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A word about AI

Clare Hunt Writes

Should I use AI? That’s a question you might be asking yourself, now that artificial intelligence is an everyday fact rather than science fiction. There are readily accessible – and free – tools with which you can generate reams of copy in just a few simple steps. Which is a very tempting proposition.


As I’m a writer, it’s fair to assume I’m in the anti-AI camp. Although actually, I’m in the let’s-be-cautious camp. Like technologies of all kinds, there’s a time and a place for AI in our lives. Most of us have used a spelling or grammar checker to sweep up errors before we consider a piece of work final. These handy tools speed up the drafting process and boost accuracy. They’re a good example of human brains and artificial intelligence working hand in hand.


But what if you take things further and ask AI to do the writing for you? If you’ve got hundreds of strictly formatted descriptions to create for numerous products in your inventory, tipping the necessary info into an AI bucket and hitting ‘go’ is a simple way to churn them out. This kind of functional copy is bread and butter for a clever programme that understands keywords, is well-versed in SEO and will follow your rules to the letter.


Imagination, wit and distinctive tone of voice are where things start to go a bit wonky. The way in which you present your business to customers or clients is likely to be something you’ve worked hard to establish. Communicating your uniqueness, ethos and approach needs to be done carefully. A human mind can judge what’s humorous and what’s cringey. An experienced writer can create exactly the right brand personality by using well-chosen phrases, engaging constructions and imaginative vocabulary.


AI is certainly going to develop and improve, but at the moment, most readers can tell when they’re reading machine-generated copy. Common issues include repetition of words and ideas, illogical prioritisation of information and failure to identify key concepts.  


If you want to create engaging copy for your business, I think a human copywriter is your best bet. If AI fits the bill for your brand, you might want to ask an editor to give the resulting text the once-over before publishing it. Luckily, I do that too.

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