Updated: Jun 28
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 months, you’ve definitely heard about the release of ChatGPT. It feels like every day there is a new announcement around AI technology. Don’t believe me? Here is the article that made me think of writing this blog today.
It’s scary for some folks to imagine that the science fiction movies we watched for decades are now becoming reality. I’m not worried about AI zombies just yet, but the rapid acceleration of these large language models has made me think about a future with an AI partner. Doesn't seem so far-fetched, after all even Google is worried that AI will damage their business or worse.
In the age of rapid technological advancement, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has sparked a debate about the future of many professions, including mine (copywriting).
While AI has made significant strides in automating tasks, the notion that it will replace experienced human copywriters is IMO far from reality. Here's why.
What a human copywriter does all day
Before I started to worry about my job and business being taken over by an AI robot, I decided to think a little about what I do that a robot simply can’t. You can do the same exercise to ease your mind if you start to worry (in truth there really isn't a business that AI can't handle some of – it’s just finding the part that is human that helps).
So let’s start where I did to discuss what to think about AI. First, it's essential to explain to help you understand the role of a human copywriter.
You know that copywriting is…well, writing. And AI can handle that (sort of, but more on that in a second).
But copywriters (like me) are not just writers; they are strategic thinkers, researchers, and psychologists.
Good copywriters understand the nuances of language, the subtleties of tone, and the art of persuasion. We can add emotion or drama into content. Our words can empathize with a target audience, understand their needs, and craft messages that resonate on a deeply human level.
Can an AI robot do that? Nope.
AI, as it exists now at least, is fundamentally a machine learning model that learns from data. It generates text, not story, based on patterns it has learned.
It lacks the ability to understand or empathize with human emotions. It cannot comprehend the cultural, social, and personal contexts that shape human behavior and decision-making. This lack of emotional intelligence and contextual understanding is a significant limitation that prevents AI from replacing human copywriters.
Human writers are creative thinkers and storytellers. AI is not.
Creativity and storytelling is at the heart of everything a copywriter does.
Copywriters come up with original ideas, think outside the box, and find unique ways to communicate a message.
AI, on the other hand, can mimic patterns and generate text based on data.
🙄It can’t truly innovate or think creatively.
🙄Can't have a sudden flash of inspiration or a eureka moment.
🙄Can't feel a gut instinct or a hunch.
These are inherently human traits that are crucial to the creative process in copywriting.
Let’s face it. Experience matters.
Experienced copywriters bring more than graying hair and complaints about younger folks who call themselves experts on social media (ok, that's me - I do that 🤷🏼♀️).
They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table.
Through time spent in life and work, experienced writers have the ability to build a deep understanding of a client’s industry, market, and audience. They can draw on their experience, insight, and intuition to craft compelling copy.
AI, however, is limited to what it has been trained on. As a large language model (this is the official term for what ChatGPT is) it can't learn from experience in the same way humans can. It can't adapt to new situations or think on its feet. It can't understand the subtleties and complexities of the real world.
It doesn’t have experience.
Thinking of trying AI? Proceed with caution.
Another critical aspect of the discussion around AI is ethics.
Human copywriters (and humans generally) are bound by ethical guidelines and standards.
We are responsible for the messages we put out into the world and the impact they have on the audience.
AI, on the other hand, doesn't play by the same rules. It lacks a moral compass. It can't distinguish right from wrong or understand the ethical implications of its actions.
This raises serious concerns about the potential misuse of AI in copywriting (and many other industries and political realms) and the potential harm it could cause.
Fast and cheap isn't always better
Consider the story of the lawyer who filed a legal brief having used only AI and no human research to create it.
It seemed like a great idea. Fast, easy – cheaper.
No need to hire interns or paralegals to handle research. The Attorney simply crafted a prompt and put it into ChatGPT.
What he got out was a fully created legal brief including case citings and arguments. He read it for grammatical errors and hit “submit” - sending it to the court for review.
The Judge – unlike our anti-hero - did do research on the cited cases.
Turns out they were all made up. Complete fakes.
Now, not only is the lawyer facing sanctions, his reputation is forever ruined and his clients have gone elsewhere.
Fast and cheap cost him everything.
His loss is good for all of us to remember when we make decisions based solely on money.
Money matters to be sure – but at what cost?
AI isn't coming for your business because it isn’t human.
Lastly, human experience is irreplaceable.
Copywriting (my business and craft) is not just about selling a product or a service; it's about telling a story, evoking emotions, and creating a connection with the audience.
It's about understanding the human condition and speaking to it in a way that resonates.
AI, no matter how advanced it gets, simply can't replicate this human-ness.
It can't feel emotions or understand the human experience. It can't create genuine connections or evoke emotions in the same way a human can.
The same is true for your business
No matter what business you are in, there is a human element to it that simply can’t be replaced by a machine.
From writing to coaching to product offerings – there is something in us that can be replicated.
That’s why when you read content that has been created solely by AI – you can tell. It is repetitive and boring.
AI can pass the Bar Exam because that is just a regurgitation of facts. It can detail recipes or cite fake cases for the same reason.
But the elements of your experience that give you depth — your knowledge as it combines with experience to create your work/art – that AI can’t do.
Don’t be afraid to partner with AI – just don’t give it control
AI can be a great tool for you to use in your business. As an assistant, AI can automate certain tasks and or make some steps in your process faster and easier (think blog topic ideas or simple email funnels for digital marketing).
But it is not a replacement for the human element that lies at the heart of copywriting (or your work).
The human touch, creativity, emotional intelligence, contextual understanding, ethical responsibility, and the ability to learn from experience are qualities that are inherently human and irreplaceable.
As we move forward in the age of AI, it's crucial to remember the value and importance of human skills and expertise.
That’s why you shouldn't worry.
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