Giving Robots Control of the Very Foundation of Your Brand: What Could Go Wrong?
If you’re a business owner using the internet, it’s highly likely that you’ve seen the recent barrage of advertisements for AI generated copywriting.
Every copywriter in the world (or at least the ones aware of these tools) have wondered if the future of their career is at stake. And, I’m sure business owners, too, have considered using AI copy instead of investing the money in a living, breathing, cognitively-functioning copywriter.
These new tools are definitely intriguing (I mean, machine learning is actually really cool), but is it really something you should invest in, or are AI copywriting tools a passing fad? What the heck IS AI copywriting? Will AI actually replace human copywriters? And, if you do try AI copywriting software….what could possibly go wrong?
Let the games begin:
What is AI Copywriting and How Does it Work?
AI copywriting works by combining two approaches: machine learning and natural language generation.
Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) in which a computer “learns” from data without the need for that data to be specifically programmed. Natural language generation (NLG) is a subset of artificial intelligence that takes information from data and “spits out” that data into plain language.
The science behind artificial intelligence copywriting is actually pretty cool, and the fact that conversations, ideas, and stories can be generated by machine is ridiculously futuristic.
But…there are key aspects of copywriting that AI just can’t reproduce.
Will AI Replace Human Copywriters?
Computers lack the most crucial characteristics of a human copywriter: intuition and emotional intelligence.
Sure, algorithms can be programmed to do all kinds of amazing things. Things we don’t even know that we don’t know–but artificial intelligence, at the end of the day, is just that: artificial.
Computers (at least as of the time of this writing…..) can’t feel. They can’t respond intuitively. They lack the ability to create an authentic connection, which is the entire point and purpose of copywriting.
And yes…deep learning is pretty badass. AI copywriting tools can churn out completely readable copy…
But artificially generated copy is still void of “vibe,” if you’re picking up what I’m laying’ down. AI copywriting generates copy based on what it has learned from other sources; your personality and the nuances surrounding your brand voice simply can’t be machine-created.
AI copywriting tools can replicate, but they can’t resonate. At least not in the feel-it-in-you-bones level needed to create an authentic connection and emotion.
And that’s what your customers are buying.
What Could Go Wrong if You Use AI Generated Copywriting Software?
As a chronic worrier and someone who’s riddled with near-constant anxiety, one of my favorite games to play is “What Could Go Wrong?” So, naturally, I’ve played out several scenarios where using AI copywriting could go terribly, terribly awry.
1.The Google Gods Will Be Angered
Will Google know if you’re publishing AI-generated content?
Think of it this way: If a copywriting generator can be programmed, Google can easily program something that can detect AI-created content.
Google (and every other search engine) has had one goal since the dawn of the internet…
To provide their users with the best, most relevant content.
Remember when you used to be able to write SEO content around your keywords and not much else mattered?
Those days are GONE.
Google is now favoring content that is well-written, in-depth, and most importantly: valuable. AI copywriting tools can generate copy and content, sure…but it doesn’t know how to touch on pain points and understand nuance.
And…if you’re still doubting whether search engines know if you’re using AI-generated content…dude. Google knows everything. Of course they’re gonna know.
2.AI Copywriting Could Land You in a PR Nightmare
Artificial intelligence and NLG is still relatively new.
Remember “Tay”, the AI Twitter robot created by Microsoft that was meant to “learn from her peers?” In less than 16 hours,Tay turned into a violent Hitler-lover, calling for a race war and was taken offline. Later, Tay was replaced by “Zo,” who then turned against her creators, slamming Microsoft’s systems, and then, like her predecessor, turned into a xenophobe and was, too, taken offline.
Not a great look for one of the biggest tech companies on the planet.
Now, keeping in mind that companies much smaller than Microsoft will be using some of the AI copywriting generators on the market. If these companies lack the resources to hire a freelance or in-house copywriter, it’s likely that they’re going to lack the resources to provide the necessary checks when it comes to the copy that’s being produced.
Or…the human condition will show up in all it’s lazy glory, and someone’s not going to give that last once over on a piece that calls the company founder a Nazi and calls for a race war.
Maybe that’s a little extreme, but, the point is, you can’t control where AI copywriting software pulls their information from, and at some point, someone’s going to get lazy and not check, and you could be in the middle of a public relations shitstorm.
3.You Could Start Losing Sales
The entire point of writing copy is to generate conversions.
For copy to work, it needs to do more than just talk about how great a product or service is. Copy that touches on pain points, shakes your potential clients to their core, and leaves them feeling like you read their diary is the driving force behind sales copy.
Converting copy gets inside your ideal clients’ heads. No amount of data can reproduce that kind of personal connection. And that connection is what earns you next-level brand loyalty.
By choosing Ai copywriters over human copywriters, that connection loses its strength. For every $100 you’d pay a human copywriter, you’re losing more than that by choosing their robot counterpart.
And if you’re a startup with no real revenue, you’re going to build your brand on a really rocky foundation if you don’t create that connection from the very first word.
4.Your Credibility Could Go Down the Drain
It’s not hard to recognize bot-created copy. Even the more sophisticated AI copywriting software has a “feel” to it that clearly shows that the copy wasn’t written by a self-aware, emotionally-driven human copywriter.
If (and by IF i mean WHEN) people start recognizing AI-generated copy, the credibility of those publishing it is going to go down the shitter. Why? Because people crave connection. They crave authenticity. People buy from brands they feel like they “know” and that “know” them, too.
You know when your favorite company switched from live operators to automated phone systems? You know how irritated you are every time you call and find yourself screaming “OPERATOR!” “AGENT!” or “REAL PERSON!” into the phone?
It’s the same kind of feeling. And nobody wants that.
5.You Might Lose What Makes Your Brand YOUR BRAND
Imagine that AI generated copywriting gets more popular. At some point, AI copywriting bots will start “learning” from other AI-generated copy.
All of a sudden, the internet is full of bland, boring copy that’s idea of resonating with the audience is throwing in a “you’re not alone” here and there.
Sure, you could make all kinds of adjustments to your settings, telling an AI copy bot that you want your copy to be a certain tone or voice, but how accurate is it, really? AI can’t grasp the nuances in your voice, brand personality, or follow your brand guidelines.
And as machine learning grows and learns from other machines, trusting the very core of what makes your brand unique to artificial intelligence will mean losing the uniqueness of your brand.
The Verdict: Should You Try an AI Copywriting Software?
As someone who creates copywriting courses and runs a copywriting agency, I’ve got to say, these AI copywriting companies have their ad targeting on lock. Especially since most of the ads I get are “for copywriters, to make your job easier!”
But, personally, I’d never recommend that my students use AI copy software, nor would I sell my clients AI-generated copy. Not just because it’s completely disingenuous…but because copywriting is supposed to be emotionally intelligent, and AI-generated copywriting just…isn’t there. And it never will be
Maybe all of my “what could go wrong scenarios” will be completely obliterated as technology advances. Maybe one day, AI copywriting software will be able to completely understand pain, frustration, happiness, contentment, and curiosity.
And If that time ever comes, I’ll beg our robot overlords for forgiveness.
Until then, write your own copy.