*(written by a very biased copywriter)
One thing I’d like to get straight before I continue – I’m no technophobe. Yes, I believe the best games console ever invented is a toss-up between the PS2 and the Wii, but that’s just because new and shiny doesn’t necessarily translate to better (and I guarantee anyone that remembers the Buzz Junior Jungle Party game will second this opinion).
The same goes for AI writing technologies. Since ChatGPT broke the internet, the conversation that has been had over and over and over again [insert yawn] is ‘surely we don’t need copywriters anymore?’
But, it’s not that simple.
I have no doubt that many companies will opt for more AI-written content at the expense of their copywriters, but I think that would be a mistake, and I’m going to explain why.
Google can spot AI content
At a glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that AI-generated content was written by a person. But, when you really look into it, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi that comes from a human touch that AI content lacks.
This is partly because the content that AI produces is not unique. It’s taken from mashing together snippets of content that has been found across the internet, and google, with its big brother eyes, knows this.
Historically, Google has dismissed AI content in favour of ‘people-first’ content according to its search guidelines. But, recently, the focus has shifted to how helpful the content is, regardless of who or what it was written by.
Some have taken this as a win for AI. But, I’d like to point out one of the key questions google asks when ranking its content:
“If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources, and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?”
The way that AI writing functions means that any content produced will not be original. Any additional value and originality can only come from the copywriter who creates the brief that is input into the AI program.
So, according to Google’s current guidelines, for AI content to perform well on the search engine, it needs the human touch to provide value and originality – making copywriters far from obsolete.
AI content alone is… meh
I have nothing against using AI as a tool. But, you need a creative behind that tool to know the right phrases to get the program working beyond giving you generic answers.
If you plug in a sweeping prompt, you’ll get a general answer that doesn’t really say anything. For instance, I asked an AI program to ‘write an introduction for a blog about why AI doesn’t mean the death of copywriters’ and it came back with this: