Large businesses often need huge amounts of online content — from website descriptions to blog articles, going through social media copy and use cases, and so much more. Not just that, but they also need to monitor content requests from different teams, analyze their current content and update it as needed.
This is not only a huge human resource cost but also a big workload on content writers.
We’re already seeing the first results of the work of artificial intelligence in creating text, for instance, in writing descriptions for eCommerce businesses based on the assortment of their online store.
But the question is, will AI replace copywriters?
Let’s break it down.
AI’s Writing Capabilities
Artificial intelligence is the ability of a computer program to do human-like things that require human intelligence, such as speech recognition or decision-making. Some of the most known fields of AI are machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics.
AI is already ingrained in our society at various levels. There are algorithms that learn from our listening or viewing habits and curate the most accurate suggestions for us, virtual assistants that complete basic tasks on command, chatbots that take over certain tasks, and even robots that serve in cafes.
When it comes to content writing, companies usually rely solely on humans. However, today, AI can also take on at least part of that job.
A quick search reveals there are a lot of tools available that generate written content:
Such tools work by using natural language processing. You, the human, simply need to decide what you want to write about and what type of content you want (i.e., social media copy.) Then you give your AI tool the instructions, and it then generates the desired piece of content by analyzing other existing examples around the internet and turning the information into something brand new and plagiarism-free.
One of the main advantages of AI is the amount of content it can produce in a shorter amount of time when compared to a human.
But does this mean AI can replace content writers altogether?
Human vs. Machine
If you look at it from a biological point of view, the human brain has millions more neural connections than any artificial intelligence. Therefore, only a person can perfectly cope with tasks that:
- require the development of complex concepts,
- have a high level of uncertainty,
- and need an emotional connection.
The high adaptability of the human mind makes it so that we can switch between different tasks, react to mistakes, correct them and use them as learning opportunities. The advantage of human thinking lies in its uniqueness, which cannot be replicated in any artificial intelligence program.
When it comes to writing in particular, ideally, a text will try to spark some sort of feeling or emotion on the reader, no matter how short the text is. Even if we’re talking about a CTA at the bottom of a blog page, it needs to convey just the right amount of urgency and excitement so that people will click on it. And no one can understand that better than a fellow person.
Despite that, experts predict that more and more specialists will be out of work by 2025 and will have been replaced by AIs. And not even content writers are free of danger.
Despite limitations when it comes to emotion and imagination, AIs can:
- process and generate text;
- create human-equivalent sentences;
- optimize text for targeted advertising.
All these are already at least part of the writing job.
Limitations of Artificial Intelligence
However, as practice shows, in content writing, artificial intelligence copes only with small descriptions and short texts.
Some of AI’s limitations include the following:
- cope only with tasks of the same type for which they were specifically created;
- do not have the ability to switch from one type of task to another, even if they are tangential;
- require decommissioning and retraining to reprogram.
Long articles are likely to still require editorial intervention, at least for now. Therefore, at this point in time, AI cannot fully replace a journalist, editor, or copywriter. And this is again the advantage of the human factor.
Cooperation is Key
There is no concrete answer to this article’s title question because there’s no way of telling what the future will bring.
For the time being, even though we can assume that AIs will only become more and more efficient at their tasks — content writing including — it likely won’t be able to completely displace experts, especially in areas where you need to express emotion and feeling.
AI can already help businesses prepare content for websites or identify missing content opportunities, but some things are still beyond its power:
- prepare articles about unique phenomena and experiences;
- verify facts and sources by referring to human studies;
- understand the nuances of style and tone;
- come up with unique ideas.
Instead of thinking of our relationship with AI as a competition and fighting for our jobs, we can look at AI as a cooperation opportunity that can help us do our content writing job better. For instance, when experiencing writer’s block (let’s face it, we all do at some point), we can use AI to generate the first draft of a text and build from there.
Like every innovation in its time, artificial intelligence has created a lot of buzz — and fear— among people since its inception. Everything that is not fully understood always looks threatening to people. However, we must understand that the world is moving forward, not backward. And progress is driven by the human desire to simplify life and ease responsibilities.
Therefore, a competent approach to the use of artificial intelligence, which will, one way or another, appear in our lives, is the key to further successful activities. And the great advantage of content authors is that the writing of texts with emotional coloring that aim to elicit some sort of feeling in readers is beyond the power of a machine. Yes, artificial intelligence works thousands of times faster than a person, but it will not be able to replace it everywhere.