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Ep 3.5: ChatGPT One Year Later: A Look Back at AI-Generated Content

HomeGeek SpeakPodcastEp 3.5: ChatGPT One Year Later...

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Transcript

Genny: [00:00:00] It is February 2024, which means that ChatGPT has been available to the public for a little over a year now and unless you’ve been living in a cave or too busy shrinking from the looming threat of various man made and natural global disasters, then you’ve probably either used it, talked about it, or at least formed an opinion about it.

But no matter what your relationship with ChatGPT is, was, or will be, one thing is for certain, and that is that everybody, including us, has given their own two cents about how AI will affect the arts, the industries, and the people using it, whether begrudgingly or with a warm embrace. Some have likened it to the artistic apocalypse, whereas others have described it as merely a false portent, one similar to any innovation that threatens to rock the boat, such as Photoshop in the 90s, or even DSLRs for that matter.

More practically, we’ve discussed how it’ll affect people’s livelihoods, especially those whose jobs have been made redundant. AI tools like ChatGPT and BARD. Last year, SEO Unfiltered was pretty obsessed with AI and figuring out how it will shape SEO, particularly content. You may not realize this, [00:01:00] but it wasn’t even a year after ChatGPT went public that Google updated its content guidelines to accommodate non human written webpages.

It didn’t necessarily give people carte blanche to publish just anything that AI spit out, but it did mark the end of penalizing content just for the sake of being AI written. And so just like photoshop and digital cameras, we’ve incorporated this tool into our content writing craft, for better or for worse though.

I think it’s still too early to tell, but now that we’ve got a bit of hindsight on our side, we can at least look back on the year and reflect on how it has changed content writing and maybe even the essay. SEO industry in general. Here to help me unpack the last 12 or 13 months is Jon Evans from Electric Copy, a copywriting service catered to tech and SaaS companies.

If you’re looking for rockstar conversion copywriting, head over to electriccopy. tech to learn more. So Jon, thanks for joining me. Today we’re waxing nostalgic and looking at the last year through the lens of AI. So first and foremost, can you tell me, do you use AI to help you write content? Why or why not?


Jon: A little bit. [00:02:00] A lot of the work I do is quite sophisticated, um, it’s often quite complex products, and it’s writing for a quite, quite sophisticated audience, and that makes it quite hard to get the copy or the content right, meaning you have to work quite hard to keep things simple and easy to read and break down complex concepts and not have content turn into, you know, an ocean of text.

That requires, you know. Uh, quite a lot of work and quite a lot of, you know, very careful attention to how you word things. And because of that, like I really need to sort of dig into the copy and the content and be very, very careful about how I, I word it, which I, I, although I think you can shortcut some things with chat GPT, I don’t think it’s great at doing what I’m trying to do.

So I do, I do use it a little bit, but it’s, it’s not, it’s not a massive game changer for me. [00:03:00]


Genny: Ah, okay. Can you give me an example of something that’s, um, basically too sophisticated for ChatGPT?


Jon: Yeah, sure. I mean, for example, if you were writing about, um, a very complicated product, let’s say you’re writing about, like, a data analytics app.

Yeah. Let’s say you’re, something like, like, heap or amplitude. Mm hmm. That’s You know, it’s a very sophisticated product for a sophisticated audience. These are kind of tech people, engineers, developers, they already understand kind of development topics very well. So you need to understand that audience very well in order to kind of solve problems for them with content.

So you’re not going to be able to just put in. a question into ChatGPT and go, Hey, write about this, you know, and have it right. So the level of sophistication that an audience like that needs, you will be able to kind of, you can write, okay, ChatGPT, [00:04:00] write me a paragraph on this and then break it down.

Like point by point, these are the points that I want you to make and it will be able to create a pretty good paragraph for you that at least be clear and at least be, you know, won’t have any mistakes in it. But for me, when it comes to writing that kind of content, you know, you have to work even harder to make sure that it’s really clear that it’s not wordy and that it hasn’t got too much jargon in it.

Cause the problem is, I think. GPT is kind of based on, you know, it’s kind of based on an average of a lot of the content that’s out there. And a lot of the content out there is kind of overly wordy and has a bit too much business kind of jargon in it. And I find that the sort of default copy that you get.

from ChatGPT is a bit like that. And to give you an example, actually, I had, uh, actually I had a junior writer that I hired the other day send me, um, a blog that I’d commissioned for [00:05:00] her. And when I got it, I immediately thought, Ah, this looks like ChatGPT has written it. Uh And I asked her, and she immediately clucked to it.

