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Embracing AI in professional writing: Inevitable or deplorable?

If you read till the end, there's a surprise waiting for you...

The recent surge in advanced natural language-processing artificial intelligence (AI) models, such as ChatGPT, poses challenges for the professional writing industry, including copywriters and marketing specialists. As these AI models advance, they can produce increasingly realistic, personalized, and professional texts in a fraction of the time it would take a human. The threat to writing organizations and professionals lies in the potential obsolescence of their work and the subsequent displacement in the market, according to Arntz et al., 2016. However, to survive this wave of technological change, writers must highlight their intrinsic human competencies and advantages.

AI models, while sophisticated, lack human life experience, empathy, and ethical judgment, which are key elements in content creation. Additionally, the handling of creativity, originality, and intuition are inherently human skills that AI has not yet fully replicated. This means that writers are likely to thrive if they lean into refining these competencies and working alongside AI tools to create superior-quality content, rather than directly competing with them.

How are writers reacting to AI?

Approaching this phenomenon from the field of organizational theory, specifically from the perspective of organizational ecology theory and contingency theory, the rise of natural language AI like ChatGPT represents a disruptive environmental change for professional writers.

Theories suggest that writers who do not adapt to this environmental change are at risk of extinction.

The organizations that thrive will be those that integrate AI into their work, enhancing their human skills, rather than those that attempt to compete directly with the technology. Some organizations may require a complete restructuring, while others may only need more subtle adjustments.

When humans become obsolete

Given the rise of natural language AI and its impact on the professional writing industry (possible obsolescence of traditional human labor), further research is necessary. It could take two complementary approaches:

  1. On the one hand, a qualitative approach would allow for the exploration of the perceptions and experiences of professionals and how writers are responding to this technological change. It could involve interviews or focus groups with writers and other key actors in writing organizations to gain in-depth understanding of their adaptation strategies, challenges, and visions of the future of writing in the AI era.

  2. On the other hand, a quantitative approach would measure the economic and organizational impact of AI in the writing industry. This approach could involve analyzing data on the profitability of professional writers, the extinction rate of such organizations, and how these factors have changed with the increasing adoption of AI.

Both approaches offer valuable perspectives and could be combined to provide a more comprehensive writing offering to those contracting writing services and content marketing.

The above was produced from a research paper written in Spanish, which ChatGPT turned into English in blog format. The changes humans made were:

  • Subheadings: The headings produced by the AI were too generic

  • Paragraph splitting: ChatGPT loves a long paragraph it seems, contrary to blog best practices

  • Edit to separate formatting into digestible chunks for human eyes

  • Bolding and heading formatting for SEO

  • Hyperlink additions

  • Fact-checking of sources and statements

  • Insertion of interesting turns of phrase to hold interest

How long did ChatGPT take to turn the research paper into a blog?

No more than 2 minutes.

The editing and upload time that a human spent adapting the AI-generated blog?

30 minutes

The time the human originally took to write the original content submitted to ChatGPT?

120 minutes

Would you click "Regenerate response"? Depending on what you think of the quality of the above in terms of translation, content, and interest, consider whether investing 150 minutes of a professional writer's time in original, polished content might simply be better spent skipping the AI and making the blog themselves.

At this point, it's a question of preference.

Want to chat to Roberto about data or AI? Find him on LinkedIn.



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