ChatGPT or not to chat? 6 points to consider!


Should companies be using AI like ChatGPT to create content? Or is artificial intelligence still limited and useless without a good editor? Al Gibson shares his insights after listening to various podcasts on the topic and trying ChatGPT out for himself.

There has been much hype about ChatGPT lately and it ranges from people saying how amazing it is, to writers expressing concerns that their skills will become redundant. I’ve been trying out ChatGPT and the hype is justified because it does actually deliver content that seems to be written by a person. AI has developed in leaps and bounds especially in the last year. However it is still artificial and that means there are factual inaccuracies which require human editing. This is why AI is known as ‘assisted intelligence’ in some circles, as opposed to artificial intelligence.

Nevertheless, of course you should be making use of AI in your company. You already use it in your personal life, if you speak to Alexa or Siri. ChatGPT provides a similar but more in depth opportunity to receive information repackaged from the Internet to answer your questions in written format. However don’t rely on ChatGPT alone to generate your copy, just like you wouldn’t rely on Alexa or Siri entirely as we are all too familiar with the mistakes they can make. So when it comes to the question of to ChatGPT or not to chat, I would certainly suggest that you try it out while bearing the following in mind:

1. AI still needs humans

No matter how clever AI gets it’s always going to require a measure of human quality control. In other words there will always be a need for a skilled editor to check accuracy and authenticity. In my experience of testing ChatGPT it certainly can deliver great outlines and even fully-fledged articles. Some of these are excellent yet in most cases they are bland. This is where the human brain can add that much needed sparkle. I see all AI-generated copy as a rough first draft which needs to be checked and enhanced with the interesting stories or facts that AI cannot draw upon because they are not yet on the Internet. Some writers may move into more of an editing role in future but they will still be needed to oversee, check, augment and enhance AI-generated text.

2. AI and SEO

2. Copy generated by ChatGPT may or may not affect your search engine rankings. Right now there is an understanding that Search Engines favour original content created by people. However Microsoft has bought a large stake in ChatGPT – See Microsoft and OpenAI extend partnership. Google is also making significant investments in AI so they are definitely going to make it work for them and apps like ChatGPT are very much part of the future of SEO. However SEO still plays an important in driving traffic to your website and SEO knowledge is required to meet the checklist for each piece of content from key words to internal and external links, etc. You can of course use ChatGPT for keyword research and analysis. It can also help you discover the questions people are asking about your business and help you answer these better which is good for search engine optimisation.

3. ChatGPT is simply a tool

Over the years, there have been many new tools that have helped writers. For example, Grammarly has been a life-saver to ensure correct grammar and spelling. Transcription apps are another game changer, enabling one to turn recorded interviews to text. However would you used these tools if you aren’t a writer? Template based websites like SquareSpace and Wix made everyone a web designer just as Canva provides powerful tools to design whatever you want from a logo to a brochure. Does that mean you have the confidence or time to do your own graphic design? I imagine business people will use ChatGPT as a useful tool here and there but they are still going to leave content creation to those who specialise in it. Remember, tools are only as good as the person using them and ChatGPT is only as good as the questions it is asked and the availability of the information it has to draw from.

4. ChatGPT does not provide citations

One of the major criticisms of ChatGPT is that it provides what sounds like authoritative text without attributing sources of the content. It’s the complete opposite to Wikipedia, which asks for citations to establish each and every fact. Sources can easily be added in by a human editor, with external links to enhance SEO, which takes us back to point one, the importance of human quality control. Companies need to be especially careful to recognise the source of their statistics, attribute a quote etc. These are all mechanisms to avoid plagiarism which can result in legal challenges. When using AI to write something I recommend you go back over the text and see where you need to attribute the source of the information. This will give your content greater authenticity.

5. ChatGPT and plagiarism

Basic chatbots or ‘rule-based systems’ deliver the same answers to the same question for everybody. However according to Open AI ChatGPT can generate a range of different responses to diverse people to ensure no output copy is the same. “While there may be some cases where AI gives the same answer to different people, in most cases the responses differ based on a range of factors. These include input data, training data, or the context of the question.” However, its best to ensure your published content is original by engaging the services of a skilled editor. We have to be very careful to ensure we don’t plagiarise, that could be with words or images. You can’t just pick out what you want from Google Images. This is why Royalty free stock image services exist, like Getty Images and Shutterstock. In the same way, you can’t just use other people’s without quoting them or attributing the information to them. These are well established content creation conventions.

6. ChatGPT is very versatile

It can be used for any type of written communication, from one word to thousands of words. You can use ChatGPT here and there like a thesaurus to find the right word; rephrase a headline etc or you could use it for longer content like writing blogs or even an ebook. It can certainly help with day to day communications as well. For example, writing a letter, drafting an email, creating an effective social media post, or simply by providing ideas on any topic. For example, suggestions on what to do for a child’s birthday or gift ideas.

Use ChatGPT personally but vet your published content

When it comes to published content, ChatGPT output definitely needs to be vetted. However, as long as you are asking the right questions and feeding it with your own original input a lot can be accomplished despite any drawbacks mentioned. ChatGPT is certainly good at giving you a basic outline of what you could say, or list a number of points that you could write about. It also makes a good editor itself. You can ask it to shorten a piece of writing into a particular amount of words, or to create an overview or synopsis, right down to creating a 280 character tweet.

There’s no doubt about it, ChatGPT is a very powerful tool. I’ve heard some AI leaders say that it is intended to make writers better, not necessarily replace them. Good to know! Certainly if somebody has challenges with written communications, ChatGPT will help them to express themselves better, but in terms of published content, original copywriting is here to stay. Even if AI is used increasingly as a tool to assist that process, the originality and creativity of the human brain is still very much needed and celebrated and appreciated.

At Countdown Creative we emphasise the value of original content, using journalistic skills to interview key stakeholders and tell a company’s story in an interesting and effective way. I am not adverse to AI especially when it can be used to save time and cut costs. However we will never compromise on authenticity, accuracy and human creativity. Please feel free to contact us for your writing or editing requirements.

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