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Artificial intelligence: The stock photography of copywriting

| March 21, 2023

Chris Duffy

Chris Duffy

Vice President, Public Relations

In January, my wife and I went out to dinner with friends. As soon as we sat down, one of the guys in our dinner party asked if anyone had tried ChatGPT yet. His look of excitement was met with blank stares. “Chat who?” I asked.

For the next hour, we grilled him about what it was, how it’s used, and hypothesized about what it means for our world. Silently, I wondered about how artificial intelligence could impact people in my line of work – specifically, copywriters.

The next morning, I couldn’t help myself. I created a free account and started playing around with it.

“Write talking points for an executive at a ribbon-cutting ceremony,” I typed.

My mouth dropped to the floor when the machine instantly spewed out six talking points, starting with the following: “It is my great pleasure and honor to be here today to inaugurate this wonderful new facility and celebrate this momentous occasion.”

Not too bad!

But as my inputs became more detailed, it became apparent that artificial intelligence in its current state doesn’t compare to what public relations professionals and copywriters do for a living. Why? Because our writing:

  1. Is original, customized and has a clear point of view.
  2. Is persuasive.
  3. Requires introspection and heart.
  4. Reflects organizational values.
  5. Is authentic and weaves in personal stories.

Artificial intelligence is the stock photography of copywriting. It doesn’t (yet) move people. It doesn’t (yet) inspire action. But it fills space and meets the “good enough” measuring stick for writing projects that don’t require customization, persuasion, emotion and storytelling. That’s exactly 0% of the writing we do at Goff Public.

I cannot predict how artificial intelligence will be used 10 years from now, but I’ll probably look back at this article and laugh about how little I knew (just like when I said, “Twitter? That will never work!” when I first heard about it). Right now, there is a fascination with artificial intelligence and it is clear that we are on the verge of something big. But it is not yet capable of replacing the human intelligence needed to write compelling communications.

The one thing I’m sure of is that artificial intelligence – like all technology – will continue to evolve. And we will stay tuned.

P.S. Artificial intelligence did not aid in the writing of this article.

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Chris Duffy

Chris Duffy

Vice President, Public Relations
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