But you know, the, okay, so, um, and that’s fine. I, she, she went away and, and, and fixed it. But, you know, the things that kind of gave it away for me was that it’s just that little bit too wordy. Like interesting. It’s, it’s still, you know, clean writing, but it’s just that little bit too wordy and the way it words things is often a, a little bit too kind of generic.

So I think if you are trying to get your content to, you know. That little bit better than everybody else’s and you don’t want it to be generic and you want it to be that little bit easier to read and that little bit clearer. That’s really where you need the kind of human element and the sort of the extra 20 percent that GPT can’t quite do.


Genny: Okay, yeah, I like how you worded that, the human element. Okay, so it’s been out for over a year, a little bit over a year. Did you have any predictions when it first [00:06:00] came out and have they come true?


Jon: Well, this has been going on for a few years and, and it’s, it’s been kind of bubbling into the public consciousness over the last sort of five years.

And I remember looking at like five years ago, not really worried four years ago, not really worried. And then last year, obviously, you know, the latest, uh, chat GPT version, whatever it was came out. That was really, really impressive. I mean, and then I did look at it myself and go, okay, this is actually really impressive.

But I still didn’t think, like, this is good enough to, to replace a human writer. Maybe in, maybe in some, uh, applications it could be. So my, but I, I still didn’t think, like, this can do what I can do. So I did think, even though this is very impressive and it could evolve into something that’s more, more impressive, and I’m sure it will, I didn’t, I thought there was quite an element of.

Kind of [00:07:00] everyone’s jumping on the hype train as well. So, I mean, it’s hard to know which, which way things are going to go, but I mean, I kind of thought on one hand, I think the kind of hype train will die down a bit eventually, but on the other hand, I thought like, God, who knows what this is going to look like in six months?

They’re obviously. Developing it all the time, investing in it all the time. So, you know, it was really hard to know which way it was going to go. But my thought was maybe, maybe the hype will die down a bit, at least in terms of applying it to content writing.


Genny: I mean, at the moment, the hype, everyone’s still on the hype train. So I think a lot of writers are quite concerned about it. It’s even like Hollywood script writers, like just based on that, has anything happened? Um, on your end, have you seen anything change in terms of work orders or have things just sort of stay the same?


Jon:  I haven’t personally, but again, I think that’s because of the kind of clients I work with. [00:08:00] the kind of clients I went with kind of reasonably want—they’re quite, they invest quite heavily in, in very specific content, really the kind of, the kind of thing I was talking about, like, very technical concepts, but broken down in a very human engaging way that really does need a skilled human writer.

And then I also do, you know. Copy and messaging projects that are, you know, just figuring out what to say on someone’s homepage, figuring out what to do to say on their service pages. And, you know, a lot of that isn’t really that much about the writing aspect. The writing aspect is important, but it’s also a lot about, you know.

A, the kind of doing research to drive those decisions. B, kind of coming up with a strategy for what to say where. And then, and then sort of bringing all the people who are involved in that together and, and actually getting everyone to agree. And that, that obviously requires human interaction, which is a big part of the job.

So in a [00:09:00] sense, some of what I do writing is only a, You know, the end product, but it’s not the whole process, so it hasn’t affected me that much yet, but I will say I’ve definitely seen, you know, I’m in a lot of copywriter groups and forums and Facebook groups and things like that, and I have seen quite a few people saying.

You know, I’m not getting work because all my clients say they’re using chat GPT. Yeah. And it’s sad. And it’s sad. And the sad thing is it’s, it’s the lower end of the scale. You know, it’s often these quite poor copywriters who are in developing countries and they’re the ones who are hit the hardest by it.

Um, So, you know, to give you a shorter answer, yeah, it hasn’t affected me that much personally, but it definitely is affecting the marketing industry and the kind of freelance, uh, the freelance world.


