Why AI makes writers more human than ever

Why AI makes us more human than ever

Judging by the media coverage of ChatGPT and its friends, copywriters and translators are facing certain extinction. But is all the hype justified? And what do large language models (LLM) really mean for our beloved professions?

Having a heart doesn’t make you a cardiologist. And putting pen to paper doesn’t make you a wordsmith. Only the gifted can craft ad copy or newsletters that are truly persuasive and leave an impression. So, what is it that sets the great Don Drapers apart?

Copywriting isn’t about writing. It’s about thinking.

Just do it. I’m lovin’ it. Think different. Almost all of the greatest ads and slogans could have been written by a 10-year-old. They aren’t great because of their lyrical prowess, but because they get into our heads. They make us stop for a second – and that in itself is one of the greatest challenges of our time. And then they push just the right buttons to make us act.

They do it by providing insights people hadn’t thought of themselves. By smartly presenting use cases and benefits. By framing people’s needs in a new way. And sometimes by being disarmingly honest and vulnerable. There may be many roads to success, but all of them are human to their very core.

Coming up with truly original content requires out-of-the-box thinking, years of experience and the relentless pursuit of that wow factor. Brilliant ideas are hard to come by, and more often than not, it’s a painful chase. But once you catch one, the words write themselves.

Mediocrity. Now 500x faster.

There’s no denying that ChatGPT and other AI developments are impressive. But they are profoundly different from a writer making a genuine connection with the reader. They don’t understand or think. They generate, and therefore replicate, which doesn’t have much to do with creative work. And they’re trained on data from all over the place – which is also how you might describe the quality of the output.

For natural-sounding yet fundamentally average content at high speed, ChatGPT might just be the right tool – good enough for a lot of use cases, but definitely not a dealmaker. Quantity does not substitute for value, and in a world where only authenticity and authority can command our short attention spans, who has patience for banality?

The true revolution: artificial intelligence meets human excellence.

When it comes to doomsday scenarios for the language industry, this situation is not all that new. As a multilingual business, we’ve received condolences time and time again when new machine translation tools knocked on our door. And yet here we are, creating, translating – heck, transcreating – with more passion than ever. Because coexisting with machines is not only possible, but useful. We’re embracing it. It’s like the rise of the smartphone camera: capturing moments is now easier than ever, but it’s still the composition and imagination of artists that create true beauty.

Given that what matters most in copywriting and creative translation is not the actual writing, but the underlying concepts and ideas, it’s not at all surprising that the output heavily depends on the right input. Becoming a prompt master to draw out the best from LLMs might be what will make great wordsmiths stand out in the future. Which is pretty much the same as having great ideas. Add editing skills on top to iron out the output’s bumps, and we’re looking at a very bright future.

Freeing the world from bad – and mediocre – copy

Here at Supertext, creating ideas that are worth writing about is at the very core of who we are. When we launched in 2005 as the world’s first online copywriting and editing service, our aim was to help clients write better. To inject heart and soul into words. To make an impact. We called this a “Tune Up”, and it was the first service we ever offered. And we’ve remained true to our roots, writing and creating in multiple languages, with exactly the same mission as at the start – freeing the world from bad copy.

There’s a reason why this mission has endured for nearly two decades. What we do is, at its core, very human. Disruptors and robots may be capable of producing vast numbers of words in the blink of an eye, but really connecting with the audience takes emotion, inspiration and personality. Getting inside the reader’s head and finding the perfect phrase to capture a message is something AI won’t be able to do for a long time yet.

This is what will set us apart. It will make us more human than ever. And it will challenge us to work even harder to create super ideas.

Cover image: Created with Dall-E

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