If you haven’t heard the news that AI is positioned to kick all human writers to the curb after scoffing at their turtle-like slowness, then you may be living under a rock (and for that, we salute you).
Every Tom, Mick, and Sherry is writing an opinion piece, post, or pop song about the recently released ChatGPT, a chatbot with the tagline “Optimizing Language Models for Dialogue.” It claims to be able to “answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”
It’s certainly not the first AI-writing generator, and it won’t be the last. So what’s different? Why the hoopla and apocalyptic predictions?
In a sentence: Because compared to many of its predecessors and peers, ChatGPT produces intelligible, lightning-fast writing, even based on loose prompts. Poor human writing (the kind content mills produce) doesn’t stand a chance.
That’s exactly why we’re not concerned about AI-writing or writers’ jobs (or ours). We deal in quality—the intuitive, agile, creative kind that machines will never be able to fully emulate.
When it comes down to it, we can’t even agree with the delivery promise of AI-writing: quick, adaptable, readable writing. It’s like giving a candle as a housewarming gift to an intimate old friend. It checks the box, but there’s no rapport, no true depth, and no personalization. (This analogy doesn’t even tackle the moral ambiguity of how AI-generated copy sources material without accreditation.)
That’s not to say we don’t treat the benefits and risks of automation flippantly. We know the fear of technology taking over (recall our sometime-nemesis spell check), making our skills obsolete. We’ve heard the arguments against the premium custom work demands, the price of using human brains and intuition. We understand the push for immediate results and instant gratification.
But we’re also more familiar with the limitations of technology. The best code can’t account for the fluidity and contextual nature of language (and grammar). The most innovative software can’t build empathy or humor or tone on par with a human, if at all (and many ChatGPT users attest to this). Fast doesn’t equal better. And true success can’t be captured like lightning in a bottle; it’s built incrementally over the long term, through each meaningful interaction between a business and the people it helps.
So, will AI-generated writing replace writers? Sure—the poor ones. Just as spell check replaced low-quality proofreaders.
We’re neither. We’re going to stay in our lane, aka 24/7 professional B2B proofreading and copyediting service, and we suggest you do the same.
That doesn’t mean we aren’t seeking constant improvement. It doesn’t mean you should sit back on your laurels and scoff at AI-writing. But it does mean we (and all other creatives) maintain confidence in the truly quintessential, inimitable, irreplaceable genius of the human mind.
What people really want to read is well-written copy (web sites, emails, billboards, mailers, annual reports, blogs, commercials, magazine ads, presentations, etc.) from companies of integrity that care about their consumers, prioritize their employees’ well-being through human-centric approaches, solve real problems, and relate to our common struggles.
How do we know? Because we’ve seen the evidence over and over. Because that’s what we want, and it’s why we’re successful.
Technology is a great tool, but when it comes to a choice between economy and humanity, we’re voting for and working from the latter. Hands down.
What are your thoughts?
For more on why human expertise is worth the investment, check out our e-book: Don't Outsource Your Proofreading: 3 Myths About Outsourced Proofreading Services.