Genny: Okay. Um, are you mainly working with B2B companies or B2C


Jon: or? Yeah, mainly B2B. [00:10:00]


Genny: Okay. Okay. That’s interesting. Um, I mean, one thing that’s changed for me quite a lot as a content writer is that I’m actually being asked to more tweak and fine tune or edit or humanize, uh, AI written copy rather than started things from scratch. But this hasn’t happened to you yet, right? Cause there’s so much collaboration


Jon: involved. That hasn’t happened to me yet. No. Um, I think I did get an email about it. Like, Hey, do you want to do. But, um, I said no. And it’s, you know, it’s, you know, it’s obviously something that, um, you know, you can do if you’ve got the editor skills, but I also don’t kind of market myself as an editor. So it’s not something that people really approach me about.

Um, but yeah, I am seeing more and more of that out there in terms of listing like job, job listings and things. Okay.


Genny: Okay. That kind of, um, eliminates my next question, which was like more. How, if you’ve heard whispers [00:11:00] from the client side, how they, if they are perceiving content in a different way, as in maybe it’s been, its value has been diminished because now robots can, can, um, write the copy.

Have you noticed that they see content in a different


Jon: way? I think some of them do, and I think it, again, I think it really depends on, you know, the application and what you’re using it for. Um, because there are some applications where, like, it absolutely makes sense to use ChatGPT instead of a human writer.

Like, you know, if I’m emailing all my customers to say, like, you know, we’re closed on this particular day, or we’ve got different hours on this particular day, something quite logistical like that. It’s, you know, you still need a real, a well written email that’s professional and reflects your brand, but it’s not super sophisticated.

It’s not selling. Maybe then it makes perfect sense to use GPT. Why would you pay a writer to do that? But I [00:12:00] think the more sophisticated the message and perhaps the more, the more responsible it is for revenue generation. Maybe that’s, that’s where you need that like Extra 20 percent uh, of kind of human expertise.

I don’t know if it’s 20%, but that, that extra expertise, having said that, I mean, content is. You know, content isn’t always directly responsible for revenue generation. It’s often responsible for just getting the attention of prospects and kind of getting them into the funnel. But again, I think that also depends on, it’s like certain questions, like how competitive is your market?

Because if your market’s really competitive. You’ve got to make sure that your content is kind of better than everybody else’s. And again, that’s probably, that’s probably where you do want to make sure you’ve got the human touch and someone actually looking at things and saying, well, like, how can we make our content better than our competitors?

And again, I don’t think [00:13:00] you could do that with GPT alone. But I mean, I’d be interested to know, I know you’re interviewing me, but I mean, I’d be interested to know how you find, um, the editing jobs. Like, what are the things that you end up changing when you’re kind of given AI content


Genny: to edit? It’s interesting because apparently, um, my Previous writing that I’ve done on our website has been fed into ChatGPT in order for it to develop the tone and style that sounds like me But in my mind everything that I’ve been that I’ve had to edit sounds like someone who’s some Girl Scout who’s high on crack or something like that So, I don’t know how else to describe it, but Um, a lot of it is toning it down.

I think I’m adverse to exclamation marks and it’s just this hyper this hyper, um, tone of voice that I find really grating. And so a lot of it is just sort of, I think chat GPT tends to take it to the extremes when you prompt it with something. It’s like, okay, let’s do it [00:14:00] exactly what you said, but it doesn’t quite get nuanced.

And, um, I think it’s really, um, relies on being flashy. So it just like, pushes out so many emojis with, um, the actual content itself. And I just think that it’s, it’s obviously quite formulaic. And the more you read, the more you recognize these patterns. I mean, even you said that you, you could recognize something that was written by ChatGPT right away from your, your copywriter.

So I think it’s not, it, I think I’ve heard that a lot of it has to do with the prompts, like how, uh, sophisticated are your prompts, but even so I’ve had to look at stuff that’s been. Heavily prompted, and I’m just like, oh my God, this is like a little bit painful to look at, but I, I can only assume that it’s just gonna get more and more intelligent, more sophisticated, more, I mean, it start, it’s scary, but my, my boss Ben, is trying to make Chachi PT sound like me, so that is a little bit scary.

But, um, [00:15:00] yeah, I, I agree with you that in terms of the human touch, the human element, obviously it’s not. It’s nowhere close to, to that. So in that sense, I’m not quite worried because it still needs us to go through it. Sorry, I’m rambling now, but yeah.


Jon: It’s a good ramble. I agree. I mean, I mean, I think the other thing that you need to keep in mind, I think for creating content, like, okay, you know, writing is the way we deliver content, but content really is.

