I’m sure you’ve heard of AI copywriting tools and AI content generators. The idea seems reasonable – why should you write every single word and every single piece of content if AI can do it for you? But can it, really? Is AI writing a good idea? From my perspective, absolutely and unequivocally, NO. Let me explain why I think so.
I know what you’re thinking right now – here’s another copywriter worried about his job. He just has to trash AI; this technology will soon make him useless and jobless. But will it? Honestly, I don’t think so! And don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing something else for a living, I’ve moved from public relations to content marketing in the past, and now I’m willing to move from content marketing to something else if that’s necessary. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I can say with almost 100% confidence that artificial intelligence will not replace copywriters and content writers, at least in the foreseeable future. I want to show you three reasons for my opinion.
Reason 1: MT
If you’ve never heard this acronym, it stands for machine translation. In short, that’s what Google Translate and Microsoft Translator do. Interestingly, some time ago, I’ve written a comprehensive article on machine translation. Let’s take Microsoft Translator as an example. Did you know that initially, Microsoft Translator was based entirely on Statistical Machine Translation (SMT)? This means that it was searching for the most probable translation – the one that was the most frequently found in the translator’s database.
Today, Microsoft Translator focuses on a technology called Neural Machine Translation (NMT). This technology is relatively new – NMT was introduced in 2016. This new intelligent technology enables Microsoft Translator to translate texts not only based on the frequency of a given translation, but also on the context in which it appears in the text. Google Translate works the same way.
All in all, quite an impressive solution. Google Translate and (almost) all the other MT programs have gone a similar way. They are much more advanced and accurate than just several years ago, especially when one of the languages you need is English.
Google Translate was launched back in 2006, and today, according to Wikipedia, it supports over 130 languages.
And GT and other translators are just the beginning! Just take a look at the MT landscape:
Why am I telling you all this? Machine translation is a very useful, AI-powered tool that’s been around for many years. Now ask yourself this question – was MT a reason why translation companies have gone out of business? Of course, not! They are still here, and more of them are launching every year. Even we at Type2Sell are regularly working for one of the biggest translation companies in Europe. Believe me; these companies aren’t going anywhere.
As AI-powered machine translation couldn’t remove translators from the picture, so AI-powered writing will not remove copywriters and content writers.
Reason 2: Google E-E-A-T
I’ve discussed this reason fully in the previous article about the Google E-E-A-T update. If you haven’t read it yet, please do! In short, if you take a look at Google recommendations and requirements for content to rank high in this search engine, you will see that it must be compliant with the E-E-A-T framework. Now, E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust. And this is where AI will always, always fail, no matter how advanced it becomes.
Why? Four reasons:
- Artificial intelligence has no real-life experience
- Artificial intelligence has no expertise
- Artificial intelligence cannot be an authority to anyone
- Artificial intelligence can never gain someone’s trust
These are traits of human experts who have worked in the specific field for years and can share their real-life experiences. AI cannot create something new; this technology is always based on the input you use to feed the algorithm. So, if, for instance, you want to write a text about selecting skis for a beginner, AI will only be able to use already-existing texts on the same subject and offer the same kind of advice. No uniqueness, no real-life experience. That’s not what you want SEO-wise.
If you want to write in compliance with Google requirements and build your website’s SEO, you cannot use AI writing. It’s really that simple.
The latest Helpful Content update is also about the same thing – publishing texts written by real experts; texts that are unique, practical, insightful and written with the reader in mind. AI, at least now, cannot achieve this.
Reason 3: The big picture
Effective content marketing is not only about writing texts and putting them online. It’s about creating and executing a broader marketing strategy that aims at attracting new users and customers. And again, this requires a human brain, industry experience and knowledge of what your customers need and want. Only then can you build your company’s visibility and reputation through content that checks all the right boxes. You still need someone behind the steering wheel, who will decide what to write about, for what channel and using what kind of message. Artificial intelligence, no matter how advanced, is just a tool, not a strategist working for your company.
Put these three reasons together, and I think you will come to similar conclusions: AI writing, at least as a standalone solution, is a no-go. But it doesn’t change the simple fact that AI writing is a real thing, right? There are real tools you can use. So what should you do about them?
The right approach to AI writing
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use these tools. You sure can, but don’t go too far. They can give you some foundation for your work, but ultimately, the outcome has to be made/written by you or your writer(s), not by an algorithm (see reason 2). Additionally, all texts you create using an AI writing tool should be thoroughly verified, edited and supplemented by a human author who will be able to make them unique and truly beneficial to your target audience.
So, let’s talk specifics – what can you use AI writing for?
TEXTS AI WRITING TOOLS CAN CREATE FOR YOU
- Product descriptions
- Summaries (e.g., of longer articles)
- Market news
- Some of the newsletters
TEXTS AI WRITING TOOLS CAN’T CREATE FOR YOU
- Web copy
- Blog posts and guest posts
- Sales copy
- Company presentations
- Case studies
What about short-form copy, such as ads, pop-ups and push notifications? I’d say give AI a try, test various options and see what performs best, but don’t do it blindly. AI needs a lot of supervision from someone who knows your business and your customers.
To sum up, in my opinion, AI writing can only be support for human copywriters and content writers; limited support, for that matter. I’m not saying that you cannot benefit from this technology. You sure can, but you have to be careful and smart with it. After all, it’s this human touch that makes all the difference in the world, at least in my opinion. I want communication to be natural, useful, understandable and human-like. Thankfully, Google thinks the same way.
I don’t want to live in a world of robots where everything is sterile and soulless.