Can AI-written content help your business? Here’s what you need to know

- January 24, 2023 5 MIN READ
AI writing ChatGPT

Artificial intelligence – if you’ve peeked at LinkedIn over the end of year break, it’s likely you’ve witnessed a flurry of interest in this next big cybernetic advance. As a copywriter, I got about five panicked messages wondering if I needed to change careers in a hurry.

The buzz is all about the public research preview of the Microsoft-backed OpenAI ChatGPT program, a model that interacts with language queries in a natural and readable way.

According to the developers, ChatGPT can “[ask] follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”

It’s a great leap forward in terms of other dialogue AI such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. These assistants will retrieve secondary sources of information for you – ChatGPT will give you detailed answers all by itself.

People have been amazed and terrified at the speed and fluency of its responses to ended questions such as “Who was the best test cricketer of all time?” or “What was the cause of the American Civil War?” The AI was so adept at providing answers, New York City school officials started blocking ChatGPT, fearing it would lead to rampant cheating.

However, should you let an electronic scribe take over all your content writing – the cornerstone of any good Search Engine Optimisation strategy? Well, no. That’s not just because I’m a copywriter and I have a vested interest in keeping my job. It’s because Google, the most successful algorithm writers on the planet, will know … somehow

google search page small

Google’s E-E-A-T search ranking algorithm vs AI

Google uses an opaque yet powerful set of algorithms called PageRank. This algorithm sorts, files and charts which websites or URLs are returned when you enter a search query. The pages are then displayed in order of relevance.

Up until 2018, Google determined relevance and quality by considering a page’s Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness – the E-A-T model. After 2018, Google added another metric into the mix – Experience. E-A-T became E-E-A-T. Essentially, Google began to determine if the article’s writer had actually tasted the recipe, been to the destination, or followed the advice they’re dispensing.

Google soon figured AI could breeze through E-A-T if left unchecked. It can synthesise information from every corner of the internet and there is almost no faulting its expertise and authoritativeness – especially if the source material is sound. A site with historically high trust could abuse it by saying ‘sayonara’ to its writers and replacing them with toasters without anyone noticing.

However, an AI’s trustworthiness can be hijacked by nefarious actors. A machine learning application can be corrupted by garbage input, as Microsoft learned the hard way in 2016. Their ‘Tay’ Twitter AI was trained into becoming a genocide-supporting maniac.

AI, like most machines, are neutral. Humans are the ones that can set them up to do good or ill. What if the humans behind them are there to fool or scam people? One scambait YouTuber created an AI to waste the time of phone scammers. But what happens when the tables turn?

ChatGPT on smartphone

AI: What is it good for?

I wouldn’t say ‘absolutely nothing’ – it can prove useful.

Machine learning and AI are already deployed in fintech, medicine and the automotive industry to speed up loan applications, detect certain illnesses, and carry out visual safety inspections in a fraction of the time it takes a human operator.

But do we trust that it’s done a perfect job? What happens when it runs into a six that could be a zero? A ‘benign’ mole that’s a melanoma? A scratch that’s a structural crack? What’s to say a human wouldn’t make the same mistakes? Not to get philosophical, or anything.

Of course, with any advancement in technology comes the Faustian bargain – what AI brings to humanity will also take something away. Just like the smartphone revolution made almost everything we do more convenient, it also brought with it social anxieties and mental health problems. We also need to weigh up whether AI will need to be regulated, and to what extent.

In terms of writing, AI can assist with aspects of automation, editing and idea generation. Hemingway App is a great tool for editing your writing so it’s clear and punchy. I use Impact Plus Blog Title Generator when I’m stumped and need inspiration. Grammarly is a popular sentence-rewriting program that millions use each day. That said, it doesn’t write anything original for you.

As a business owner, you want others to trust what you have to say and sell. Especially if it’s a mission-critical topic such as health and safety. If you are trusted by others, Google rewards you with higher search engine rankings.

At the moment, there’s nothing stopping you employing an AI to write as much content as you want. Yet, as mentioned earlier, Google will figure it out and perhaps even penalise your hard-won search ranking. You run the risk of losing Search Engine Results Page spots to those who have written their content themselves.

Robot writing at a desk

Will AI take the jobs of professionals?

I doubt it. It doesn’t seem to think so either, when asked the same question:

“As an AI, I do not have the ability to predict the future and can’t say for certain whether or not AI will take your job as a human professional copywriter. However, it is important to understand that AI has the potential to automate certain types of writing tasks, such as product descriptions or news articles. However, it is likely that AI will not be able to completely replace human copywriters in the near future, particularly for tasks that require creativity, emotional intelligence, and a high level of industry expertise. Many experts believe that AI will augment human work rather than replacing it. AI can help copywriters to improve their productivity, efficiency, and quality of work.”

Well, no arguments from me there.

As for the future of AI, will it become ‘self-aware’ enough to ‘trick’ other machines and humans into having real-world, authentic experiences?

As the thinker Arthur Koestler once asked, “How does one define the emotional climate of art?” A textbook, or one on-demand like ChatGPT, can expound on artists, their lives, and their works – but it won’t say a thing about how their paintings made it feel and why (even we humans have trouble pinning that one down).

Experience changes us; but it won’t change the AI. It hasn’t got the power to transcend itself when it ‘learns’ something new – that ‘aha’ moment we’ve all had at some point in our lives. In that regard, AI written content just doesn’t cut it.

Well, at least not yet.

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"