There’s been a lot of talks lately about robots replacing human workers at every level. It’s true that people are using machines for more things, such as manufacturing and even retail, but the idea of robots replacing copywriters is legitimately worrying for many.
The Washington Post and The Associated Press are two companies that have used robots for copywriting. The Washington Post used software to create posts around the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Associated Press uses Automated Insights to create quarterly earnings reports. There are computers capable of writing blog posts with SEO in mind.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to the future of copywriting. There’s one thing we can say for sure, however, and that’s that robots aren’t about to replace good copywriters any time soon. Here are five reasons why this won’t happen;
1. Good Copy Is More Than Well-Written – It’s Engaging
People can program computers to do just about anything. That includes programming them to string together grammatically correct sentences to create information on any topic. However, the content is to be read by humans, not machines. There’s more to good content than being written well. The copy has to “speak” to the reader. There needs to be a human element to the writing to draw readers in and keep them engaged until the end.
Computer-generated content has something of the Uncanny Valley to it. We’re yet to see any articles written by machines that proved to be engaging. Many of these articles are long soliloquies on subjects that don’t make a lot of sense to readers. You can read something written by a robot, and it will feel “off.” It’s like your brain can tell it wasn’t written by a human. The sensation puts people off reading. Some essay writing services like SpeedyPaper use computer-generated content to quickly draft students’ essays and copy-edit them afterward to make them readable. This is a unique approach and not many writing companies work like that. If you want to read more about SpeedyPaper and its approach, you can check this article here.
2. Computers Lacks Emotions
Excellent copywriting does more than just inform readers. The sign of excellent copy is that it makes a reader feel “something.” What that something is can depend on the reader and their intentions. Some people write to evoke positive feelings, while others write to evoke negative emotions.
The only way to write in a way that alters emotions is by understanding them and understanding your readers. Computers aren’t advanced enough to feel emotions. Perhaps they will be one day, and that’s when the robot apocalypse happens. Until then, machines have no concept of emotions and how to use them to their advantage.
Humans are, by nature, empathic creatures. Different people respond to the same thing differently. You can have five people read the same piece and come away feeling five different things.
If you need help solving a problem, you’ll gravitate to product posts and sales letters that promise to deliver the solution you’re looking for. Suppose you believe in a charitable cause or support a particular politician. In that case, you will likely be swayed by stories of those who have been victims of the things those people and institutions fight against.
A good copywriter understands how to weave emotions into their words to steer readers into taking the intended action or having the intended response. Excellent copy that sways an audience is more akin to art than anything else.
3. Computers Are Incapable of Independent Thought
Computers have one fatal flaw; they will only do as they are programmed. A robot will do exactly what you tell it to do – no more, no less. This can be frustrating when you aren’t sure how to explain to a computer the task you need. A computer will never understand what you need if you can’t explain it plainly to them.
This flaw is terrible for programmers and users, but it’s useful for writers concerned about being replaced. Human writers are capable of independent thought. We can interpret what a client wants or what an audience would be interested in. We can use our creativity to do much more than the exact instructions outline and add a layer of depth you could never get from a robot.
Human writers may discover new facts and information as they research articles. They may come across a new idea they or their client hadn’t considered before. Humans can take this new knowledge and apply it. Robots can’t go against their programming and cannot work on their own like this.
4. Robots Lack The Raw Power of Human Conversation
One thing robots can’t do that humans master from a young age is knowing how to hold a conversation. Robots can be programmed to answer questions and talk back to people. Robots can tell jokes if you ask them to. The problem is that robots will never be natural conversationalists to the level of humans.
This is another flaw that works out well for copywriters. Anyone who has experience with digital marketing can probably name some examples of relatable, conversational, and funny content with an unmistakable human touch. This is also the reason that people prefer talking to humans over automated chatbot support options. We like to know that we’re talking to a real person who listens to us, understands us, and can converse with us.
5. Great Copywriters are Worth the Money
Anyone who has hired and used copywriters know that these people are worth their weight in gold when they do a good job. If you have a good copywriter on your team, do what you can to keep them. If you find someone who really understands your company, your audience, and your goals, then you have the secret ingredient to the special sauce that turns visitors into customers. You won’t get something like that from a computer algorithm.
There you have five reasons why robots aren’t capable of being copywriters just yet, and likely not for the foreseeable future. Robots are incapable of understanding emotions, relating to people, and holding genuine conversations – which is probably a good thing when you consider what typically goes wrong when they obtain these abilities.