I am a freelance tech writer. And, I know the hype surrounding Artificial Intelligence and its possible implications for professionals in various industries.
I write about AI and ML and how these technologies are taking up redundant tasks and finishing them with efficiency, accuracy, and speed.
But, I never wondered what would happen to freelance writers, or just writing jobs in general, when AI seeps into this area.
For all non-tech freelance writers interested to explore, AI is a tech discipline that allows us to create software that can perform routine tasks with minimal human intervention. We write these codes and enable them to learn, unlearn, and relearn based on feedback. So much so, that they then begin to make decisions just like a human would.
Okay, we’re not there yet, but that’s where we are headed with AI and ML.
When AI enters writers’ territory, this happens-
The piece was published recently, and got me into thinking, “Where are we headed?”
Instead of sinking back into the chair with my thoughts, I decided to write them.
Because, duh! We are writers and this is what we do.
Alibaba’s digital marketing arm, Alimama, recently revealed they used an AI-powered copywriter to create product descriptions on Alibaba. The software uses deep learning and natural language processing to generate ad copies of its own.
“Despite their forays into the world of art, creating unexciting text such as ad-copy is where generative systems will have the biggest impact in the short term.”
Unexciting text- okay, we have everything else to ourselves!
The user of the software has to provide an image of the product as input, after which the software suggests numerous ideas for its ad copy. The user is then free to customize the copy for its tone and length, as necessary.
“Alibaba claims that it can produce 20,000 lines of copy a second and that it is being used nearly a million times a day by companies.”
The program works at speeds no human can touch!
But, isn’t this equivalent to automating monotonous tasks in manufacturing businesses, or in retail chains?
Some think product ad copies for e-commerce sites are a pretty straightforward pursuit. Throw in the popular keywords, make it a readable sentence, and you are done,
Well, good for Alibaba!
Because not all e-commerce businesses would benefit from using this software.
Buyers look for benefits and not product features.
A software only has so much potential to list down features of a product. It can not “yet” translate them into benefits. Which is what buyers are looking for.
You need freelance writers if you are not an established high-end business like Alibaba, and if your audience gets motivated by benefits and not features.
While AI in copywriting is gearing towards that transition, it might take a while before these software become mainstream.
And, just like any other industry, freelance writers will have to embrace change and upgrade their skills.
So, writing jobs that need you to spin articles to represent them in a different style would become automated, or extinct, for their lack of value.
Those that need you to mention straightforward features might as well go out of the window.
Only writing that takes emotions, storytelling, and user behavior into account will have value.
I may have ended the post here.
But, I was interrupted by a notification.
What are your thoughts on these changes in the freelance writing industry?
Let your ideas freely flow in the comments below. We don’t have to be thought leaders to speak our mind!
Happy freelancing! 🙂
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