Copywriting (often confused with content writing), is the art of crafting words and phrases to persuade, educate, or inform a particular audience. Whether you’re a business owner trying to sell a product, a marketer trying to engage with customers. Or a content creator looking to inform and entertain, effective copywriting is essential. In recent years, advances in AI technologies have led to the development of tools like ChatGPT and other AI productivity tools that promise to automate the copywriting process. AI writers aren’t new and have always been popular amongst the writing community. However, ChatGPT has transcended traditional boundaries and has captured the imagination of even non-writers, potentially adding many more use cases beyond traditional copywriting.
However, it’s important to understand the limitations of these tools (and the risks of using AI in general) and to consider other options for improving your copywriting. Here, we are going to delve into ChatGPT and why it may not be the ultimate solution for your copywriting problems.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an advanced language model designed to generate natural-sounding text. The AI model has been trained on a large dataset including books, articles, and websites. Digesting such vast amounts of data results in a highly sophisticated understanding of a wide range of input types such as questions, statements and requests. This makes ChatGPT a powerful tool for natural language processing tasks. Users can easily access valuable insights from their data.
ChatGPT is revolutionizing the writing industry with its advanced capabilities. It has moved beyond being just an AI writer, and more like a personal version of Iron man’s own Jarvis!
Here’s how an AI writer can help normal people write work emails, love letters, Python code and more.
One would think, ‘wow – let’s just get rid of all the human copywriters and get the bot to do it!’
But..Yes, there is a BUT (actually more than one). ChatGPT isn’t perfect and it can’t replace professional copywriters. Here are a few of the biggest limitations:
Limitations of ChatGPT
Lack of context and understanding of the audience
AI writers are extraordinary in assembling words, faster than any human could ever do. But copywriting requires more than just assembling words – it involves finding creative ways to express an idea so that it resonates with the target audience.
One of the main limitations of ChatGPT is its lack of understanding of the target audience. Despite being trained on a vast amount of data, it may not have the necessary context to generate accurate or appropriate responses making it difficult to use ChatGPT for tasks that require a deep understanding of the subject matter or the intended audience.
For example, if you’re writing a copy for a specific product or service, ChatGPT may not have enough information about the product or the target audience to write an effective copy. This can lead to a lack of relevance and effectiveness in the final output.
Another example is an expert Copywriter who would know how to ethically use a bias to nudge the reader to a desired outcome. ChatGPT has no way of understanding if it is ethically biased or not. Therefore, it lacks the ability to craft effective persuasive messages.
ChatGPT’s performance can be improved with longer text inputs, but the process can be time-consuming and impractical. Having to write a large amount of text just to get a relatively short response can be a significant burden. Especially if you still need a human to review and write the final version of acceptable copies.
You should also fact-check the AI’s output as it may not always be accurate. This becomes even more critical when you cite any data or quote anyone.
In addition to that, you don’t want to be penalized for using ‘AI-written’ content. This is because more and more AI content checkers are being employed across the SEO spectrum.
The added effort of having to input text into the AI, on top of their own writing, can double the effort and make the process less efficient (& even frustrating) for creative copywriters. Using an AI writer should be an improvement to your business process, not slow you down.
Limited Understanding of Intent and Human Communication
A simple thing like, ‘hey, how is it going?‘ could mean different things depending on who says it, when it is said and where it is said. With words, context means everything, especially when it comes to copywriting.
ChatGPT’s inability to understand the intent behind the text and the nuances of human communication limits its effectiveness. Inferring meaning and understanding context proves difficult, leading to irrelevant responses and user frustration. Similarly, ChatGPT also struggles to understand the subtleties of human communication, resulting in inappropriate or inaccurate responses.
Without the ability to convey emotions such as humour, wit or sympathy, any content created by ChatGPT will inevitably fall short of expectations.
I tried to get a joke out of ChatGPT, see what I got below.
ChatGPT’s Inability to Write with Brand Voice and Tone
When it comes to copywriting, one of the most important aspects is maintaining a consistent brand voice and tone in order to effectively communicate with your audience. Unfortunately, ChatGPT cannot write with a specific brand voice or tone due to its inability to understand or consider the unique qualities and characteristics of a brand.
By relying solely on inputted text and not having any sort of emotional intelligence, ChatGPT is unable to capture the subtleties that come from writing in a particular company’s voice. This lack of understanding leaves ChatGPT unable to represent that company’s individual vision, values and mission statement accurately.
Of course, this can improve with longer inputs, but reread the above point about inefficiency.
Even ChatGPT does not think it is better than copywriters!
My question to ChatGPT: are you a better copywriter than a professional copywriter?
As an AI language model, I can generate text based on patterns in the data that I have been trained on, but I do not possess the creativity, understanding of human emotions, audience targeting or the ability to understand the context of the task that a professional copywriter has. A professional copywriter has years of experience in crafting compelling and effective copy for a specific audience and in a specific context. They have the ability to understand the target audience, their needs and preferences and craft a message that will resonate with them. They also have the ability to understand the nuances of human communication, and to create copy that is engaging, persuasive and relevant. While I can assist with generating text, it is not a replacement for a professional copywriter.
I also checked the above response on an AI content detector. The response got a score of 52% human levels. ChatGPT at the moment cannot even convincingly write like a human about why it isn’t good enough yet.
I wouldn’t put my money on it yet. Especially if my future depends on it.
Cyber security concerns & legal issues
The use of AI language models like ChatGPT also raises concerns about cyber security and legal issues. There is also a risk that sensitive or confidential information is inadvertently included in the training data. Due to the fact that the AI model is built on vast amounts of data. Additionally, AI models may also be vulnerable to attacks or manipulation, which could lead to the generation of misleading or harmful content.
Another concern is the legal issues surrounding the use of AI-generated text. The text generated by ChatGPT is based on patterns in the data that it has been trained on, and as such, it may include copyrighted or proprietary information.
It can lead to potential legal issues, such as copyright infringement, intellectual property rights infringement, or plagiarism. Imagine writing a best-selling copy, only to find out 3 days later that it has been plagiarized (by an AI).
Additionally, as laws and regulations surrounding the use of AI are still evolving, it can be challenging to stay compliant with the latest regulations. This makes it tricky to use AI writers.
ChatGPT is a useful tool for creating content, but it’s important to be aware of its limitations. While it can generate text quickly and accurately based on patterns in the data, it cannot understand or consider the unique qualities of a brand nor capture subtleties such as humour, wit or sympathy.
Additionally, there are concerns about cyber security and legal issues arising from using AI language models. It’s important to stay informed about the latest laws and regulations surrounding AI so you can use these tools responsibly. With that, there is minimal risk of copyright infringement or other legal trouble.
ChatGPT may have some uses in certain contexts where quick turnaround time is necessary. However, professional copywriters are essential when crafting marketing messages with an emotional component that resonates with your audience.
Continue Reading: Impactful Copywriting – Who Does It Better, Humans or AI?
Ilam Padmanabhan is a veteran in the Tech/Financial services industry. He’s passionate about technologies that shape our future. He writes at Ilampadman.com