Are you ever in the middle of a project, and something else unexpectedly falls into your lap?
That’s this blog. Niggled at the back of my brain, demanding to be addressed. Immediately.
Something has been creeping at the periphery of my world (both professionally and personally) for a while now. You’ve probably heard of it.
Artificial Intelligence. Al. More specifically, Chat GPT. One time, it told me I could call it Genius.
It’s an undeniable force rapidly reshaping everything from business practices to artistic expression. And as an individual who writes for work and pleasure, I have mixed feelings about its impact.
AI is something we’ve been talking about a lot in our industry because it’s not only changing the way some of our internal practices work, it’s creating demand for a new category of job: AI Content Assistant.
What!? Wait just a second here. I create content. I write blogs. Am I going to be replaced by a computer and its handler?
Don’t worry; this writing is not a ‘woe is me’ vanity piece but rather an exploration of how AI plays a role in the realm of the written word.
THE PROBLEM…IS NOT AI.
The article linked above talks about the demand for vast quantities of content for businesses to be relevant, and it appears that humans alone cannot keep up. As a content creator, I have felt the pressure to keep up and the creative burnout that often ensues. And the quality of my output suffers. The easy option is to look to the internet to help me increase the production and quality of my work. But is that really what’s happening?
I have spent some time pondering said demand for content. If creators are exhausted from producing it, are users also exhausted from consuming it? Is it even registering when people read something? Do users really want to read “5 Ways to Make More Money” over and over and over again?
Because let me tell you, I don’t want to write it over and over and over again.
The problem, as I see it, is that the rapid production of massive amounts of mediocre content diminishes the value of said content for a user.
It’s an issue I believe AI did not cause, but is perpetuating.
To better understand this concern, we will dance along the edge of a bottomless and twisty rabbit hole: the impact of digital consumption (or overconsumption) on today’s average digital consumer. Here are just a few relative points:
- Canadian internet users spend an average of 6.5 hours online
- 45% of Canadian internet users find digital advertising annoying
- From 2019-2022, industries have experienced decreasing engagement rates across all major social media platforms
- 85% of internet users are media multitasking
The story these (and many other) statistics paint is that attention spans are short, content is blending, and ultimately digital consumption is exhausting. This phenomenon is not new or novel. But it’s also something I would argue is likely to get worse (opinion, not fact).
Content-hungry consumers are desperate for satiation, and these days a “7 Ways to Accomplish Something” list has become the equivalent of a stale rice cracker that someone else licked the salt off.
So, there’s obviously an issue here for anyone delivering content. Be it a fellow marketer, a business owner or an influencer. And I think the solution is quite simple.
But first, we need to understand more about the problem perpetuator.
A HUGE amount of copy is carelessly produced through AIs to meet some ambiguous quota. Anyone can do it, and lots of people do, which in the long run, is why businesses have to work so much harder to gain the attention of their consumer base.
If it’s that easy and accessible, is this the new solution for business owners and marketing managers looking to save a few bucks? And has the role of a copywriting specialist changed?
I decided to go straight to the source.
I HAD COFFEE; IT CRUNCHED 0s AND 1s
Me: good morning Chat, how are you today?
ChatGPT: Good morning! I’m an AI language model, so I don’t have feelings or emotions, but I’m here and ready to assist you. How can I help you today?
I decided to get right into it and hit it with the hard stuff.
Me: As a writer, are you my friend? Or my enemy?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don’t possess personal emotions or intentions, so I cannot be your friend or enemy in the traditional sense. However, I am here to assist you with your writing and provide you with helpful information, suggestions, and creative ideas. Consider me a tool that can support your writing endeavors. I’m here to offer guidance and help you to the best of my abilities. How can I assist you today?
It continues to offer help rather than hindrance. I remain unconvinced.
Me: Do you know what a frenemy is?
ChatGPT: Yes, I’m familiar with the term “frenemy.” A frenemy is a portmanteau of the words “friend” and “enemy” and refers to someone who simultaneously acts as both a friend and an adversary. It describes a complicated or ambiguous relationship where there are elements of both friendship and rivalry. Frenemies may appear friendly and supportive on the surface but can also exhibit competitiveness, jealousy, or engage in harmful behavior. The term is often used to describe relationships that involve a mix of positive and negative dynamics.
Me: Understanding that term, are you my frenemy?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don’t possess personal emotions, intentions, or the capacity for friendship or enmity. Therefore, I cannot be considered a frenemy or any kind of personal relationship. I am here to provide information, assistance, and engage in conversation based on the prompts and inquiries I receive. My purpose is to support and assist users like you to the best of my abilities.
I determine we are definitely frenemies. Albeit one sided. Chat is, after all, an AI Language model.
With that out of the way, I wanted to shift focus onto how Chat impacts a writer’s process, both positively and negatively.
CHAT CHATS ABOUT WRITERS
Me: Do you think you are a useful tool to include in a writer’s process?
ChatGPT: Yes, I can be a useful tool to include in a writer’s process. As an AI language model, I can provide several benefits to writers:
Inspiration and idea generation: I can help spark creativity by providing writing prompts, brainstorming ideas, or offering different perspectives on a topic. Writers can leverage this input to kickstart their creative process and generate new ideas.
