Let’s take a quick minute to delve into the world of Artificial Intelligence with ChatGPT.
You may have heard this program being mentioned A LOT lately. It’s been mentioned on the news and in pretty much every Facebook business group I am in. Reviews are mixed between “it’s a lifesaver” to “I’m out of a job”.
So what does ChatGPT mean for you and is it a game changer or game breaker?
Firstly, let’s answer the question that I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves.
What is ChatGPT?
Well my friends, it’s the next installment in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). You know, the world that some say is going to eventually make humans extinct.
Think back to your childhood watching The Jetsons thinking to yourself, that is so far into the future it’s ridiculous. Well, it’s not as far as you think. Sure, The Jetsons have flying cars and escalators in their space homes that we do not… yet! But they also had robots and computers that thought and did everyday activities on a single command. Hmmm.
So what about ChatGPT? Well, to be frank, it’s a copywriters worst nightmare. It’s AI for writing where it can write you a 400 word blog or product description in 10 seconds flat – and I’m not even kidding. The program is designed to output a fully written, grammatically correct piece of writing using the topic and parameters you have given it.
For example, say you were to command ChatGPT to write a blog about growing plants in the Southern region of Australia, it would do just that. Specifically, you asked it to focus on plants that are tolerant to frost and cold winters, that flower most of the year and require little water during summer. Then you annotate you would like the blog to be more than 400 words and to itemise each plant in a separate paragraph with a heading for each. Magically, it would write you a fully fledged blog within seconds that you can copy and paste into your website blog. Job done.
Or is it?
Honestly, the results of my little test might surprise you.
What Are The Benefits of AI Writing?
To put it simply, it’s a time saver. Having a computer write an article for you in 10 seconds that would otherwise take you an hour or more is arguably quite beneficial. The increased efficiency and money saving alone are pretty good reasons to adopt this new technology. And if you’re not a natural writer or words don’t come easy to you, then it’s also a stress saver.
The other benefit is the piece of writing is written in a structurally sound way that is grammatically correct and easy to read.
The first parameters I gave ChatGPT were to simply write me a blog about ChatGPT and its benefits. You can see below what I asked it and the beginning of the blog it wrote me.
Generating this pre-written blog took less than a minute of my time. The longest past was working out a topic and then typing my parameters into the generation bar.
ChatGPT benefits summary for the skim readers amongst us:
- Massive time saver
- Cost saver – this program is free (for now)
- Makes blog writing super easy
- Helps if you’re not a natural writer or great with words
- You can pretty much write about anything (well, almost anything – we’ll touch on that later)
Sold yet? Hold your horses.
Ok, Let’s See ChatGPT In Action
I logged into my ChatGPT account (yes I have one for the purpose of research and too keep up with the times). Do I use it? I’ll let you know 😉
I gave ChatGPT some basic parameters for a blog post. Basically, I gave it the parameters to this blog post. I asked it to write a blog about ChatGPT and its benefits. After all, we might as well compare apples and apples.
Here’s what I added.
You can see I was specific enough for it to write a reasonably good blog post if robotic, boring tone is your thing. I could have easily thrown these words into the blank blog post screen and walked away.
But, I didn’t.
Come on a quick journey with me and I’ll show you why.
Sidebar, if you want to read the whole original blog post from ChatGPT in full, click here.
Hint: Keep the blog open in the new tab so you can compare as we go.
Curiosity had me putting my AI generated blog into a blank blog post to see how Yoast SEO graded it. This was the result without me doing any editing except to change the headings from text format to headings.
In short… it failed the readability test.
Secondly, did you read the first draft? How boring was that and it wasn’t even close to targeting my audience.
If I was to post that blog none of my audience would read it because I don’t deal with the hospitality or banking sector.
Surely this can’t be it.
Not to be outdone – let’s fix the parameters to see if we can get it a little more human-like.
I asked ChatGPT to rewrite the blog in a more chatty tone.
And it did. You can see the amended “chatty” version here. Again, keep it open in a new tab so you can compare later.
My initial thoughts were better, but still not great. It’s still lacking my target audience and it feels very repetitive.
So I then asked it to change the industries from retail, banking and hospitality to industries my customer base can relate to.
“Rewrite blog to focus on industries relating to health, copywriters and small business owners”
And it did. But do you know what I noticed?
It was very repetitive. The reasons it gave felt like I’d read them before and the tone and style was carbon copy to the previous version.
Check it out, what do you think?
So did I use this blog?
Well the fact you are reading this blog and not the AI version says no. 🙂
I might be biased, but to me there is no comparison between this 100% self written, self thought blog – that I can guarantee is my work and my opinion.
With those tests in mind, what are the negatives to ChatGPT?
I think you can agree that one of the first negatives to ChatGPT is the repetition. The sentence structures, words and examples it spits out are very repetitive and noticeably computer generated.
