ChatGPT, or Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, has been gaining popularity since its release date in November 2022. It has also raised criticism due to copyright infringement concerns and ethical dilemmas. I battle-tested this recent OpenAI invention from a real content writer’s point of view. Here are the results!
In this in-depth article on ChatGPT, I focus on our title-originated questions:
- Will AI systems and language-trained chatbots replace Content Writers in the near future?
- How can a marketing team use AI chatbots in their daily work?
- How does it influence the writing process for marketing purposes (such as landing pages, blog posts, or social media posts)?
Hopefully, with some original arguments, I’ll contribute to this ever-so-hyped discussion. Also, this blog post has been written with the support of ChatGPT (thank you, pal!), so I invite you to play a little game. Can you spot all the instances where I deliberately used AI-generated responses? A quick tip: look out for changes in style and word repetitions. Be sure to leave your own thoughts on hero/dot’s LinkedIn!
Please note: these are general, first-perspective observations on working with OpenAI and ChatGPT since December 2022. At this point, the subject has been explored from many interesting angles in previous articles by many authors, some of which may coincide with the results of my own research and exploration.
1. Introduction: Is ChatGPT The Future of Language Processing?
Recently, I’ve seen a classic science fiction film titled “Back to the Future II” (1985). What struck me was how people in the 80s expected the future to look… and that this so-called future has already happened. 8 years ago, to be precise. And let me tell you, it wasn’t up to standards. We have no mid-air highways for flying cars, and a vast majority of us still kneel to lace our Nike sneakers. Although, you can actually buy this film-inspired pair for the humble price of some $20.000 US dollars.
However, we have made great strides with Artificial Intelligence, which may feel like a nightmare come true for all of those who watched films on robotic rebellions. Fortunately, an open-source, non-profit chatbot by OpenAI doesn’t pose a threat to humans as a species. On the contrary! Its existence seems to be an overwhelming amount of hype in the tech world, causing my social media to become flooded with tips & tricks on how to use it. And no wonder!
1.1. What is ChatGPT?
Since November 2023, ChatGPT is all the rage. But what is it, exactly? In simple words, it’s a 100% free research preview of a chatbot capable of producing human-like, credible-sounding responses of decent quality. What makes it work? Imagine that: OpenAI starts with supervised learning to fine-tune their next generation of large language models, then this comparison data is used to train a reward model, and then it’s further optimized with reinforcement learning, more specifically an algorithm called Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO).
The result? Seems like everybody’s looking for a way to improve their work with ChatGPT (or simply play with it), causing slowdowns and errors due to high demand. In my experience, while using the chatbot, it’s very likely that you’ll need to refresh your browser quite a few times.
But don’t worry, OpenAI has already started monetizing your frustration with a premium version! Also, you can get a Chrome extension for ChatGPT, making it easier to use in daily work.
Interestingly, Google is already working on their competing chatbot called Bard, which beta-testing version was released in February 2023 and uses the same AI model (GPT-3). However, it’s not yet available to the public and has already raised criticism due to a spectacular flop by providing inaccurate information in the promotional video.
2. How Can Your Marketing Team Use ChatGPT to Their Best Advantage?
By leveraging the power of ChatGPT, your marketing team can improve efficiency, accuracy, and customer experience, gain a competitive advantage, and focus on higher-level tasks that require human creativity and expertise.
- Content creation. ChatGPT can generate high-quality content ideas and even produce the content itself, saving your team time and effort.
- Personalized communication. ChatGPT can be used to create chatbots or voice assistants that provide personalized and quick responses to customer queries, leading to improved customer satisfaction and trust.
- Lead generation and qualification. ChatGPT can be used to automate lead qualification, ensuring that only qualified leads are forwarded to the sales team, reducing the time and effort required to close deals.
- Social media management. ChatGPT can be used to create social media posts and even respond to customer comments, allowing your team to focus on higher-level tasks.
