Are copywriters in danger of becoming extinct at the hands of artificial intelligence? | Incredible Communications

Are copywriters an endangered species? 

Author: Philippa Lowe
Published: 3rd September, 2019

Are copywriters an endangered species?

Technological advances are enormous blessings to us all, they’ve allowed us to get our jobs done faster, better and more consistently. In the last few decades, however, most industries have found themselves staring artificial intelligence in the face, unsure if it’s still a blessing or if it will put them out of work. 

AI is not the future, it’s already here

Advances are made every single day to make AI better and more sophisticated but for most people, they’re happy with the basics. Think autocorrect on your iPhone, Google Smart Compose or the Grammarly app — these are all small pieces of AI that everyone uses to help their day go a little bit smoother when it comes to the written word. 

From these pieces of AI we know that the technology is out there to pick up grammatical and spelling errors, to offer up alternative sentence compositions, to learn from your tone of voice and to predict what you’ll say next.

So, should we be worried? 

Yes … and no. Most copywriters will puff out their chests and proclaim that they’re not scared of AI because no one can do what they can do. But AI is getting scarily capable and it’s silly to pretend otherwise. Think of GPT-2, a piece of tech created by a group backed by Elon Musk; it is so good at recreating style and tone that its creators are not releasing it. Their concerns lay mainly with its ability to create fake news, impersonate others online and to scam but that concern boils down to the fact that the content it produces is convincing and realistic. 

Besides, AI never has a sick day, doesn’t bring emotional baggage to the job and can pick up errors far quicker than humans can. 

But it’s not as cut and dry as that … 

It never is! Very few pieces of technology have passed the Turing Test — Alan Turing’s test for intelligence in a computer. The test requires an interrogator to ask a series of questions to both a human and a computer, if the interrogator mistakes the machine for a human over 30% of the time in a 5 minute period, the machine passes. 

Turing reckoned that by the year 2000, most computers would be passing that test easily, but it hasn’t worked out that way. This is crucial for copywriters, because copywriting is an inherently human job. Real copy that cuts through draws on emotions, empathy, sarcasm, analogies and humour. All of these things can be attempted by a computer, but often it misses the nuances of human behaviour. 

At the end of the day, your business can use autocorrect, Google Smart Compose or Grammarly and it will make your life that little bit easier. You could even use the greatest, most intuitive AI copywriting program to get the job done and it would do exactly that … get the job done. 

But, if you want copy that really connects, builds trust, showcases your personality and cuts through all the noise, you’re going to have to make like the Spice Girls and look for someone with a human touch. 

Looking for the right humans to help you get your message across? Incredible Communications can help. Email us at http://www.incrediblecommunications.com.au/#contact or call 0414 711 107.