All About "AI" Copywriting Programs
Buckle up for a bitch session here fellas, I'm angry about "AI" copywriting. I recently spent an hour ranting to a very handsome individual in the middle of KitKat club about the problems with AI and I think this may be a more appropriate location for this opinion dump!
What is AI?
As you must have noticed, AI - Artificial Intelligence - has completely overwhelmed the news and viral social media this year. While the insane fury about it has died down a little bit, the question of what AI is and can do has become all the more prevalent.
First of all, what people are referring to as AI is absolutely NOT artificial intelligence in any way, shape or form. These programs are Machine Learning, which means that they can be fed information and then extrapolate from the information.
Of course, this immediately raises a number of questions. These programs can only use the information that is fed to it, and who the hell know what that information is? Let's say that a program is fed 'all of the information on the internet'. That's a lot of stuff, but how much of it is true?
The barriers of ability for people to write whatever bullshit they want onto the internet are incredibly low. Facebook is a great example of an easy-to-use option that basically everyone could use to post and publish whatever opinions, posts and drivel that they want. Should that be counted as 'facts' as equal to a peer-reviewed article?
So with this in mind, we need to recognise that we can't know the quality of the information the programs are being fed.
An investigation from Macquarie University put it nicely,
"In short, the model has no ability to evaluate if the output it is producing equates to a truthful statement or not."
In a side note, using these programs to help you choose products to buy or whatever from those chatbots is also going to give you biased information. Let's say you ask a chatbot, 'suggest a holiday itinerary for a week in summer' or something. Fair enough, it's a good way to get ideas! But what happens when a corporation sponsors a chatbot? Let's say that a certain Airline or Hotel chain has paid your chatbot to suggest it's services first. You might get some good recommendations, but without doing your own research anyway, you won't know if there are other, better options that the sponsored suggestions ignore.
How Does AI Work?
Next, we need to understand how the program works. For an over-simplified explanation, machine learning copy writing programs function similarly to an Auto-fill. You know, on your phone when you're typing a message and there are the three suggestions above the keyboard? That's an Auto-Fill.
An Auto-Fill provides you a suggestion based on 'the most likely word to come next in a sentence' which it learns based on your texting habits. However, I want you to do a test for me right now. Open your phone and start a message to someone, using only the middle suggestion button and see what kind of message it produces.
Here's the sentence that it suggested for me: "The first time you were able and you had to do something about the situation you had with your mom was to tell me to come home".
Okay, with that concept in mind, the machine learning copywriting programs use this same concept, but allow you to input a 'topic' that it should write about. You write in your prompt, it scours its information stockpile and brings out 'the most likely combination of words to create sentences about this topic'. It decides what its most likely based on the amount of times that combination of words is found in its information stockpile.
More questions are immediately raised here. The programs are going to give you the most common answer - is that always the correct answer? Isn't that going to create the most dull, overused sentences? Yes, yes it is.
AI Cannot Create
AI copywriting tools can never write anything new. It can only take what has already been written and maybe paraphrase it at best. It can't write in a unique voice, it can't actually extrapolate information.
AI Will Lie to You
There are countless examples of AI tools lying, making up references and filling its information with dead links. People using the programs have found that AI will create new references, combining the names of prevalent researchers, and academic writers with made-up reference names to back itself up. Here's an example from Hacker News.
Sure, everyone looks for references to prove it's point. I did it in this blog post! Referencing other information is a standard way to prove a point, and often writers will leave out contradictory information to present a biased point of view.
However, presenting one viewpoint using existing references is VERY DIFFERENT to creating fake references to back up your point. It's simply lying, propaganda-styles.
It Takes More Time to Edit than it's Worth
Let's say you want to use AI copywriting tools to generate some text that you intend to edit. That's all well and good, but in my expereince, and from experience I've heard of, the time that it takes to closely read and edit the text written for you by these programs is even longer than it would be to just write it yourself.
There is so much more to say about the problems associated with AI tools. Here's a great tiktok about how AI is racist and abelist. Honestly I tired myself out a little bit with writing this blog, it makes me kinda sad to think that we're spending our time replacing creativity with programs.
All of this to say, if you're looking to fill your website with content, I heartily do not recommend that you use AI copywriting tools. You may accidentally end up plagiarising, writing lies, or simply writing boring content that wont help sell your products at all.
If you need help with your SEO copywriting for your website, Faire SEO copywriting advice or have any other questions about SEO for small creative businesses, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out some of my other blogs.