Why AI is the kick up the arse copywriters need

If ChatGPT and co are coming for our jobs, creativity is the only thing that will protect us, says Reed Words creative director Orlaith Wood

I’m a writer at an agency that specialises in copywriting and verbal branding. We’re often asked how worried we are about AI. But in fact, we’re pretty optimistic.

Why? Well, because machine-generated copy is frankly not that good. Most of what ChatGPT and its counterparts spit out has a distinctly ‘AI beige’ tone of voice – it sounds stale and over-familiar, because it’s drawn from scraping existing content. It lacks the freshness, imagination and nuance that the best human writing achieves.

What’s more, AI doesn’t seem to be costing us work. In fact, it’s creating new work. We’ve recently had an AI incubator based in one of the foremost science universities in the US ask us to name their company. Then one of the world’s biggest tech companies asked us to write the website for their AI research lab. These are anecdotal examples, but if even the biggest AI advocates haven’t given up on human copywriting just yet, this gives me hope.

This aside, we can’t bury our heads in the sand, or keep our fingers crossed that the quality of AI writing won’t get better. Because it will, inevitably. There’s no point fearing or resisting it. We have to embrace it. Find ways of using it to complement the work we do.