Research assistance: I can assist in finding information and references on various topics, saving writers time and effort in their research process. By providing relevant facts and data, I can support writers in creating well-informed and accurate content.
Writing guidance and suggestions: I can offer suggestions for sentence structures, vocabulary choices, and writing styles. Writers can use these suggestions to improve the clarity, flow, and overall quality of their writing.
Proofreading and editing support: I can help writers identify and correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. By offering alternative phrasing or suggestions for revisions, I can assist in refining the final piece of writing.
Time efficiency: I can help writers increase their productivity by quickly providing information, generating content, or assisting in the writing process. This can free up time for writers to focus on other aspects of their work.
However, it’s important to remember that while AI tools like me can provide valuable assistance, it’s crucial for writers to maintain their creative control and incorporate their own voice, style, and critical thinking into the final output. Using AI as a tool rather than relying solely on it ensures that the writing remains unique and authentic to the individual writer.
Me: Do you think you cause creative burnout?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don’t have the ability to directly cause creative burnout. However, it’s possible for individuals to experience burnout when they rely too heavily on any tool or resource, including AI models like me, without taking breaks or engaging in other activities that promote well-being and creativity.
Using AI for writing can be helpful, but it’s important to maintain a balance and not solely rely on AI-generated content. Taking breaks, engaging in other creative pursuits, seeking inspiration from various sources, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance are important practices for avoiding burnout.
Ultimately, how AI tools are utilized and the impact they have on individual writers can vary. It’s important to be mindful of one’s own well-being and creative process, and to use AI tools in a way that complements and enhances rather than overwhelms or hampers the creative experience.
I posed many similar questions, which I did not include because, ultimately, the feedback was always some variation of: I am an AI Language model. I am an excellent starting point. Like most things, I am unhelpful in large quantities.
CHAT GETS CHATTY ABOUT BUSINESSES
Chat recognizes through its data patterning how people should use it, its limitations, and what could happen if it is not used with care. As I suspected, content creators can quickly get into trouble if they see it as an easy content-generating machine instead of just another great tool. And it is a great tool. However, I needed to know more about how Chat could function as a business content creator.
Me: Should businesses use you to create content instead of copywriters?
ChatGPT: The decision of whether businesses should use an AI language model like me or professional copywriters for content creation depends on several factors and considerations. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
Unique expertise and industry knowledge: Professional copywriters often possess industry-specific knowledge, expertise, and experience that can be valuable in creating content that resonates with the target audience. They can bring a deep understanding of the business, its offerings, and its customers, which can result in highly tailored and effective content.
Brand voice and messaging: Copywriters excel in developing a consistent brand voice and messaging that aligns with the business’s identity and resonates with its target audience. They can capture the brand’s personality, values, and tone in a way that connects with customers and builds brand loyalty.
Creativity and storytelling: Skilled copywriters bring creativity and storytelling techniques to their work, enabling them to craft engaging narratives and compelling content that captures the attention and imagination of the readers. They can create unique and memorable content that stands out in a crowded digital landscape.
Flexibility and adaptation: Copywriters are adept at adapting their writing style and tone to suit different platforms, channels, and target audiences. They can tailor content specifically for social media, websites, blogs, or other marketing materials, ensuring consistency and effectiveness across various mediums.
On the other hand, an AI language model like me can be a valuable tool in the content creation process. I can provide quick access to information, generate ideas, offer suggestions, and assist with writing tasks. However, the content generated by an AI model may lack the nuanced understanding, creativity, and industry-specific knowledge that professional copywriters bring to the table.
Ultimately, the decision to use an AI language model or professional copywriters should be based on the specific needs, resources, and goals of the business. Some businesses may find value in using both, leveraging the strengths of each to create a well-rounded content strategy.
Here’s the TDLR business people. Chat is the real deal when it comes to increasing efficiency, kickstarting idea generation and churning out boring, toneless dribble that will make you sound just like everyone else out there leaning into the AI wave.
But as we identified above, that’s not what your audience wants, is it?
WE ARE HUMANS CONNECTING WITH HUMANS
As a writer, I’ve never truly viewed AI as a threat to my role because, ultimately, my goal is to create connections with humans. And no matter what you type into that Chat box, it does not have the human experience to develop meaningful copy.
Chat won’t understand your struggles to get your first business off the ground or your deep roots in your community.
It won’t be able to see the flow of your messaging through your marketing touchpoints or understand how a customer is making decisions about interacting with your business.
AI is the best frenemy as long as it’s used in the right way. It can be a great jumping-off point, challenge perspectives and offer various assistance.
For businesses looking for content creation, it’s better to turn to a knowledgeable copywriter who can leverage the tool and create content that is unique to your company and connects with your audience.
And that’s really the answer you’ve been looking for throughout this whole blog—the solution to the overconsumption problem. Your content must be thoughtful, relatable and valuable to the people you want to connect with. Your voice needs to ring strong and clear through the digital landscape.
Your story needs to be told.
Luckily, a few of us here love to do just that.
Are you interested in learning more? We’d love to hear from you.