High Digital’s human copywriter, Deborah James, puts her computer-generated nemesis to the test.
The spam emails that try to sell me AI copywriting tools are reassuringly dreadful.
But in the interest of always-know-your-enemy science, I decide to actually try one of these many software platforms targeting me with depressing slogans like: “Copy doesn’t need to be great, you just need more”. I pick one of the market’s biggies – which will remain unnamed – and give its free trial a whirl.
The robot narrating my video tutorial explains how to use the tool. It’s a simple process where you select what copy usage you need – e.g. email, landing page, Twitter ad, etc. – then add emotions and relevant keywords.
I’m then shown how to produce a 800-word article that would probably take me in the region of six hours, in the matter of less than six seconds. I’m losing already.
It’s deadly quick, but what price do you pay on quality? Let’s see just how well it can perform when faced with four very different content needs.
It’s healthy to say what’s on your mind, so I set its first task with the title: ‘Will robots take over the world?’ and add the keywords, ‘Mankind no longer useful’, ‘robots getting clever’, ‘will copywriters be replaced by AI’? Below is a snippet from what was produced.
Results: 4/10. It’s a wishy-washy mix of ‘maybes’ and dubious facts with no direct sources. And the last sentence is particularly unappetising.
Staying on subject, let’s see what bestsellers can come from: ‘The time when I couldn’t distinguish AI from humans’ as the topic, and ‘worried’ as the tone.
Results: 1/10. Odd, detached and downright creepy. Will the ‘pretty woman’ ‘get demolished’ at the end? Let’s hope not.
One of the most tedious tasks for any copywriter – I once wrote 789 different plastic pot descriptions – I’ll begrudgingly admit that having AI help with churning these out could indeed be useful. I give the computer a product name ‘High Digital dog shoes‘ and their benefits which are of course, ‘keeping your pet’s feet warm’ and being ‘available in a range of shapes and styles’.
6/10. The tool spat out two options. Its first isn’t actually too awful and would blend seamlessly into the billions of others on an Amazon Prime. However, the second is noticeably nonsensical.
Dim the lights, set the tone to ‘passionate’ and tap ‘Soothing song for a couple in love’ in your topic box. Let’s see if our romancing robot can get us in the mood.
Results: 2/10. I’ve ordered an Uber.
The robots haven’t won — this time. But AI is certainly, and successfully, churning out some of the more functional SEO-led content jobs. It just hasn’t quite mastered the art of emotion, empathy and imagination. Yet. So, my job is safe for another day or two. With 48-hours left on my free trial, I’m going to bust out some more terrible song lyrics to celebrate.