I tested the repetition on a few different topics where I kept most of the parameters the same, but changed the topic. The number of sentences that were the same was disturbing to say the least. My question to this would be: If it’s this repetitive for me, would someone else writing the same topic get the same results? And if so, that opens a whole new can of worms…
That can of worms I mentioned is duplicate content. We know Google doesn’t like duplicate content. So what happens if you have a blog written by ChatGPT and your competitor has a similar blog?
The program is designed with one opinion and one knowledge base, so it’s fair to assume the results will be the same. Now, the odds someone will have the same topic and parameters as you is low, for now. But as more people start using this program, the chances of duplicate content increase dramatically.
Not Written For Your Audience
You could see in the original blog ChatGPT wrote that it wasn’t specific to my audience at all. It was very generic and cold. When I did ask it to target audiences I cater for, it was still cold and impersonal. In fact, the information it gave and reasons were baseless. There was no examples, it was just a blog post that will get lost in the sea of blog posts.
Not In Your Language or Tone
No one writes like you, knows your business like you or knows your audience like you. It’s as simple as that. A computer can not write in your tone or in your voice and it can never learn to. My writing is unique to me as your writing is unique to you. Your audience knows that too. They are attracted to you because of you. If you start generating all your content through a computer, they’ll notice.
Google Might Penalise You In The Future
This is my biggest concern of all. At the moment, we don’t know how Google will factor ChatGPT into its algorithms. The fact ChatGPT is writing duplicate content and sharing one opinion or view point leaves the door open for duplicate content to be picked up by Google. We already know that Google disadvantages websites that have duplicate content or plagiarised copy. Will the potential for duplicate content in the form of these AI articles flag that as an issue?
The questions being asked are:
- “Will Google penalise blogs and content written by AI and not a human?”
- “Will Google be able to tell the difference between AI written content and human written content?”
- “Will AI written content be penalised by Google?”
- “Will human written content rank higher because of unique opinion and writing structure?”
If Google does decide to value human written content over AI, which side of the fence do you want to be on?
To be frank with you, I don’t fancy the thought of rewriting 100 blogs posts if it does decide to penalise the computer generated content.
It’s Just Annoying
Just think, when you open the “Ask for Assistance” chat windows at the bottom of sites like Telstra and Woollies, you can tell instantly when it’s a computer. It’s so impersonal and robotic. “Hi, I’m Sunshine, how can I help you?” We all know that “Sunshine” is an AI character (unless she’s a lady of the night and then we have bigger problems). Nothing beats real life contact and real world customer service. As a customer, we all like that personal touch and we tend to go back to businesses that still offer that service. As a business owner, we should strive for that level of service that is still personalised because it could be the one thing that sets us apart from our competitors in this competitive world.
So, how do you beat the AI?
Do it yourself. The fact of the matter is, no one can do it like you.
Know one writes like you, knows your audience like you or knows your business like you.
It’s as simple as that.
You can use AI tools like this one to get a base or a knowledge base. But again, it’s only one single view point. ChatGPT’s “facts” are based on the knowledge of the people who have programmed it. There is no research being done from your end therefore opening the door to biased opinion.
On a side note, I did do a few controversial tests in ChatGPT because I just couldn’t help myself. And I can say for a fact, that it does have a bias and does lean in one direction. This isn’t to say it will always be this way. But if you want to share your free thinking views with your audience, then ChatGPT might not be the way to go.
I don’t see ChatGPT as a tool as much as I do a shortcut. And most shortcuts come with pineapples that we only see when it’s too late. Don’t take the shortcut when you don’t know whether the destination is where you really want to be.
ChatGPT is a good starting point for people who aren’t equipped to write themselves or pay for someone to write on their behalf. But be mindful that it should only be used as a starting point and not an end point. The blog it spits out will need to be tweaked and rewritten in your tone and with your viewpoints. And then, after you’ve spent the time doing that, you might have well of just started from scratch anyway, because it’s going to need a lot of work.
If you are getting blogs and content written for your website, make sure the person you engage is writing it from scratch. You might be able to save dollars using AI generated copy, but it won’t be your copy. It won’t be written with your audience in mind and it won’t be original. If you are paying for written copy, it needs to be 100% original.
For the Copywriters Amongst Us…
Please don’t be scared by this. I know it’s scary to think that a computer can take over your job and your security has gone from great to shaky at best. But know that there are people who value original work. Make sure you target those people in your marketing and advertise the fact you DON’T use AI. Nothing beats original, unbiased, well-written information.
And this blog…
I hope you can agree that the fact you read this far that this blog was informative, engaging and useful. I have targeted this blog to you throughout the whole article. It’s not a computer generated impersonal piece of writing that sure, tells you what you want to know, but it doesn’t engage you.
And how did my blog post do in the readability test we conducted on the AI blogs? Well it passed first go.
Ps: I did have a little chuckle to myself when logging into my ChatGPT account though. It asked me to verify I am Human! Seriously, the AI computer program asked me to verify that I am not a robot – oh how we’ve fallen.