Copywriting

Artificial Intelligence, Y2K, and Copywriting

By Cynthia Maldonado on April 1, 2024

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Someone on their laptop with a graphic of an AI chatbot appearing above their hands.

Anyone who knows me well knows I have a fundamental mistrust of technology.

While I cannot say with certainty where this fear began, I believe it can be traced back to one of two events in my life.

The first would be when my computer crashed moments before I completed a large assignment in grade school. No, I did not have a rough draft. Yes, I lost all of my work and fell into a blind panic. The second would be living through Y2K hysteria.  If you are too young to know what this means, I invite you to do an internet deep dive. You’re welcome.

While the immediate crisis was averted in both cases, the situations themselves gave me sufficient reason to pause and consider the potential consequences of unquestioningly embracing and adhering to all technological advancements. Putting aside the dangers of excessive reliance on technology, the rapid pace of innovation seen by us millennials has been dizzying.

In short, I am that person who says, “Robots are going to take over the world,” every time a new and improved iPhone hits the market.

In a comical twist of fate, ChatGPT was released just as I had begun to transition into copywriting. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if I was worried that my newfound career would be rendered obsolete, I’d be a very rich woman. Well, at the very least, I’d have enough to treat myself to a top-shelf margarita, perfect for drowning out my concerns. 

Naturally, I was worried. I went straight to the source and asked,

“Dear ChatGPT, are you trying to take my job as a copywriter?”

The response came in at lightning speed. 

“Not at all! As an AI language model, I aim to assist users like you with various writing tasks. My purpose is to enhance your writing experience and provide guidance whenever you need it. If you have any concerns or preferences regarding the assistance you receive, feel free to let me know, and I’ll adjust accordingly!”

Hmm…sounds like something someone stealthily trying to steal my job would say.

The reality is that the evolution of Artificial Intelligence in recent years raises valid concerns for writers and creatives alike. Since the inception of ChatGPT (and my time in copywriting), I have both seen and felt the effects. I quickly realized that AI and its place in the industry cannot and should not be ignored. The only way to survive and thrive in an ever-evolving landscape is to adapt and evolve with it. So, after compartmentalizing all imagined apocalyptic scenarios, I started learning how to work with ChatGPT. What is that they say about keeping your enemies close?

It turns out this frenemy, in particular, comes in handy from time to time. How? So glad you asked.

Brainstorming

When prompted correctly, ChatGPT can act as a valuable sounding board to bounce ideas off of. As someone who values and seeks out creative collaboration, AI helps me out when I do not have a real-life human available for immediate feedback.

Overcoming Writer’s Block

ChatGPT can generate seemingly endless ideas. It told me so. In moments when I feel blocked and cannot put pen to paper, I ask for a list of ideas related to whatever I am writing about. Often, I find the inspiration needed to begin writing.

Proofreading/Editing

I like to plug my writing into ChatGPT and ask for editing/suggestions. I do not always change my writing accordingly, but having an extra set of eyes on my work is helpful before I draft the final copy, even if they are artificial.

Fleshing Out Ideas

I won’t lie to you; I usually have something to say. 

In the rare moments that I have run out of things to say about any given topic, ChatGPT can help to fill in the blanks. Sometimes, I insert my writing and ask for possible ways to expand on my idea.

Research

ChatGPT is quick and efficient at providing information on what appears to be any topic in the history of the universe. Receiving a quick summarized version of hours’ worth of research is exhilarating. This is particularly helpful for a copywriter when it comes to market research. DISCLAIMER: Make sure to always fact-check. We are dealing with a robot here.

Well, would you look at that;  I almost sound like a fan of technology.

Enough of that.

Despite my ever-growing affection for ChatGPT and my gratitude for its help with brainstorming, writer’s block, editing, expanding on ideas, and research, my healthy skepticism remains. 
That being said, until the inevitable takeover or collapse of Artificial Intelligence, I am very happy to have it working for—and not instead of—me.

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