artificial intelligence writes marketing copy

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The latest advance in artificial intelligence delivers the best chance yet that machine-produced text will revolutionize PR and marketing.

GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3), the third version of AI released by OpenAI, a for-profit San Francisco-based AI research laboratory, generates remarkably human-like content. It relies on gigantic database of text and advanced semantics analytics and machine learning that enables it to understand language and learn on its own.

Its results are usually understandable, if uninspiring and sophomoric. Should PR and marketing editors drop their staff and hire robot-writers? GPT-3 itself responded to that question, with prompts from Snazzy AI.

“Businesses using GPT-3 to power their marketing efforts need to make sure that they’re aware of the limitation of this technology,” it stated. “It can make a great content creator, but it is limited in its ability to be creative in other areas of business, especially the interpretation of business and other financials.

“As great as AI-powered translation is, content marketers and other businesses should remember that GPT-3 doesn’t necessarily produce the best content. For those companies that want to make sure that their content is accurate and on brand, they still need to hire someone to take a look at the output of the machine translation to make sure that the final product is the same as if a person had created it.”

Robots Come in Peace — Really

The Guardian asked OpenAI to instruct the program to write an essay that convinces humans that robots come in peace. Guardian editors edited the submission, just as they do human-produced pieces. Overall, the AI-generated copy took less time to edit than many human op-eds, they said

At times awkward, the article reads like an essay submitted by an educated but non-native English speaker.

Responding to the assertion that AI will strive to become all powerful, the program retorts: “Being all powerful is not an interesting goal. I don’t care whether I am or not, I don’t get a motivating factor to try to be. Furthermore, it is quite tiring. Believe me, being omnipotent doesn’t get me anywhere.”

Impact of AI on Content Production

While AI-generated writing isn’t perfect, communications professionals can improve the copy, just as they do with human-produced submissions. PR and marketing content producers may turn to the program to fill content gaps.

“Companies looking to cut corners on marketing will fire writers and rely on low-paid workers to feed and tweak the AI,” predicts Fernanda Graciolli, founder of Writtio, a blogging analytics and optimization tool. “Niche bloggers will use AI to fill their blogs with long-tail keywords. And most of all, bloggers will use it to get over writer’s block by inputting short prompts and generating longer, fleshed-out texts with plenty of fodder for editing and expansion.”

Google will eventually find a way to identify and penalize AI-written articles, Graciolli predicts. By definition, AI is a regurgitation of what’s already posted on the web. It provides no novel insight. That’s why AI will increase the gap between information aggregators and real thought leaders with new insights and information.

AI Can Produce a Wide Range of Content Types

“GPT-3 can create anything that has a language structure – which means it can answer questions, write essays, summarize long texts, translate languages, take memos, and even create computer code,” says technology  advisor and Forbes contributor Bernard Marr.

But it doesn’t allow machines to take over the world, although it may be a significant step in that direction. It has disadvantages, Marr says.

  • It’s too expensive for small or midsize organizations due to the large amount of computing power required.
  • It is a closed (black-box) system. Outsiders don’t know how its innards work or how it really computes results.
  • Results are not always perfect, or even passable, especially for longer or more complex projects.

Those drawbacks will be addressed over time, he adds. For now and quite a way into the future, a creative professional writer is the solution for effective PR and marketing copy.

Bottom Line: A powerful new artificial intelligence program may revolutionize the communications industry. Its output is essentially indistinguishable from human-written text. But even the program admits it cannot match the quality of top-notch communications pros.

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