It sounds like something out of Black Mirror or Bladerunner (or Fifth Element…did you see that? One of the best films ever made, seriously) but one day, automation is going to affect our lives. Big time.
In some cases we already trust automation to take care of things in our everyday schedules. If you’ve got an Alexa taking down your shopping lists, or a Hive switching off your heating while you’re out for the day, you’re already enjoying the advantages of an automation-led future. How exciting is that?!
But what if computer programmes could help streamline your workflow? Would you use a robot to make your copywriting tasks easier?
You might not know this, but there are already programmes out there that are used regularly to write basic news reports for news agencies. The odd thing? You can barely tell the difference between a short court report written up by a human and a traffic update composed by AI. Ouch.
This technology has been used to create advertising copy, too, using Google’s ‘cost-per-click’ system to train tech to make ads that play it safe, thereby encouraging more clicks while driving costs down.
However, marketing corporation Dentsu Aegis Network decided this wasn’t ground-breaking enough for them. As advertising giants, they knew that creativity is what drives the best marketing campaigns. So, they set off on a journey to teach their algorithms how to ‘think’, ‘feel’ and ultimately, get funny.
According to a fascinating news story about the project on BBC.co.uk, managing director of Dentsu Aegis Network Audrey Kuah said: "Our ambition is to train this AI copywriter to learn how to inject a little bit of that human creativity.”
The Human Touch
Does this spell the end of the road for creative copywriters?
I honestly don’t think so. While algorithms can be trained to write snappy, empirically interesting copy, the only creativity they can offer is learned.
In that respect, a human element has to exist, in order to push the creative boundaries.
I love writing heartfelt, engaging copy that informs, attracts and moves readers to act. I can’t deny that the idea of having an AI assistant I can send repetitive tasks to is actually a dream come true, for both me and my clients. Imagine all the time I could dedicate to producing thoughtful, creative content! Imagine how much more efficient the processes involved in setting up a website – for example – would be?
I’m not concerned that robots will take my job. Well, let’s hope not; I quite like doing what I do.
At the end of the day, creativity comes from your lived experiences, your personality, your likes and dislikes and your own personal hunches. What works for one agency might not work for another. Ads that bring home thousands of pounds in revenue for one company might fall flat for others. That’s why humans, with our amazing adaptability and problem-solving skills, could never really be replaced.
I’m actually excited about where AI might take the creative marketing industry. How about you?
Until next time…