It’s thinking and it’s somebody understand, understanding a topic and having, helping someone else understand the topic. And it’s a transfer of information and ideas. And really, in order to do that well, you have to understand the topic. The best content is written by people who actually understand what they’re writing about.

And I, you know, I think at this point. I, I can’t do that. I mean, if it does get to the point where, where it genuinely can understand [00:16:00] whatever topic as well as a human being has, I mean, I think we’ll have bigger problems than, uh, than ourselves. But I mean, I think that’s. You know, the, the, the, the thing that it can’t do and that is really the key to creating great content.


Genny: Dunno if you remember or have seen it, but Google’s helpful content guidelines were updated a few months ago and one of the most noticeable changes was that it removed any wording implying human written. Um, so the new standards as is that as long as the content is helpful, by Google’s definition, it doesn’t matter if it was written by us.

Yeah,


Jon: I would have thought so, because, I mean, everyone wants a shortcut, right? And everyone wants to save money and do things faster. So if, uh, if I’m the content manager, A small business. Maybe I’m a solo business person. I don’t have the budget for lots of [00:17:00] writers. Of course, I’m going to try and get a shortcut with AI and maybe that works for some people.

I mean, again, I think it depends on what kind of topic you’re, you’re creating content around, but I mean, I think there’s, you know, there’s a yin and a yang to that, right? Like maybe on one hand, I mean, the helpful content update really is just about, you know, Google is getting more sophisticated to the point where really you, you have to focus on writing content that’s easy to read.

And that actually solves people’s problems. And it’s based on genuine expertise rather than these kinds of SEO hacks, like including lots of keywords. And you know, that’s, that’s the way it’s been trending for a few years now. And I’ve noticed, I’ve noticed a trend in the companies that I work with that they’re less and less.

So if you’re interested in these kind of technical aspects of the SEO, like how often you have keywords on pages. Oh, okay. [00:18:00] Interesting. Oh yeah, that’s, that’s definitely been a major trend. Like some of the companies I work with who are like pretty big in their spaces, who invest a lot in their content, they barely give you any technical Requirements in the brief, if you’re writing content for them.

So it’s, that’s been a trend that’s going on because Google is so sophisticated now, you know, it can recognize synonyms very easy. It can understand what you’re talking about. Even if you don’t fill it with certain keywords, it’s got a lot more sophisticated at kind of assessing what content is about.

You know, in one sense, obviously, yeah, the point is that it doesn’t matter if an AI wrote it or a human wrote it, as long as the content that you’re creating is, is helpful. But then I think that, you know, the other side to that is that means, you know, if everyone’s putting out lots of content that’s deemed helpful by Google, there’s all the more kind of [00:19:00] reason to be more strategic and to make your content more useful. Which really means more research, more actual expertise, less just regurgitating other people’s content. Um, because that’s what a lot of content is. And the companies that do invest heavily, heavily in it, you know, they, they try and avoid just remixing whatever, whatever content is out there. So I gave you a very long answer to that one.

But again, I think it’s the yin and yang of like on one hand, like maybe you can use. It’s AI to write your content and Google doesn’t mind, but if you really want to kind of get an advantage over the other people that are doing that, you still have to put a lot of effort into making sure your content is actually helpful and solves problems.

I mean,


Genny: if you look at it, it’s just obviously it’s getting more sophisticated and it’s uses becoming more and more popular. Do you think it’ll plateau? Like, do you think it will actually reach a stage where it’s like, okay, it can do no more? I’m saying that, but at the [00:20:00] same time, I’ve got these like, uh, end of the world movies in my head.


Jon: Well, I mean, there, there are some, I’ve heard some quite interesting, uh, perspectives on that. I’ve heard it said that actually it’s already. It’s already trained on so much content and it’s absorbed, you know, like 10 percent of the content that’s out there on the internet that they, it might have reached the peak of actually how much training can be done and how much training is needed.

And there’s also some people that think it might actually have to be dialed back in some ways because there’s starting to be issues around like plagiarism. I know some people, you know, like artists have been suing certain companies, AI companies, because they think their work has been plagiarized on some level.

I have some vagueness aware of that. I’ve seen headlines and articles. I don’t know how, how correct that is. [00:21:00] Um, And so some people think because of that, like, because there are some legal issues starting to occur that actually it might be that we see new limitations on, on things like chat, chat, GPT or not.

