Robot writers: how AI will affect copywriting

Thu, 15/02/2018 - 09:31

When we think about robots, we usually picture something from a science fiction film. However, the robots that are gaining popularity in many digital fields are nothing how Philp K. Dick or Isaac Asimov imagined them to be. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gaining traction within modern digital marketing companies, and some are even replacing humans with this fascinating modern phenomenon. 

Should copywriters be nervous?

For creative professionals, the applications of AI are much more complicated, but the usage of it is increasing at a steady pace. Some creative and marketing companies have already introduced AI into their services and process, with LogoJoy and Tailor Brands creating logos instantly. There is even an AI in Israel, Articoolo, which can create an article on any topic of your choice using a unique algorithm. 

But what does this mean for copywriting? Many in the field feel that artificial intelligence can never replicate or supercede human intelligence and often the AI lacks human intuition. However, the effects of artificial intelligence are largely positive for copywriters, considering how saturated the AI market is becoming. 

Smarter proofreading

The current version of Microsoft Word is equipped with a proofreading editor which is powered by machine learning technologies. This editor feature works in much the same way as its predecessor, but has some extras to help improve your language usage, such as recommending better phrases and explaining why a certain word is incorrect. 

This program can understand the nuances in your writing style and help to improve this by offering suggestions rather than simple corrections. This can shave hours off of re-reading and self-editing pieces before sending anything to clients and has been well received by many professional writers. 

Scanning research documents will become quicker

Some copywriters dread having to read through pages of research on a topic before settling down to write. There are, however, AI programs on the market which can help significantly with this issue by generating snippets of text that describe the essence of long text. These programs use machine learning combined with help from human trainers to learn to summarise on their own. 

Being able to read through short snippets of text that provide succinct and accurate details of the longer piece will cut down on those hours spent trawling the internet for information. It can also help editors to read through the hundreds of emails, press releases and pitches they receive on a daily basis. However, the human intelligence behind these robots is what allows it to understand the nuances of the articles and these programs still have a few issues to iron out. 

Search engines are smarter

Every copywriter of the digital age knows how unforgiving the early search algorithms could be. These algorithms focused on keyword density, rather than the quality of the content, which resulted in many copywriters stuffing their work with keywords, rather than focusing on writing relevant content. 

Due to the progress made in artificial intelligence, search engines are now able to parse and understand content, and the rules of search engine optimisation have changed drastically over the years. Because of these changes, search engines are now capable of reading and understanding human language, which means professional writers can return to writing for people, rather than writing for search engines. 

AI can feed our ideas

At this very moment, there are computers writing books and symphonies. This means that these AI programs are able to generate ideas, but often they are not very good. This is because these programs have not lived emotional lives and therefore have not gained the ability to understand the nuances of human emotion. 

However, human copywriters can use the idea-generating ability of AI to spark their own creative ideas and use the insights to remove the guesswork of how to implement marketing strategies. We are able to use AI to see the bigger picture of a marketing strategy and so create content to better fit that strategy. Using trends has long been a successful copywriting approach, and this can be improved by using the creative insights of AI. 

It can redefine roles

As artificial intelligence gains popularity in creative and digital marketing agencies and brands, there is one fact to consider: it will not replace the creative departments. In fact, it may introduce new roles or redefine old ones, as the technology department sees that the creative departments are the perfect place for growing and developing ideas. 

Where at one time everyone stayed solely in their line of duty, now art directors and copywriters are joining forces with developers and UX designers to use AI to build their ideas and create unique prototypes. Different skill sets combine to generate niche uses for AI, many of which need the distinctive skills of the copywriter. 

What does the future hold?

The future of the copywriter remains safe for the time being, despite the many advances being made in artificial intelligence. While artificial intelligence may be able to generate unique insights into customer behaviour, the ideas generated will almost always need a truly human touch to make them more appealing to the audience. However, this does not mean you should not embrace the innovations that AI has brought to copywriting. Keep your mind on the here-and-now rather than worrying about the rise of the machines over the distant horizon. 

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