- Data analysis. ChatGPT can analyze large amounts of data to identify trends, preferences, and insights that can inform marketing strategies and tactics.
- Improved Accuracy. It is capable of understanding the context of the query and responding accurately. Unlike humans, ChatGPT doesn’t suffer from fatigue, and it can provide consistent responses to customer queries.
- Scalability. ChatGPT can handle multiple queries simultaneously, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, ChatGPT can scale to meet your needs.
Indeed, this little fellow is quite skilled! However, I couldn’t help but wonder: does it outperform a good content writer?
2.1. Improving the Content Writing Process with ChatGPT (FEB 13 Version)
Should I be worried about my cushy job? Let’s research that – but in a structured way. When I’m creating a blog post, I follow 4 key steps in my content writing process:
To make sure that the content is engaging, informative and accurate, I research various sources, such as books, competing blog posts, scientific articles, films, social media, and interviews. I also use Ahrefs or Surfer SEO to find profitable keywords with high search volume and relatively low difficulty.
It’s an iterative process of struggling with writer’s block, putting pen to paper, optimizing content ranks in Surfer SEO, finding synonyms in an online thesaurus, sweating over whatever’s not working for Grammarly, eating Korean Fried Chicken to go, and then writing some more. In short, I use a variety of tools to produce quality content and hopefully outperform competitors. I also make sure the content is properly formatted with headings, subheadings, bullet points, and other elements so that it’s easy to read and digest.
I ask a fellow content writer to provide me with proofreading, smooth out any errors and add missing commas. In the meantime, I search for relevant images, videos, or other multimedia to break up the text and provide additional context.
Planning and Publishing
Ultimately, the polished blog post comes back to me, and we publish it on our website according to Sandra’s (our Content Marketing Manager) content plan. In the meantime, I write a short summary which encourages our social media followers to click on that juicy link.
All the steps mentioned above may take from 1 to 3 days of intense work. With that being said…
2.2. I Asked ChatGPT to Replace Me at My Job. Here’s What Happened.
Research + Writing
Result: Fairly accurate. It took 1 minute and 19 seconds for ChatGPT to generate a 475 words-long, informative blog post on “the main reasons to use ChatGPT”. However, it counted words inaccurately and crashed twice in the meantime, forcing me to reload the page.Command: write an SEO-optimised blog post on the main reasons to use ChatGPT.
Writing + Editing
Result: Mediocre. In a whopping 26 seconds, I’ve got a rather boring and lengthy social media post for said article. Within an additional 7 seconds, the chatbot shortened it and make it more attractive to readers. The quality? Still not convinced, but… it’s speed!Command: write a summary for social media – Instagram and LinkedIn – for this article.
Writing + Planning and Publishing
Result: At first, it hasn’t understood me correctly. The chatbot presented me with some ideas for a monthly strategy for the social media content (in 30 seconds), 3 posts for each of 4 weeks. Nothing revolutionary, but definitely useful. It included client testimonials, success stories, the latest technology trends, and employer branding posts including a commitment to diversity and inclusion. On the second try, I’ve got a set of 12 examples for marketing copy (i.e. Say goodbye to manual data entry and hello to automation with our software).Command: write a monthly supply of social media content for a software agency + write a monthly supply of social media posts for a software agency
Honestly? At this point, I do believe that fellow content writers, myself included, can do a better job. However, there are three reasons why some businesses might want to lean towards replacing their professional human experts: speed, cost efficiency, and inability to spot differences between content produced by people or robots.
3. How Can ChatGPT Support You in Content Writing Tasks?
Fairly Accurate and Speedy Research
If you haven’t tried it already, please do. Go! Run! If there is any reason you could want to use ChatGPT, it’s the fact that it significantly reduces the time required for researching relevant topics (in my experience, by around 40%). Just be precise with your queries, remember that data past 2021 isn’t available and that the chatbot itself may sometimes provide faulty information. Double-check it for safety.