I mean, I know like jasper. ai, for example, I think has built in, um. Kind of anti plagiarism tools, and I’m sure, I’m sure this is something that developers are keeping in mind, but it’s, it’s an interesting idea that it might be that, you know, we do have new kind of laws and things that actually restrain the technology a little bit.

Um, but it’s really hard to say, isn’t it? Nobody knows.


Genny: Well, if we’re just looking back in the last year, has anything surprised you about it?


Jon: I mean, it, like I said, when I first tried out the, the, the new whatever it was, I can’t remember if it was like 2. 0. Yeah, I was surprised at how well it could write.

Yeah, how coherently it could write. Um, okay. It was just very [00:22:00] impressive. And then I can’t, I can’t say I’ve been Surprise. Anything else? Like it’s not surprising that it’s becoming more popular and that people are talking about it a lot. If, actually the only thing that SU really surprised me was that content writers and copywriters seem to be the ones like driving the hype.

You know, , isn’t that a fear? I mean, I think everyone wants to be like on the, on the cutting edge, you know, but I, I, my position has always been like, okay, like this thing could potentially be a threat to our jobs. Like, you know, shut up about it. I mean, you can’t, nothing we can do can stop that. So maybe there’s no point in shutting up about it.

But I, like I said, I feel sorry for the people who are kind of. At the bottom end of that, the kind of, uh, content writing world who are losing out to this stuff, and I don’t know, I think we’re all in it together, so it kind of surprised me to see so many writers pushing it, but, [00:23:00] you know, I guess a lot of people, probably quite rightly, they’re excited about it as a tool they get to use as well, and they’re excited about it as a means to shortcut their processes, and, you know, that’s fair enough as well.


Genny: I can tell you that I am not one of those people that pushes because I, I find the whole prospect to be a little bit terrifying, but at the same, at the same time, you also have to, like, I am very aware of the, what’s it called, the Photoshop story where we were so terrified or photo photographers were so terrified that Photoshop and also digital cameras were going to ruin the, um, art form as it was when really it, they just adapted alongside of it and it’s.

Photographers are still around, cameras are still around, and everyone’s okay, um. But when it first came out, everyone was terrified that it was going, it was signaling the end of this art form. So hopefully it’s like that where it’s just something that we incorporate into our, um, into our work and that’s that.

But there’s a [00:24:00] part of me that thinks, um, doomsday. So


Jon: I, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t think doomsday just yet, but I mean, I think it’s an opportunity for, for, for copywriters and content writers to, to, to kind of brush up on their strategic skills. Because even in the world of written content, I still see a lot of content that’s, that’s very bad, actually.

Um, you know, and I’m sure this has happened to you, like, you go onto a blog where you want to find out about something, and, you know, You are, you already know about this topic and you are searching for something that indicates that you know about this topic. Yeah. Like if I search for like best data analytics tool.

Yeah. I don’t need, I don’t need the first paragraph to be telling me like, what is a data analytics tool? Searching for it. I, I know what it is already. Yeah. That is, [00:25:00] that’s. You know, that’s kind of a strategic decision, like it’s not just about how we, how we’re going to say this content, it’s like what we’re actually going to say and actually aligning what we say with the, the sophistication of the audience.

And it’s surprising how many companies still get that really badly. So I think, you know, there’s a, there’s a, an opportunity here for a lot of content creators and agencies and writers to actually start thinking about things. More strategically and, and get themselves an edge in that way.


Genny: Okay. Do you think that that’s going to be part of the evolution of the content writer’s job?


Jon: I mean, yeah, maybe, maybe content writer becomes a more strategic role. Which I think it’s, you know, it almost should be really. Because, and perhaps, perhaps content writers kind of do ourselves a bit of a disservice by just describing ourselves as writers because, you [00:26:00] know, really to write a good piece of Content.

You have to understand where it fits into the customer’s journey. You have to understand why they’re reading it, how it can help them move to the next stage of the funnel. And a lot of that isn’t just about nice words. A lot of that is about actually crafting a journey. And I think, yeah. And I think if you can understand that, you know, that makes you a better writer.

So I think maybe that’s the way that the role will go, is that we’ll, we’ll move to becoming, towards becoming kind of content strategies, strategists, and maybe the lines between content writing and content strategy will become a bit more blurred in the future. Yeah, okay. And I think, you know, I’m sorry if I’m kind of blabbing on, but, uh, but I think, um, that might be what happens because if everyone can create content more easily, there’s going to be a lot more content and again, to stand out and to win, you will need to be more strategic.


