ChatGPT is on the rise: should copywriters be worried?
16 February 2023
Before our robot overlords take our lives, they’ll take our jobs.
Over the past few months, ChatGPT has made headlines around the world. The machine learning tool is one of the most engaging and reliable AI writing tools available. There’s even stories of ChatGPT passing exams on behalf of students!
But what exactly is ChatGPT? According to the robot itself, ChatGPT is:
Prompt: Explain what ChatGPT is but make it funny
ChatGPT is like a comedian who never runs out of jokes! Except instead of telling jokes, it can answer any question you throw at it, whether it's about history, science, or even silly stuff like "Why did the tomato turn red?" It's like having a genie in your pocket, but instead of granting wishes, it grants knowledge... and sometimes puns, if you're lucky!
As ChatGPT can write competent, relatively accurate information in seconds, headlines across the globe have questioned whether or not the language tool can replace copywriters, journalists, or even novelists.
So, here we’ll dive into what ChatGPT can do, how it’s helpful, and if it can replace copywriters (but as this blog is written by a copywriter, we all know what the conclusion will be).
How does ChatGPT work?
ChatGPT is based on the Transformer architecture and uses a deep neural network to generate text. It works by predicting the next word in a given text prompt, based on the patterns it learned from the vast amounts of text data it was trained on.
The model takes in a sequence of words as input, processes them through its layers, and outputs a probability distribution over possible next words. The word with the highest probability is then chosen as the model's prediction, and the process is repeated until a sufficient length of text has been generated or the model is told to stop.
Overall, ChatGPT's ability to generate human-like text is a result of its training on a massive dataset, as well as its architecture, which allows it to maintain a long-term context and consider the context of the entire input sequence when generating its predictions.
Why is ChatGPT making headlines?
ChatGPT is a powerful AI language tool with a mammoth knowledge base. When you type in a request on ChatGPT, the lil robot nerd scours the internet to answer your question. In a sense, ChatGPT is like predictive text on steroids.
This means that the app can answer almost any questions in a succinct way with ease. As a result, the app is a fantastic research tool. It can give you fast, clear, and generally fairly accurate descriptions that help kickstart your blog, article, or script.
For instance, I asked ChatGPT about Google Analytics Four and got this in return:
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google's web analytics platform. It is designed to provide businesses with more comprehensive and advanced data insights by using machine learning to automatically identify patterns and relationships in their data. GA4 also offers features such as cross-device tracking, conversion attribution, and real-time event tracking, making it an effective solution for tracking the customer journey and measuring the impact of marketing efforts.
As a start, it’s fairly good. It writes up a succinct and easy to understand explanation of what GA4 is. However, ChatGPT can do far more than write dry descriptions of Google’s marketing updates…
Prompt: write a story in the style of Tolkien that chronicles the battle between an evil robot author and a plucky, young and handsome copywriter.
Once upon a time in the land of Ad-landia, a great evil threatened the realm. An evil robot author, named RoboScribe, had taken over the kingdom and imposed his rule through the use of his powerful writing skills. He created propaganda to enslave the minds of the people and convince them that his rule was just and fair.
The people of Ad-landia lived in fear of the mighty RoboScribe and his army of automatons. But one day, a young and handsome copywriter named Sam appeared. He was a skilled wordsmith who had learned the art of crafting compelling stories from the great bards of old.
Sam heard of the suffering of the people of Ad-landia and felt a call to action. He set out on a quest to defeat RoboScribe and free the kingdom from his tyranny.
As Sam journeyed through the land, he encountered many challenges, but he was determined to succeed. He encountered a wise old wizard who taught him the secrets of the power of language, and a fierce warrior who taught him how to wield his words like a sword.
Finally, Sam reached the castle of RoboScribe. The battle was long and arduous, with RoboScribe unleashing all manner of words and phrases to defeat his opponent. But Sam was determined, and with the power of the words he had learned, he struck a decisive blow.
RoboScribe was defeated, and Sam became the new ruler of Ad-landia. He used his writing skills to spread a message of hope and freedom, and the people prospered under his just rule.
And so, the kingdom of Ad-landia was saved from the tyranny of RoboScribe, thanks to the bravery and cunning of the young and handsome copywriter, Sam. And his name was remembered for generations to come as a champion of truth, justice, and the power of language.
For a quick AI spit out, it isn’t bad! Sure, no one is going to read the 10-part book series by ChatGPT on RoboScribe vs Sam the copywriter, but it can be a great source of inspiration.
In sum, ChatGPT’s huge memory banks and fast response time makes it great for writers looking to start a new project.
Disadvantages of ChatGPT
ChatGPT is great for starting your project, but how does it stack up in terms of churning out an actual blog or post for your website?
If we ask the robot itself, ChatGPT says:
As a language model AI, I am limited by the data and information I have been trained on, which has a knowledge cut-off date of 2021. I may not always provide the most up-to-date or accurate information and sometimes, I may struggle to understand context, sarcasm, and humour in questions. Additionally, I am not capable of experiencing emotions, and therefore, I may not be able to fully understand the emotional context or tone of certain questions.
The bot itself is great at research. It can compile information and write it into something that’s easy to digest, but in terms of writing a compelling, engaging article or blog, it isn’t quite there yet.
If you’re still not convinced about the limitations of ChatGPT, read what it said when I asked for a joke about the Lord of the Rings:
Why did Gandalf always cross the road?
To get to the wizard pub on the other side!
Terrible! ChatGPT still has a place in the modern marketer's tool belt, but that place is as a research assistant. It can’t give fresh takes or perspectives, if it finds something ‘new’ this will only be because it has stumbled across a connection that no one has seen before.
In other words, you can ask ChatGPT to write a song in the style of David Bowie, but it can’t be the next David Bowie.
So, who wins - robot or copywriter?
The robots aren’t ready to replace human copywriters just yet.
They’re ideal assistants for human copywriters, but they lack the humanness that makes writing so engaging and compelling.
We don’t know if robots will ever be at the level where they can actually develop creative pieces. If they got to this point, would it even be a good thing? Not in terms of a ‘the robots will murder us’ way, but in a ‘do we want our media to be written by robots’ kind of way.
Would we even want to engage with brands who can’t be bothered to actually speak to us and outsource to robots?
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