7 Ways Writers Can Adapt to a World Replete with AI Writing Tools
Writers used to be told 'publish or perish.' Today, they're being told 'adapt to AI or prepare to die.' But doing that is tougher than it sounds and can take a major mindset shift.
As the integration of AI-powered technologies in just about every industry continues at a breakneck pace, many writers are worried they'll become obsolete, replaced by robots who can write. But while AI will undoubtedly have a transformative effect on journalism, copywriting, and other creative careers, it's essential to remember that human creativity, nuance, and insight remain irreplaceable — and unreproducible by machines.
That doesn't mean writers should write off the impact of AI on writing careers. Some short-sighted decision-makers will no doubt see the rise of artificial intelligence as an opportunity to cut costs where human resources are concerned. But most — we hope — will think critically about AI integration and the necessity of keeping humans at the helm.
In fact, in many industries, human-computer collaboration has become the norm, with humans and machines working together to achieve better results than either could alone. In this article, we'll explore seven strategies you can use to adapt in the age of AI, safeguard your career, and regain some control over how your organization uses AI writing tools.
1. Accept that AI is just another tool: If you start thinking about AI as a replacement for human writers (and editors), it won't be long before your boss brings up AI or your organization decides to cut costs. AI is NOT a replacement for human creativity, but you might find you like using it to generate fresh ideas, tighten up your copy, and proofread your work more quickly.
2. Become your organization's AI expert: Understanding the capabilities — and limitations — of different AI writing tools is one way to make sure your job stays secure. Experiment with tools like Quillbot, ChatSonicAI, Jasper, eleGPT, etc. As one writer on Twitter put it, "writers who master the skill of writing and usage of AI tools will win in the long term over those who mock AI."
3. Start automating repetitive tasks with AI: Routine tasks like proofreading, fact-checking, and social media scheduling take up valuable time you could spend writing — and these happen to be some of the tasks AI content tools are best at. Don't wait until your boss talks to you about AI; see what value they can offer you right now.
4. Augment your research with AI: We've all seen the viral examples of AI search engines like BingGPT going a little nuts, but chatbots are more than capable of handling simple research — especially with the release of GPT-4. Try using it to find sources and statistics; just be sure to do your own fact-checking. If you're a journalist, you can also use AI tools to sort through vast amounts of data to find interesting patterns and trends.
5. Think of working with AI as collaboration: Everyone is calling out hybrid human-computer work as the future of work, and chances are they're right. AI integration doesn't have to equal automation. None of the AI copywriting tools on the market in 2023 are ready to generate content without a lot of human intervention. As another Twitter user put it, "AI tool knows how to write, but a writer knows what to write."
6. Use AI to evolve your writing style: Want to add humor, sophistication, or sarcasm to something you've just written? ChatGPT and similar tools can help you do that. When tasked with rewriting those sentences, OpenAI's flagship chatbot wrote: Who needs actual wit and charm when you can rely on a machine to do the heavy lifting for you? So go ahead, let ChatGPT do the funny business for you, because why be genuinely funny when you can just pretend to be with the help of AI?
7. Don't get too comfortable: Things are moving very, very quickly in the world of AI copywriting tools and AI editing tools. Commit to keeping abreast of the latest advancements in AI and then finding ways to capitalize on those advancements in your career. Maybe that'll mean using AI copywriting tools to work more efficiently. Maybe it'll mean transitioning into an entirely new AI-focused job, like prompt engineer or ChatGPT post editor.
Remember, change is nothing new in the writing world! Those of us old enough to remember the transition to digital and the rise of content farms are still here, working. This is just the latest bump in the road on a bumpy career path. Keep calm and write on, and remember that no matter what computers learn to do, your creativity will never be obsolete.