Genny: I personally think that it’s that plus [00:27:00] it’s always this, this idea of proving ourselves. that we’re, we’ve got something more to offer than this AI technology. And what you’re saying is it’s the element of being human, like it’s understanding the next steps or anticipating what a human wants and what a human needs.


Jon: Well, I mean, the problem is, from my perspective, is that a lot of people that hire content writers and copywriters actually don’t really understand What they do, and I don’t really understand like what good writing is because a lot of good writing is sort of hidden really It’s it’s subtle like you’ll know when you see terrible writing, but you when you read very good writing You’re not really aware that you’re reading it.

You’re just you take in what it’s saying and it flows very easily what? So, and you know, when it comes to copywriting, that’s really marketing focused on already kind of direct response focus. You know, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of psychology in there. There’s a lot of using [00:28:00] emotion to sell. Um, and again, it’s some things that you’re not going to see what the copywriter is doing really, unless you are the intended audience, because it’s not going to kind of push the same emotional buttons for you.

And I actually think a lot of. People who hire writers, as I say, don’t really know this stuff, which is why they can’t really see the difference between, on the surface, between what a, uh, an AI tool is doing and what a human writer is doing. It’s just, okay, they both might write notes, uh, words, I can understand it all.

Okay, that’s more or less the same thing. It’s like, oh, it isn’t really. And it’s funny, it’s funny because anyone who’s ever kind of worked as a freelance writer has kind of had this experience where, like, employers are very concerned about experience. Like, it’s like, we know you can write, but have you written about biscuits before?

And it’s like, but have you specifically written about chocolate biscuits? They want this very specific niche [00:29:00] experience. Yeah. And then, now with the AI thing, it’s almost like the opposite of that. Hmm. It’s like, they just know that this tool can write. They don’t know if it’s helped anyone sell chocolate biscuits before.

It’s just purely going on how they perceive the, the kind of writing skills. There’s almost this kind of reversal of, of what people place importance on. But, you know, I, I still think there’s a important role for the human writer and I, I still think, you know, if you’re worried about it, like, keep doing good work and keep expanding your, um, skill set and keep kind of moving into the areas where, where, uh, you know, the things that the, the AI can’t do.


Genny: Okay, so is your suggestion to writers out there to specialize? Or did I just simplify that too much? Yeah,


Jon: absolutely. To, to, to specialize, um, I think is a good, is a good, I mean, in a way, maybe it’s better to move away from content and towards kind of marketing copy. Okay. I [00:30:00] do also think, you know, there’s definitely scope to move into content strategy.

Okay. And I do think there’s a lot of scope to do like research driven content. Like I think research driven copy and content. It is already becoming increasingly important, um, you know, especially in industries where there’s a lot of like self service buying going on, like e commerce and SaaS, you know, the companies are really putting a lot of effort into research now.

Like we want to know what our ideal customer cares about. What are their jobs to be done? What are their pain points? And like, all that takes a lot of research and companies don’t always have the time to or the resources to, you know, set up customer interviews and do all this research. And um, you know, it’s something that writers definitely and strategists definitely can get involved in.

And that might become again, what gets companies more of an edge in [00:31:00] future.


Genny: What do you think we’ll be saying about AI in a year from today?


Jon: I mean, I still think the same thing trend will be going on. It probably will be adopted in some way. by more and more companies and more and more writers. And what I hope will happen is it will become more integrated in tools. Like, I would love to be able to just say to my computer, like, send an email to this guy saying this, or just like, send an invoice for this much money to this guy, and the computer just does it without me having to click 50 things and type and all that.

And I think that is where it will go. It will get more involved in task automation and just removing the manual things that we do. And I think that would make all our lives easier. So I hope that’s where it goes in [00:32:00] terms of writing. Yeah, it’s, it’s really hard to say. I think it could, we could be having the same conversation right now in a year from now where it’s like, yeah, it’s doing, it’s sort of giving junior writers, uh, issues, getting work, but you know, people who are, More working on very sophisticated things in terms of tone of voice, or sophisticated project products, or very emotional selling.

But certain types of writing that just do need that extra human expertise. I think that conversation probably could still be going on. Okay. Or who knows? Maybe not. Maybe a, maybe a, the T5 is going to blow everything else away.


