How many movies about a robot-ruled or robot-infested earth have you already seen? Probably too many to count!
It’s fascinating how we get too excited or fearful of a future with little space for humanity. The fear (or excitement) is not irrational, however, because in the past 50 years, technology has evolved in a pace no one has ever imagined.
How did sending letters that once took days or months to receive transform into emailing that takes literally seconds to send out? Or when did video calls become part of everyday life when just a few decades ago, we’d have to settle for telephone calls and old photographs?
Technology has changed so many things including how we used to do things. Writing, for example, no longer had to take several runs of proofreading now that we have hundreds of advanced tools to help you out.
Copywriting and Technology
Ever since its birth in the 1950s, scientists have developed artificial intelligence to make life easier for humans. Builtin describes it as the “endeavour to replicate or simulate human intelligence in machines.” Its use has been extremely beneficial to businesses that 83% of executives in 21 industries believe that artificial intelligence should be a priority. As marketing campaigns continue to saturate the Internet, tech companies started rolling out tools powered by artificial intelligence to make copywriting easier and more accurate.
Grammarly, for instance, is a popular editing tool used by writers. Meanwhile, for companies with a larger scale like eBay and Alibaba, sending out marketing copies to millions of subscribers have pushed them to pivot to AI-powered tools that actually produce the entire copy, not just correct grammar!
In 2018, Alibaba, China’s largest ecommerce company launched “an AI based copywriting tool which uses more advanced deep learning and natural language processing technology to produce copy on any given product.” This AI copywriter produces a whopping 20,000 words per second, and can even be adjusted to whatever tone the brand wants — fun, promotional, poetic, etc. Today, Alibaba’s merchants use the tool up to a million times daily, saving them a great amount of time and effort.
In 2019, eBay followed suit and started using artificial intelligence for copywriting as well — Phrasee (launched in 2015). Like Alibaba’s AI copywriter, Phrasee produces thousands of lines of copy per second — in over 20 languages, too! It claims to “create tailored generative algorithms, unique to a brand’s voice and business model” such that the copy sounds very human and more personal.
While these innovative tools for digital marketing look impressive, does this mean copywriters will be out of jobs soon?
Based on the current progress, no. At least not anytime soon.
According to Phrasee CEO, Parry Malm, despite being the most advanced AI technology for copywriting, Phrasee only creates short copies like “email subject lines, headline copy and CTAs, push notifications, SMS and Facebook ad copy.” This means the long-form creative writing is still left to humans.
However, this does not mean that AI will not have a major role to play in the workplace. In fact, a report by McKinsey & Company suggests that by 2055, half of our daily activities will be run by AI.
In copywriting, AI is used to sift through data and adjust copy based on who the audience is. For a task like adjusting text so that it fits the current algorithm trend, hiring a copywriter could be costly. Businesses can hand over the time-consuming and repetitive work to the robots — and they do this with amazing speed too!
Rather than seeing AI as a threat, it is here to be helpful assistants. There is definitely room in copywriting for both human and technology today. Perhaps in the far future, AI technology will be so advanced that it could create longer, more creative content on its own – without the help of people – but these jobs will fall on humans for now.