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From adversary to ally: We realized AI isn’t so bad

When generative AI burst into mainstream popularity in 2022, headlines like “Will AI Kill SEO” and “Will ChatGPT Steal Your Job” were all the rage…and the fear. After all, AI suddenly called into question the long-term job security of creators everywhere. As copywriters ourselves, fear was a very real feeling for us. We heard stories about AI content generators—ChatGPT in particular—producing some pretty stunning results in mere seconds. Stories of a beautiful letter to a child “written” by Santa Claus. Instructions on how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR in King James’ biblical English. The possibilities were—and still are—seemingly endless. How could we compete with an AI’s ability to scour the internet for nearly any question or answer and put together a coherent piece of content at lightning speed?

Naturally, our first instinct was to feel worried, threatened. There was a moment when we all felt like these AI content generators could take over our jobs and make our skills moot. But at some point, we came to an important realization. It would be naive of us to work in a field that’s only possible because of technology and assume that new technology could never take away our jobs, or change them in some regard. So, we decided to figure out what exactly we were up against and if there were ways we could use AI to our advantage.

Across our content team, we’ve tried a handful of generative AI platforms. From Copy.Ai and Jasper to ChatGPT, we’ve experimented with various interfaces and modules. Some tools were designed specifically for marketers, with templates and functions that create content for blogs, social media posts or emails. Others are more open and have seemingly limitless uses. Even with these differences, we’ve found that every AI platform we’ve tinkered with has similar strengths and weaknesses.

Our team in particular finds a lot of value in AI for ideation, research and keywords. AI is really great at populating trending and unique on-topic questions that searchers want answers for. By leaving those tasks for AI, our team can spend more time creating long-form, high-quality content. Despite what has circulated online, AI in its current form still lacks the core capabilities necessary for creating content that ranks (especially when you consider Google’s recent helpful content updates). Current AI tools, including ChatGPT, output very generic, repetitive content at best. At worst, these generators can fall off-topic or produce factually incorrect content that doesn’t meet search intent.

It’s crucial to remember that AI still needs human writers to bring authenticity, creativity and perspective to the content it cultivates. If anything, human expertise in writing, storytelling and fact-checking is more valuable now than ever before. We know that there will be businesses or marketers who attempt to use generative AI as a one-stop solution for content. We also know they won’t have much success using that strategy without a human for oversight and improvements.

We can’t predict what the future is. In just the last year, generative AI has soared in popularity and appeal. It seems like new features and abilities are launched every few weeks. All we know is that content strategists and copywriters should feel secure in their roles. The work our team creates is still essential to our clients’ success. For now, we’re looking ahead to opportunities where we can integrate AI’s strengths to build upon ours.

Parkway Digital Copywriter Summer Phillipson
Summer Phillipson / Copywriter
Summer balances a knack for telling a story (thanks to a stint in journalism) with copy that tells readers exactly what they need to know. Her experience, which includes everything from industrial ad copy to small business websites, is evident in every project she takes on for Parkway’s clients.