Genny: There’ll be flying cars and everything. It’s worth a stay. Okay. Um, that was a What do you think? I don’t know. I was about to say that was a very, um, risk averse, uh, prediction. I, I tend to, um, catastrophize everything. So I think that it’s when the [00:33:00] next iteration is going to come out. Well, with every iteration, there’s going to be more and more sophistication. There’s going to be more people whose jobs are at risk.

I think there might be a little bit of a artistic revolution Where artists are sought after for their originality and where it’s going to almost become this marketable thing where it’s like Oh, this is completely 100 percent human like Um chat gpt free products or chat gpt free content And so there would be a premium on human written content Well written human you could be


Jon: right You could be right. I mean, and I, I also think there is a possibility, you know, again, maybe this is more, this is more for like the freelance writers out there or agency writers out there than, than, than kind of the marketing world. But it might be that this kind of wipes out all the junior writers who then would have gone to, to sort of climb the ladder and become.

level and then move on to high. So in a way, it might end [00:34:00] up giving writers who are already more established an advantage in the long run because the, the, the junior competitors now don’t materialize. Um, so that, that could be a thing as well.


Genny: Yeah, it’s hard to say at this point because it’s such a young, well, relatively young thing that’s going on that it could, it could go in any direction. I mean, we all tend to look at, um, Isaac Asimov and these like sci fi writers who’ve like predicted this type of thing as like the end of the world. Sorry, I keep talking about it being the end of the world, but maybe I just need to dial that down a little bit, but maybe it’s just like anything. It’s just.

It’s testing, um, seeing where, yeah, testing things out in the market, seeing where things are going right, pulling back a bit. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just going to be a little bit slower than I


Jon: anticipate. Well, I mean, who knows regarding regarding what you’re talking about the end of the world stuff. I don’t know. I mean, it is. It is interesting that I mean, I know Elon Musk has been trying [00:35:00] to kind of create some kind of like council or government to kind of put some limitations on AI because, um. You know, we don’t know how fast it’s going to evolve and what the possibilities are. And I mean, that seems sensible to me.

It does seem sensible to me. And there’s so much money going into this. And it’s starting to be integrated into so many different things. And I think like if someone, if someone like him actually is is concerned about what it could do, then I think, you know, it probably is something to pay attention to. I don’t think there’s anything you or I can do about that, you know, let’s just, let’s just, let’s just focus on our jobs and doing the work and leave the World War III stuff to the people who actually, who can


Genny: do something about that. This is true. Is there anything else you want to add to the conversation?


Jon: Yeah, I mean, I guess I’ve probably come off as quite negative about [00:36:00] about chat GPT and AI. Um, I should say that, you know, actually it is really impressive and that there are good things you can do with it. For example, um, you know, it is quite good at coming up with one liners.

You know, if you ask it to write you 10 headlines, it can write 10 headlines in a couple of seconds. And. Some of them will be good. Again, it depends what you tell it to write. I do find that it does tend to be a little bit like cheesy sometimes and a little bit overly businessy, but it still can come up with good headlines.



And I know, I know companies have had. Good luck with, you know, using them as their ad headlines and they performed well, or they perform better than human written headlines and sometimes. So it’s definitely something that it can be used for, for one liners. Yeah. Um. You can use it for, it’s good for getting a structure of an article.

Hey, I want to write an [00:37:00] article about this. Give me an outline. I agree. Again, I think as content writers, you still have to look at that critically and say, okay. This is a starting point. I want to write better content than everyone else on page one of Google. Let me go and see what everyone else is doing and see if that gives me more inspiration, but it can give you a good starting point.

Um, it can be good for creative analogies as well. Like if you’re trying to write something a little bit creative and a little bit fun, which. I mean, you don’t necessarily do that a lot if you’re in B2B, but sometimes you might need to for whatever reason. I’ve done that. Like, I did it the other day, and I was like, hey, give me ten creative ways to say, uh, like musical analogies for X.

Okay. Okay. And I didn’t use like any of them, any of the actual lines it produced, but they gave me ideas that I probably might, I would [00:38:00] have, it would have taken me a long time to come up with on my own. Um, and I, I think I did another one, like give me an analogy involving animals and it was like analogies to do something quickly.

