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AI has officially landed, so why stick with the human hand?

There are convincing arguments to uptake the vast power of AI tools for copy, not least as a cost saving measure. However, the true test AI faces is a current lack of humanistic perception and nuance, especially in areas like tone-of-voice and contextual awareness.

Your site, business, and goods are a unique expression of yourself. 

AI is here. Online tools such as Chat GPT, Copy.AI, and the beta version of Google Bard have, since the dawn of 2023, become the searing topic in every corner of any industry informed by tech. Software has flooded every nook of the tech landscape, these programs can seemingly write everything from higher education papers, news articles, blog posts, and much more, all with a high level of competency and immaculate grammar.

 

Copywriting, as an arm of digital and content marketing, stands to be one of the most heavily affected by the dawn of this technology. Steadily, the landscape for copywriters will shift, although presently exactly how, remains to be seen. 

 

There are convincing arguments to uptake the vast power of AI tools for copy, not least as a cost saving measure. Complete grammatical accuracy is another. However, the true test AI faces is a current lack of humanistic perception and nuance, especially in areas like tone-of-voice and contextual awareness.

At this point in time, I would still argue that ChatGPT and its contemporaries seemingly fail to insert personality into copy, unable to capture and convey brand tone of voice. Whilst AI tools generate steely strong grammar, and content can be more than passable, nuance and tone awareness is often a casualty. It's still a roll of the dice.

Where the conversation is rapidly heading, however, is how AI tools affix to the industry. A current unknown is how precisely the impacts will be felt. It’s almost a futile standpoint to staunchly argue against the use of AI entirely, instead maybe there’s something to be gleaned from a level of usage? A 'rolling with the punches' approach. There is an argument to be made that copywriting can utilize and prosper from this frontier technology. Suppose that powerful, engaging modern copy should use these tools as a complement to the creative and perceptive nature of the human hand. 

Whether copywriters now run a system of failsafes on the core of their copy, using AI, as opposed to using it to generate ideas. Or a gatekeeping role could be nurtured, ensuring any pure AI generated text, (such as short snappy CTA’s and banners, for example), stay within the confines and context of the larger project. Or even primarily in the research phase of a project, using it to produce engaging, and specialized, communications to specific industry personnel, geared to eliciting a response.

Although the waters are decidedly murky in this pea soup of tech and human talent, it still bears remembering that your site, your effort soaked business, your passion projects, are more often than not a direct expression of yourself. Handing all the keys to the machines, at this stage, seems full-hardy and over zealous, a misrepresentation of your outward facing work. A human touch is still required in many, many ways.

Copy Comparisons. AI Limitations.

Beneath, I have compiled some copy written for a recent ecommerce project, these product descriptions show how ChatGPT (with some tailored instruction) would complete the copy, then contrasted to my published work. Limitations were quickly exposed.

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