Is Writing Being Written Off?
The wheels of progress throughout history have been defined by innovation and advances in technology. The downside of this is how professionals who worked under the “old ways” of operation are at risk of being pushed aside by the “new ways” of the improved system. One recent example of this was the introduction of a new artificial intelligence (AI) copywriting tool by Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba. The question: How is this going to affect the human factor of copywriting?
What can this new copywriting tool accomplish?
According to a recent article in Digital Journal, this copywriting innovation from Alibaba can…
- Produce 20,000 lines of copy per second
- Successfully passed the Turing Test (developed by famous mathematician Alan Turing, to analyze the capability of a machine to display intelligent behavior comparable to humans)
- Operates by utilizing deep learning and natural language processing technologies to create copy that can establish minute detail – from the length of text to the desired tone
What’s most intimidating about this new copywriting generator is that its usage is traveling as fast it can create text. Alibaba is based in China, but this technology is already being used by select brands, one of which is clothing manufacturer Dickies (located in Texas).
What does this mean to the future of writing by humans?
The developments listed above are, for lack of a better word – scary. On first reading, at least. MarTech Advisor poses the question in an article: “So, is it going to assist a human writer?” (That is one hopeful thought, as the word is “assist,” as opposed to “replace.”) This article goes on to state the beliefs of Alibaba’s marketing manager, Christina Lu, who claims that AI technology cannot replace human writers, but aid them in redirecting and refocusing their energies on creativity instead of the physical task of writing.
Thank you, Christina Lu, for the reminder that we humans can lose sight of. Regardless of how efficient AI technology may be in processing thousands of words in mere seconds, this machinery is useless unless there is the thought and imagination of a human being to put everything together in the first place. (After all, the Turing tests that this AI system successfully passed all began with the written word by a human as its base.)
Keep on writing
Now that we as people know where we are in the grand scheme of man versus technology, the release of Alibaba’s latest AI copywriting invention is, as that company states, meant to help and not hinder the purpose and talents of those who write copy for advertising and marketing. But in case there is any concern of this technology becoming a Frankenstein, writers of all types should…
- Remain flexible and keep their skills honed and sharpened, especially for SEO and video content
- Situations permitting, be adventurous, or even a little daring in your writing approach
- Be proactive – keep tabs on whether content that posted online needs to be updated or refreshed in any way
- Keep writing, and continue to write
One other point that Christina Lu emphasized was that while the Alibaba AI technology can generate many copy options for particular content, the final version will need to be chosen by a human copywriter. So, the role of the marketing writer may in time change – but it will still be a necessity.
The power and importance of the written and spoken word, which is often taken for granted, is formed by the mind and inventive thinking of a living, breathing person. Sophisticated technology can replicate it, imitate it, and emulate it – but can never originate it. It all starts with the human touch.
Do you have any questions or concerns regarding the written content for your brand, business, or service? Write to us today (no play on words intended).