And I ended up using it. The line that was something like, uh, you know, people will stop reading your content faster than a wet cat jumps out of a bath. So something like that, you know, like, like, like comical kind of analogies and, um, you know, actually, uh, GPT helped me with that. I had to kind of refine what it said, but it sparked a couple of ideas that, uh, I, I might not have had, or it would have taken me a lot of the brainstorming to, to come up with.

So I do think it’s got some. That’s another good application. I do also think you can use it to proofread your copy. Like, again, it’s probably not going to be quite as good as a professional editor. But it might get you 70 percent of the way there, you know, and very quickly [00:39:00] and for free. So, in that sense, it’s a good tool for a writer.

I don’t know about you, but I find like If I’m working on something the whole day, by the end of the day, I’m kind of blind to it. And I, I can’t see my own mistakes. So that’s where it can be helpful. Like, Hey, chap GPT, like proofread this for me. And, um, it can do that pretty well. So, you know, well, I’ve been a bit down on it.

I do actually think it can be helpful. Um, I just find. Like, it’s like, it’s like people say, you do have to give it good prompts. I was using it to create a case study recently, because I do case studies for B2B clients sometimes. And, you know, again, very sophisticated topic. It’s about software development.

And I’m finding it can write a good, you know, if I tell it to write a section on this. It can do it, but I have to really write all the points out one by one, and I have to [00:40:00] let it do its first version, and then I have to say, okay, but can you change this and can you change this? And then sometimes I think, well, by the time I’ve done that, and I’ve, I’ve, I’ve given it feedback and I’ve got it to do again and again and then I’ve edited it myself.

I could have just written the thing myself in roughly the same time. So I think it can save a bit of time. It might be able to save you like 20 percent of your time, but I think the one thing it does save is a bit of brain power. Because, because you know what it’s like if you’re working really hard on writing something for hours, it’s very mentally tiring and it uses a lot of energy, you know, and so I think even though it might not save you that much time, like I say, maybe it’ll save you 20 percent that you can then use on your strategy side of things, but at least you’ve got a bit more mental energy left by the end of it.

So maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s just like, it’s going to stop writers having headaches. This


Genny: is yeah, I would I would take that. Yeah, I think I also say [00:41:00] can you give me 10 ideas for this and it’s sort of What evolves is sort of like a mash up of all the things it Suggested which I think obviously can be quite helpful Especially if you don’t have like a writing team with you and you just need something really really quick.

Yeah, I agree. It’s It’s really, really helpful.


Jon: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, I wonder if like, I do a lot of B2B writing. I wonder if it could be more helpful in B2C actually, where you might, in some industries, you’re trying to be a bit more creative, a bit more personal, a bit more emotional, um, which we don’t do so much of in B2B because we’re often trying to appeal to these kind of, Yeah.

Broad international audiences who are trying to solve logistical problems rather than personal problems. So maybe we’re not as kind of creative and personal as we might be. But I, I wonder if, you know, in e commerce it’s for some products, it could be a lot more, yeah, it could be a, give you that kind of creative edge.

Brainstorm faster [00:42:00] brainstorming edge you might, you might need good


Genny: point anyway, John, thank you so much for stopping by and answering my chat GPT questions. Thanks for


Jon: having me. It’s been, it’s been interesting. Yeah, I think so. And, uh, yeah, let’s hope we still have, uh, we still have jobs. I think we will stay calm.

You’ll be fine.

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Show Notes

It’s been a little over a year since ChatGPT became public and exploded onto the scene. So many of us were overwhelmed, awestruck, excited, and even a little bit anxious about its seemingly limitless capacity.

 

It obviously did not take us long to envision a world that almost every 19th century science fiction writer warned us about; a world in which the creation becomes more powerful than the creator (how many times has Mary Wollstonecraft rolled over in her grave in the last 15 months?).

 

But that was a year ago,  and we’ve all had time to digest and get used to ChatGPT (et al) as our helpful marketing sidekick. No, it still hasn’t taken over the world, and no, it hasn’t wiped out an entire workforce, and yes, it’s still a work in progress.

 

But, it has definitely changed the way we create content, so to help Genny unpack the last year and discuss how writers and companies have adapted is Jon from Electric Copy, a B2B copywriting service for SaaS.

 

Enjoy!

Catch up on our previous episodes about AI + Marketing

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About the Author
Genny Methot
Genny Methot
Genny Methot is Geeky Tech’s storyteller. She heads up our social media content, blog posts, and the Geek Speak podcast. Click here to learn more about Genny.
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