Enter just a few sentences of copy, and bam an AI writer created paragraphs of copy. My fellow founders and entrepreneurs on a call were blown away. Should you use AI to write articles? If you want to connect to others on a deep level, as I do in emerging tech PR communications for some of today’s most forward-thinking companies, the answer is no.
First, let’s clear the air. I’m a vocal advocate of AI and automation; I believe they will create jobs and prosperity. I’ve held this position in my conversations with Matanya Horowitz of AMP Robotics, Sean Chou of Catalytic, now Senator John Hickenlooper, and Presidential candidate, Andrew Yang. But AI has its place and for those using it for writing copy, they should tread lightly.
The case against using AI to write copy.
Consider AI, or artificial intelligence, isn’t truly artificial intelligence—at least not yet. AI recognizes patterns and is capable of repeating those patterns with incredible accuracy. For any task that’s repeatable in nature, it’s perfect. Great writing, however, isn’t repeatable.
AI bots have incredibly large databases of phrases. They simply identify other writing samples from the internet, look for a potential match in the keywords you use, and perform what is basically an elegant copy/paste job from existing work. If you’re using an AI to write, you’re basically copying your competition. You’re average.
Using AI to write articles is a utilitarian view of human communication, but it does make sense how we’ve come to this point.
AI writing is acceptable because bad writing is everywhere.
Most of us have become accustomed to the massive amounts of poor writing across the web. Struggling to keep up with the content war, companies have been writing junk content for years. Digital marketing teams have favored SEO-writing to get ranked instead of checking human boxes to connect.
You’ve seen the 10-paragraph blog posts when searching for a simple query like “how to make toast” right? Search engines favor long, typically poorly written content. When we see AI writing jump into the scene, it doesn’t look any different. Thankfully, Google is showing signs they will promote better writing in the future.
This is why using AI to write articles we are accustomed to is remarkable. Like lukewarm water, it feels natural and acceptable. That is, until we experience a hot steam shower. AI writing is good, from a technology standpoint, but in the words of Jim Collins “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.”
AI can’t produce original writing
Great writing is capable of cutting through the noise, getting to the heart of what truly matters to people. Superior writers are able to parse sentences in a meaningful way and convince an audience to act, change their mind, cry, make a buying decision, or rise up against unjust systems.
Great writers understand culture, history, and context. They understand when to use humor as a tool and when to avoid it. Great writers understand the nuance of breaking news, and how to be sensitive. They understand when to break grammatical and spelling rules to drive home a point.
Great writers, great artists, and great companies are only able to disrupt other companies because those companies settle. If you’re using an AI to write copy to connect to humans, you’re at risk. And yes, your human audience absolutely picks up on this. When I asked The Hustle founder, Sam Parr how to grow an email list he quickly credited their human-first writing style. “Staying out of the bullshit filter” is one of his 4 tips to quickly getting over two million subscribers.
Should we use AI to write copy? The final verdict.
Should you use AI to write articles? If you’re my competition my answer is a resounding yes. Please use AI writing tools to your heart’s delight (here’s one). But if you want to change the world, make meaningful impact, change hearts and minds using AI to write content and copy for your company is outward confirmation to your customer, you’re a robot just like everyone else.
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