With AI (artificial intelligence) making headlines recently, businesses of all kinds are looking into ways to automate basic tasks so employees focus on vital strategic work. The creative space would seem to be the last place to become automated; however, advertisers and marketers are indeed experimenting with using AI tools to create content, particularly written content and headlines that capture audience attention based on data. Wondering if you should ditch your hired copywriter and trust a machine instead? Read on for a breakdown of where the technology is right now and what to expect in the coming years.
What is AI copywriting?
Systems that produce copywriting using AI, such as IBM’s Watson and Persado, used by JPMorgan Chase, are fed data by their creators that they then pull from using an algorithm to help piece together messages that make sense, and even entire articles. Some, like Persado, can even identify which advertising messages consumers have responded to in the past and use those to tailor their messages.
There are even AI writing tools consumers can access themselves. Article Forge creates content that maximizes your SEO using common keywords for whatever topic you’re hoping to cover in your blog post. Wordsmith can take numeric data and output written summaries that help the numbers come alive for readers.
Humans vs AI: The big picture
AI automation is a valuable tool when assisting human writers. Tools such as Grammarly, which we use here at Grand Street to check our articles for basic spelling and grammatical errors, make crafting copy easier and ensure a higher standard of quality. AI can be used to check your article or website’s SEO, find the most relevant hashtags for a social media post, or track the effectiveness of brand messages using A/B testing (a topic we may cover at a later date). For short-form taglines, AI can help by generating lists that advertisers and copywriters can choose from and use to generate content with minor tweaks. An AI doesn’t struggle to think of words and can help autocomplete phrases for writers stuck on a closing sentence after hours of writing, as demonstrated by Gmail’s experimental autocomplete tool.
Will AI copywriters ever replace human copywriters? Simply put, the technology isn’t there and likely will never be there to fully replicate a human writer’s voice. Article Forge touts several examples on their site of copy written by their engine, including the one below:
Your home is really not the only possession you may protect with homeowner insurance. You are going to save more on your house owner insurance plan if your house is safe and secure. A homeowner’s insurance policy will offer a number of different forms of coverage. With a house owner insurance plan quote, you’ve taken the very first step to safeguarding your home against damages such as the ones caused by fire and also water, along with burglaries and acts of vandalism. The best method to save cash on a house owner’s insurance policy is to stay away from being labeled as “high risk.” Pets of all types can induce injury to the residence.
Yes, the sentences have a logical way of conveying the information. However, the tone is dry and several places use word choice and phrasing that native English speakers simply would not use; for example, we commonly use the term homeowner, not “house owner.” One could make a case that these tools can be used to output a template that can then be modified by human touch to suit, and that is exactly what Article Forge and many other AI copywriting providers recommend.
The evolution of grammar and linguistics is entirely based on human quirks and imperfections. There’s a reason brands such as Wendy’s, as we covered last week, often go for a snappy conversational tone that’s often slightly imperfect and grammatically incorrect. The language of trends and discourse moves especially fast in 2019 and AI copywriters could be left using neologisms that are out of date and stale if their providers do not keep up to date with cultural shifts. While researchers and writers do contribute to developing the tone and vocabulary of AI copywriters, the fact remains that an AI providing long-form copy that is ready to go is years away and may never fully be realized.
Interested in copywriting that is 100% human-approved? Need a copy editor who knows exactly what you’re trying to say and how to say it? Our copywriters create killer blog posts, social media, podcast ads, e-books, and more. For more info, feel free to email us at [email protected] or call us at (888) 616-5505.