rates. Take email opening rates for instance. The decision between opening an email or dumping it relies almost entirely on the subject line. I can write a great subject line but to date, I can’t write one that uses algorithms to take into account measured audience response rates.

Should I panic about AI-generated content?

We would like to give an unequivocal, “Of course not!” as the answer to this question but the truth is that we content writers would be naive to ignore the rise of artificial intelligence in writing. Artificial intelligence already writes sports and news reports and composes poems. It has the ability both to contribute to fake news (apparently unicorns are real after all) and assist in finding fake news. However many of us are resistant to that which appears to be real but isn’t. Whether or not the uncanny valley exists in the writing world is a question we need to put to the chatbots but below we have just two of the reasons why AI isn’t likely to be stealing our jobs anytime soon.

  1. Unless our clients are giant multinationals, AI for content provision is still an expensive solution. For most businesses, employing a freelance copywriter remains the most cost-effective method of content generation.
  2. Human creativity almost always wins the day. It isn’t just the search engine algorithms businesses need to win over with their web content, it is people’s hearts and minds.

Panic is definitely not necessary but keeping a savvy eye on the AI situation might well be. We predict a forthcoming two-tier system of content development. The first will be ultra algorithm savvy and find success through processes, the second will be super people savvy and find success through people’s ultimate need for person-to-person communication. That’s where we copywriters fit in.

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