Fight Writer’s Block
Content creation may at times get slowed down simply because writers need a certain flow (as described by Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi). Before putting pen to paper, I often ask ChatGPT to generate content in my stead to draw inspiration from it. By combining it with your own unique style, empathy and creative expression, you could be surprised by the outcomes!
Support content writers that aren’t native speakers
Many content creators don’t write in their mother tongue. Despite all the years I’ve been learning English, I still struggle with finding advanced synonyms or idioms. To level up your writing, you can also ask the chatbot to correct, improve, or make style changes to your text. In my opinion, ChatGPT translates texts better than Google Translate, but worse than DeepL. If you’re already using this chatbot in daily work, it’s a nice, convenient perk to do it all in one place.
4. How Not to Use ChatGPT?
Lying through your teeth to the company or employer
Let me get straightforward. The fact that you can generate plausibly good content with AI doesn’t mean you should do that. If you’re getting paid for creating original content, don’t copy and paste ChatGPT answers. While it may sound tempting, it’s still cheating. Fostering trust, responsibility and dedication while providing your services will definitely get you further in a content writing career.
Optimizing Content SEO
Google and other search engines continuously add improvements to their crawlers and algorithms. So, I doubt whether ChatGPT could be a go-to tool for SEO purposes whilst operating on data from 2021. However, it’s worth noting that Microsoft has already used AI to power its own search engine – Bing.
Predicting “the Future”
ChatGPT’s capabilities are constrained to September 2021. Poor guy still lives amidst the worst time of the global pandemic. That means there is no data available about Polish goalkeeper Szczęsny’s tear-jerking moment with his 4-years old son during the World Cup in Qatar (2022), a viral Wednesday dance, or a hit song “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus (currently trending on Spotify). Oh, and our dear queen Elisabeth II is still the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom.
5. Content Writing: State of the Art in 2023
Today, in social media, Gen Z’s short attention spans doom our importance to decrease – slowly but surely – and this gap is already filled by video content creators on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. There’s no point in prolonging the importance of written content for younger audiences, but I still see it thriving in media for professionals: such as LinkedIn or industry-related Instagram accounts whose primary purpose is sharing knowledge.
Moreover, websites are where content writing thrives: we produce high-quality content for landing pages, blog posts, articles and so on. And for a good reason: such content supports the on-site SEO marketing efforts of many businesses, granting a higher level of visibility in SERPs (search engines page results). As for today, the ability to produce creative, unique, high-quality content that is both pleasing to our dear readers, stakeholders, and Google crawlers, pays for the roof over our heads and ever-so-pricy gas bills.
3.1. Why are Content Writers so important?
In my humble opinion, content writers are at times underappreciated. This is perhaps due to the fact that everybody can (to some extent) write. It’s an elementary skill we all acquire at a very young age. So allow me to gently point out, that these valued members of any marketing team simply bring more than writing skills to the table.
Content writers are not just writers, but also researchers, editors, and strategists. They have to gather information on a wide variety of topics and present it in an engaging and informative way. However, writing is not the only skill that content writers need. They also need to be skilled in social media management, graphic design, and basic HTML coding to create effective and engaging content.
Content writers often use specialized tools like keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO) to help their content rank higher on search engines and attract more readers. As a matter of fact, an effective SEO strategy can increase brand recognition, sales, lead generation and more.
Content writers can write about anything from technology and business to entertainment and lifestyle. This allows them to constantly learn new things and expand their knowledge base.
6. Human Intelligence vs. Language Model-trained AI
What does it take to be a good content writer? For starters, linguistic-verbal intelligence, as described by Howard Gartner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983 – oldie but goodie). The skill set required for creating masterfully constructed storytelling, explaining complex phenomena in a comprehensive language, as well as clearly conveying ideas and emotions in written or spoken form, is easily identifiable in childhood.
