Is AI a better writer, can AI write better than humans?

Image created using AI. Image created only for illustrative purpose. Created by Marcus Moloko

Is ChatGPT a better writer than most writers?

This discussion is potentially explosive as it could tilt influence as well as impact business decisions when it comes to many industries that depend on the human element for production.

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Cayley Jones, UX Writer at Helm, posed a potent question in a piece shared with us on whether the rise of generative AI meant the imminent replacement of certain industries that rely on writers.

Cayley Jones, UX Writer at Helm

When we factor in computational power alongside access to vast amounts of data, products powered by large language models (LLM) like ChatGPT arguably pose a threat to writers.

It’s no secret that LLMs could outperform writers considerably in technical tasks such as writing an 800-word essay in 10 seconds or generating 20 campaign slogans.

The key may be to remain relevant as LLM’s evolve. Understanding AI and leveraging its full potential to step in where it falls short may be the key according to Jones.

Generative AI models can emulate many human-like responses, but in the absence of a well-crafted, detailed prompt, their responses are pretty underwhelming. For example, if I was asked to “tell [you] about the ocean…” I could write endless pages describing this body of water in vivid detail. But when I typed this exact question into ChatGPT 3.5, it responded with:

“This prompt is quite broad and lacks specificity, which could lead to a general or surface-level response. However, I’ll do my best to provide a brief overview…”

And it then proceeded to generate a few bland and very (pardon the pun) surface-level sentences for me.

LLMs can perform countless natural language processing tasks at highly impressive speeds, but they cannot write their own prompts. And the quality of an AI model’s response will only be as good as the prompt you provide it with.

It’s no secret that the contextual comprehension within AI-generated content cannot match the depth of empathy and awareness inherent in the work of the human writer.  There remains no program to prep a machine on what it means to be a South African.

AI models operate within predefined parameters and they are still determined and defined by people.

Do they threaten a UX writer’s role?

Jones argues that due to current limitations, the evidence points to a job that is temporarily safe right now but this could change in the next year, month, or even a week.

The answer to the question may be understanding that AI and human writing are currently complementary tools and that although AI excels at generating large amounts of content efficiently and consistently, it lacks the human touch and emotional depth crucial for truly engaging and impactful writing.

The best approach would involve a consistent partnership where AI can handle initial content generation or data analysis while humans inject emotional resonance.

Also read: Posting personal content during office hours, where’s the line?

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