You’ve heard it a billion times.
Robots will one day rule the world.
…They’ll take over our jobs, fill our innate human needs, and maybe even replace us like we replaced the dinosaurs. 🦕
I mean, you’ve seen how “stupid” our smartphones can be, right? 😂
That’s like the zombie apocalypse theory, technically plausible but unlikely.
That’s stuff for sci-fi movies like Her and Chappie.
That’s a bedtime story for kids.
But let me tell you this.
Robots have been here for a long time.
They’re everywhere. Behind the Amazon suggestions that make life easier for you. In the automated emails you receive from your favorite brand. In the online bank transactions that have you paying your bills from the comfort of your bedroom.
And this year, they’re coming for your writing job.
Or so they say.
Is it true?
Will OpenAI’s latest release, GPT-3, really take over your job in content creation?
Let’s dig into it.
What Is GPT-3?
GPT-3 is gigantic machine learning model that strikes at the heart of what we do – writing. With a little learning, GPT-3 can create articles, blogs, social media posts, poetry, fiction, and news (among other things, like writing code and answering real-life questions).
I know what you’re thinking.
GPT-3 is just one of those awful language tools that “spin” text for crappy websites no one visits.
You know, the obvious AI-generated robot-speak we smile at but don’t take seriously (and never read, except for fun).
For example, I took a piece of this blog’s introduction and ran it on Spinbot to get this:
But GPT-3 isn’t like Spinbot or other text-generating machines you’ve tried.
It’s huge, bigger than any machine learning model we’ve ever come across. With 175 billion parameters, it can scour the whole web and create scarily human-sounding text.
Even humans can’t tell its content is AI-generated.
In fact, a student used GPT-3 to create a fake blog that made it to #1 on Hacker News. A bunch of people even subscribed to his account, thinking he had written the content himself! 😲
Take a look.
Pretty cool, huh?
Here’s what Google engineer Dale Markowitz said about it.
That’s some scary stuff.
If GPT-3 can write like a human, what happens to us content creators? 😱
But before you quit writing and make plans for jumping into a new career, read my reasons why GPT-3 won’t take over your job.
5 Reasons GPT-3 Won’t Take Over Your Content Creation Job
A few years back, I decided to test AI technology’s ability to create content (read the full article here). What I found is that it severely lacks all the elements that make up shareworthy content.
And although GPT-3 is a far more advanced model than the AI I used then, it’s still a robot.
Here are five reasons why robots (even GPT-3) won’t take over your content creation job.
1. GPT-3 Isn’t a Sentient Being
Yes, GPT-3 is astounding. It analyzes the billions of content pieces posted by human writers online, and from all that data produces its own factual, well-researched content. This content can be educational, grammatical, and human-sounding.
But that’s where it ends.
Because the fact is, GPT-3 can’t understand what it’s saying. It uses human suggestions and context clues to “guess” at correct answers or string together coherent paragraphs.
For example, check out the exchange Kevin Lacker had with GPT-3.
So yes, GPT-3 can use context clues to construct human-like pieces of content.
But since it can’t understand what it’s saying, it lacks the intelligent reasoning and argumentative skills behind savvy human writers.
2. GPT-3 Can’t Empathize with Human Readers
Ever subscribe to a blog because you felt the author just “got” you?
As you read their posts, you feel deep in your gut that they know what it’s like to be you. They know your biggest fears and dreams, as well as your 2 a.m. thoughts.
For instance, if you’re a parent, you can deeply feel the emotion in Liz’s blog on Strong Sensitive Souls. You know Liz isn’t regurgitating a perfectly formatted but dry blog post. She’s writing from experience and from her heart.
Also, human readers crave for the headshot next to the story. The most successful writers are those who show their face and history beside their compelling content.
For instance, we all know world-class blogger Jon Morrow. And we know he isn’t some perfectly flawless demi-god, but a down-to-earth human with fears and dreams just like you and me.
Here’s a piece of his Problogger post “How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise, and Get Paid to Change the World.”
So sure, GPT-3 can create a list of the top ten tips for struggling parents. And it can give you ideas on how to quit your job and move to Mexico.