Additionally, in Wechsler’s Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV), a go-to IQ test for psychologists worldwide, there’s a separate index for measuring verbal comprehension (VCI), one of the major components of intelligence. VCI has four scales:
“Similarities, which measures abstract verbal reasoning; Vocabulary, in which words must be defined singly, without context; Information, which tests general knowledge of history, art, culture, and politics; and Comprehension (supplemental), which measures the ability to understand abstract or idiomatic expressions.”Shirley Payau, “Verbal Comprehension Index“
Backed with years and years of polishing your unique style, rules of grammar and interpunction, and the ability to empathise with readers – it makes a winning combination. Then comes OpenAI and GPT-2 based on an improved language model (2019). Please note, that this little fellow is an older generation than ChatGPT. And still, it:
generates coherent paragraphs of text, achieves state-of-the-art performance on many language modeling benchmarks, and performs rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering, and summarization—all without task-specific training.
Therefore, it’s safe to assume that a central part of what makes these types of robots intelligent is linguistic and verbal skills. In fact, the mere ability to use articulated speech in written form is what brought us to the point in history when we use AI! Sadly, ChatGPT lacks a human touch, and it’s the one thing that is unlikely to change.
6.1. What Else Is Impossible for ChatGPT?
- Access data sources post 2021. In a sense, it’s stuck in the past.
- Generate creative ideas. It simply interprets and recalibrates training data that already exists, which may pose a threat to the copyrights of original authors.
- Empathise and feel for the audience it writes for. It lacks emotional intelligence and the ability to interpret social cues.
- Understand humour or sarcasm, at least the way humans do.
- Recognizing subtle nuances in language.
- Creating images or videos, although different types of AI are capable of doing that.
- Write content that is coherent with the Tone of Voice, at least without detailed instructions.
7. Employees of the Future: Will Content Writers Extinct?
A while back, I read an interesting report by infuture hatalska foresight institute on the employees of the future (beware, it’s in polish; but you could ask ChatGPT to translate it for you). According to their studies (2019), 60% of polish internauts declare that it’s likely or highly possible for robots and AI to replace a majority of work performed by humans. As I was writing this sentence, I quickly noticed that the word “internaut” (“Internet user”) doesn’t exist in English, so I used ChatGPT to give me a helping hand. And guess what happened? Yup, you were right. An error occurred. Good ol’ Google came to the rescue.
ChatGPT raised legal concerns, such as data privacy and copyright infringement. In the future, I expect technology giants to produce software that detects AI-written content on websites or social media. In fact, such tools already exist, but we’re yet to see them automated and implemented in popular platforms. If we have blue checkmarks to confirm the authenticity of profiles, why couldn’t we have a – let’s say – green checkmark to guarantee that content has been written by a human? Basing your content strategy on chatbot-generated answers could potentially endanger the future reputation of your business.
ChatGPT simply recalibrates data that it has been fed. Meanwhile, some competencies of the future (as described by Hatalska) are uniquely human: creativity, cooperation, design thinking, critical thinking, and negotiation skills. For a long time, if ever, ChatGPT won’t be able to establish a great interpersonal relationship with your client, come up with 100% unique ideas for content, and evaluate the data it provides with the most up-to-date sources.
8. Summary: Is My Future Really Doomed?
Here’s some food for thought: would you get inside a self-operating aeroplane, or would you rather have a pilot come to the rescue if a malfunction occurs?
In 2005 Tim Burton’s film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (spoiler alert), Charlie’s dad first gets sacked as his work is performed by a machine and then gets hired again to repair the same exact robot. I believe that while AI won’t replace Content Writers in the near future, we will use it skilfully to improve our everyday work and perform tasks faster. I’m relieved to say that by testing ChatGPT in recent months, I’ve identified certain issues. Examples? Repetitive style of writing, overusing the same words, and providing false information at times.
To sum up, each piece of AI-generated text has a human face behind it. And that’s why I can rest assured that chatbots won’t take over my job just yet. Instead, they will improve it.