Chat GPT may take my job. One day.
But for now, it’s shaping up to be an invaluable tool and an entertaining oddity.
If you’ve wondered what Chat GPT is; Chat GPT is an artificially intelligent chat server developed by the startup OpenAI with funding from Microsoft. It’s been built off of GPT; an AI model which uses a deep neural network to ‘train’ the language processing system off of a massive dataset of conversations. While it cannot ‘understand’ what it is saying, Chat GPT represents a milestone in natural language processing, as it has ‘learned’ the relationships between words and concepts and can respond to subtleties in language.
In practice, users create an account, sign in and have the opportunity to interact with a chatbot, much like you would chat with a friend via messenger.
The rhetoric around Artificial Intelligence in Western countries is often hyperbolic; citing new technologies as either saviours or the tools of our destruction. Headlines with AI in the title often capture the fear and imagination of generations raised alongside dystopian sci-fi. For writers in particular, ChatGPT creates specific anxiety around gradual obsoletion.
After Chat GPT's release, LinkedIn was flooded with think pieces and polls asking if Chat GPT spells the death of copywriting. If companies can simply download the software, would we all shortly be out of a job? I asked other writers their views on what Chat GPT’s impact on copywriting will be. Pro or con, each came to the conclusion there is still a spot for humans in this ever-narrowing field.
Chat GPT is limited, as it rarely deviates from the structure of the genre or format type. Now, this is great for writing that follows a formula and simply needs new information added each time. (Think, corporate cover letters, B2B product descriptions), but it’s repetitive. Even in these formulaic types of writing, humans crave difference and variation.
Even Chat GPT believes there are significant limitations of Chat GPT.
(Credit to Chat GPT)
So, what does Chat GPT mean for the future of writing? Chat GPT gets words on a page. For copywriting that relies on a set structure or conventions, this shortcut can save time. When you're sending out 30 recruitment emails in a month, having an initial template developed with your company's information is a game-changer. When you're writing a website worth of product descriptions, having a starting base of text is often better than an empty page. Your end product will likely look different from what the machines gave you, yet an AI-generated framework means time better spent perfecting the copy, ensuring the details are correct, and providing the 'pop' and points of difference.
I’ve watched friends use ChatGPT to write cover letters in minutes, rather than hours. I’ve seen friends drunkenly suggest outlandish combinations and been treated to strange stories involving Thumbilina, carrots, and a dog named Peach. I've seen students on TikTok use Chat GPT to cheat on their homework. Personally, I've used it to create frameworks and formulas for product descriptions, create a few simple poems for students to analyze and give ideas for how to use leftover carrots. (See attached note for poem examples). At no point did I fear for the future of human content creation.
The biggest takeaway from my days playing with Chat GPT? It's overly fond of rhyming structures in its poetry, but I’d still give it an Achieved. It may not alight the soul, but it follows the rules of classic poetry structure, provides some interesting insights, and is spelled correctly. I've marked worse. I've read better.
Prompt: Can you write me a poem about daily life, an orange, an alarm going off and a marigold flower
Every day we rise and shine
With the beeping of our alarm so fine
We stretch and yawn and face the day
And make our way out to start the fray
The sun is rising in the sky
And all around the world, birds fly
A new beginning, a brand new light
A chance to make things right
And as we go about our daily life
We come across a beautiful sight
An orange, so bright and bold
A symbol of new stories untold
With its vibrant color and sweet aroma
It lifts us up, a refreshing aura
A symbol of hope and happiness
A ray of sunshine in our bleakness
And as the day goes by, we find
A marigold, so peaceful and kind
Its petals, a golden hue
A reminder of the beauty that's true
So let us cherish each day we're given
And all the wonders that we're livin'
For life is a journey, a story untold
And it's ours to make, so let's make it bold.