But that’s all.
It’ll never empathize with readers, like Jon and Liz did.
It can never touch lives and inspire comments like these.
3. GPT-3 Doesn’t Have Its Own Opinions
I’m a huge fan of Joanna Wiebe’s Tutorial Tuesdays, and one episode I can never forget is when she talked about the anatomy of a killer blog post.
Yes, she talked about links, examples, and all the stuff that makes amazing content.
But towards the end she added one more element: opinion.
I was clapping my hands in agreement. 👏
Because, yes, without your opinion, everything else is just regurgitated facts. It’s not like you’re going to discover new scientific evidence tomorrow. People want to know what you THINK about the already-known world.
For example, look at this email from bestselling author Ramit Sethi and imagine it without his sharp wit and unique opinions.
Yes, GPT-3 can list money-saving hacks and give you the prices of clothes and salads.
But what it can’t do is look at the world around it, change based on experiences, and come up with personal opinions.
Only humans can do that.
For now. 😉
4. GPT-3 Lacks Human Tact
GPT-3 works by crawling online content and using it to predict the kind of writing it should create.
This means its writing is largely influenced by both quality authority content and content that’s biased or even downright racist.
For example, check out the Tweets it created based on words like “Jewish,” “women,” “black,” and “holocaust.”
No one wants content like that to come within 10 miles of their brand presence.
5. GPT-3 Can’t Strategize Like a Human
At my content agency Express Writers, we do use AI technology to power our clients’ content strategy.
Before you react violently, let me explain. ✋
No, we NEVER use AI tools to write content.
Are these tools enough?
We still need my team of highly-trained content strategists to go through the data, pick the perfect keywords from the list generated by robots, and then form content ideas from those keywords.
Because for now, no robot (not even GPT-3) can think and strategize like a human.
Yes, it might be able to come up with amazing content ideas.
But the right content for the right audience at the right time?
As Brian Clark said in his report The Killer and the Poet:
GPT-3 Will Enhance, Not Replace You
We’ve been writing stories since the dawn of humanity.
In the beginning, it was cave paintings and hieroglyphics.
Then, a Chinese man called Cai Lun invented paper in 105 AD.
Slowly, modern technology rolled in. The feather pen, then the ballpen. The typewriter. The word processor.
And now, the robots.
But if you look deep into history, you’ll notice one thing.
Technology has never replaced human writers.
Yes, it has enhanced us. For example, imagine yourself writing a 1,500-word blog post on papyrus reed. Or carving it into the wall of a cave. 𓀧𓀂𓁗
And imagine crafting SEO-optimized content without AI-powered keyword research tools. Impossible.
So yes. GPT-3 will enhance us writers. Its excellent ability for research can save us hours of time and present us with a ton of data we can use to craft killer content.
But will AI technology ever replace our imagination, our experiences, our creativity, and our human reasoning?
Not until robots become sentient beings, which will be the subject of my grandkids’ blogs about aliens, zombies, and whatever is coming to us in 2075. 👽
Can GPT-3 Take Over Your Content Creation Job?
I’ll end this blog with a disclaimer.
There are some writers GPT-3 will replace.
For example, if you write content like this, I’ve got bad news for you.
GPT-3 writes better than you, and it won’t be long before you run out of gigs that pay for this kind of content.
But the great news?
I’m not labelling you as “that kind of writer.”
We all start somewhere. In fact, back in 2011, I was creating weak content for cheap clients myself! But I learned. I got out of the rut. I turned my $75 startup into a thriving $5 million content agency.
The best part? You’re human. Which means, you’re not stuck with 175 billion parameters like GPT-3 is.
You can learn anything, any time you want.
So, if you want to be the kind of writer who’s creative, emphatic, data-driven, audience-centered, and uniquely human? I mean, the kind of writer who will never be replaced by robots?
There’s a lot to learn out there, but for starters you can check out The Content Strategy and Marketing Course.
In this course, I teach you how to create audience-centric content and a workable content strategy that’ll have you using robots instead of getting replaced by them. Check out the details here.