Introduction to AI and AI copywriting tools
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now on a lot of business owners’ radar. It’s as if it suddenly appeared. It did not.
AI dates back to the 20th century, but that’s a story for another time.
What you may not be aware of is that you’ve been using AI for years now, so please don’t suddenly become afraid of it unless you’ve never used a smart TV or a piece of software. Or if you’ve never asked Siri or Alexa for something.
What you might be concerned about (but shouldn’t!) is Machine Learning (ML), a subset of AI that automatically learns and improves systems as they go with no additional programming.
ML focuses on developing computer programs that can assess data and subsequently learn for themselves.
And this is where AI copywriting tools come in. Programmes have been created to produce AI-generated text from a simple input by you, the human. Talk about automation on steroids.
As a small business owner, I write a lot of copy and AI copywriting tools have become an enormous asset for my content creation. Not everyone shares my excitement. I’m bemused by people who say things like:
“It’s content spinning!”
“It’s content theft!”
Is it unfair to use a stove instead of cooking on an open fire? Is it unfair to buy groceries from the market instead of hunting down “food” in the wild?
My point is, as we progress through time, technology makes our jobs easier. It’s not only backwards but also self-destructive to resist the fruits of technology.
Let’s first understand the basics of AI and ML before we look at whether using AI tools for writing copy is a real threat to copywriters.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) vs Machine Learning (ML)
AI is the creation of intelligent machines capable of emulating human reasoning and actions.
Now, I do not claim to be an expert in computer science, but as I understand it, “if and else statements” are the essential components of computer programming; this is why Siri is an AI programme.
The programme: “If the user does X, deliver B.”
The programme in action: “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?”
The programme behind Siri: If the user asks about the weather, give them a forecast based on their location.
Again, a very simplified way of explaining, but see, you’ve been using AI for years. So that should alleviate a little of your fear, I hope.
In contrast, ML mines data and learns from it without being explicitly programmed. It explores data and looks for patterns, and requires no human intervention. Basically, it predicts what needs to come next.” Yikes! Now you’re scared again, right? But worry not. Your job as a copywriter is still safe. Keep reading.
You’ve been benefiting from ML and AI already if you’ve ever used Grammarly. It predicts where you need some grammar help, enabling it to offer suggestions on where you might need to use a comma. It can even ask you if you meant one word or another, such as the homonym words “bear” and “bare”. It can do all this because to quote Grammarly:
Grammarly’s products are powered by an advanced system that combines rules, patterns, and artificial intelligence techniques like machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing to improve your writing. Source: How We Use AI to Enhance Your Writing | Grammarly Spotlight (https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-grammarly-uses-ai/)
“But,” I hear you cry, “Grammarly doesn’t write for you like these other tools.” So, let’s take a closer look at why you should be using these tools.
Advantages of Using AI Copywriting Tools
A research lab called OpenAI created and launched the third Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT-3) series last year. Copywriters and content creators have felt its presence.
The “autoregressive” part of this language module means it predicts future values based on past values. So, the more you feed into the tool of choice, the more it will learn what you’re trying to say and write it for you.
I hear a lot of copywriters say, and I’ve been known to think this too, “It took longer to generate outputs I can use than it would have taken me to write it myself.”
And that’s where we need to shift our mindset about these tools. They are not meant to replace your copywriting skills; they are intended to enhance them.
To illustrate my point, consider if a client asks you to write sales copy about a product you have no clue about. You’ll be required to carry out extensive research; this is why you should look at these tools as generating a ton of ideas for you. Don’t look at them as just your writing assistant, but also your brainstorming assistant too.
Using these tools to generate content does not mean you should copy and paste the outputs. Instead, read through everything, get inspired, learn something new, and then put your spin on it. And if you are a skilled and talented copywriter, you’ll find that your work will shine far brighter than those who do not make changes to their outputs.
The other advantage is speed. If you’re able to write your copy a lot quicker, the benefits are you’ll have more bandwidth to take on more clients.
In a nutshell, using AI writing tools will save you time and resources that would have been spent on developing, researching, and generating the content.
Work With Technology, Not Against It
When technology gives you a quicker and easier way to do what you already know how to do, embrace it.
Technology is advancing faster than ever before. If you back out from evolution or even protest against it, it will still proceed.
Has Grammarly made proof-readers less valuable? Of course not! It enables proof-readers and content writers to create excellent content without overthinking grammar and punctuation.
AI writing tools are the fruits of technology, ready to be utilised, and dismissing them would be a self-destructive move.
Put down your torches and spikes, copywriters! AI copywriting tools are not taking away your jobs. They’re only guilty of making your job easier, and dare I say, allowing you to take on more clients. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!