Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots aren’t anything new but the recently launched ChatGPT may take AI intelligence and chatbots to the next level. The Open Source software launched in November of 2022. The tool can take prompts from users and create all types of content from lists to pieces of code to marketing content to images. But, is ChatGPT here to stay and, if so, how will it impact the future of content marketing?
What is ChatGPT?
Here’s what the developer, OpenAI, has to say about ChatGPT :
We’ve trained a model called ChatGPT which interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.
ChatGPT is a free content creation tool (as of this date), but OpenAI offers several other options including ChatGPT Plus for a subscription fee (as of this date, $20/month), which includes additional features. Both work in a similar way and mimic the child’s game of “finish the sentence” only using a humongous dataset scraped from the Internet.
- A user enters a prompt to start the process
- Using natural language processing (NLP) the software attempts to understand your question. Over time, as more users enter prompts, the software “learns”, becoming better at delivering by building deep neural networks that simulate the way a human brain works.
- The AI searches through available information from sources such as books, manuscripts, and pretty much anything available on the Internet to produce content, such as social media captions, newsletter blurbs, and blog posts
- Results are presented to the user, normally with limits to the number of characters produced (although that’s changed with the subscription model)
The downside of ChatGPT is that there’s no filter to ensure the information provided by the AI is accurate. You don’t know where the data came from so it may reflect bias or falsehoods or incomplete information. For instance, a co-worker entered his name as a prompt and the results were flattering but vastly overstated his contribution to the industry. No one wants to lose the moral high ground by posting lies and biased information or risk their reputation with inaccurate or incomplete information, so that’s a consideration.
Search traffic, or organic search, is the most important source of traffic to your website, as you can see above. Hence SEO (search engine optimization) is a consideration for every website owner. The impact of using AI like ChatGPT on SEO is an open question, with unclear guidance from Google regarding how they treat AI-generated content when it comes to ranking. On the one hand, Google HATES ChatGPT because it’s competition for their own AI project (which lost first mover advantage to OpenAI). Google also clearly penalizes content written for the purpose of ranking rather than to provide value to readers and has for nearly a decade.
So, my advice would be to think of ChatGPT as a tool to HELP with your content marketing tasks, such as generating captions for images or getting started with a blog post but don’t expect ChatGPT to write your content for you. More on this later.
How did ChatGPT come to be?
Statista estimates the global AI market will bring in around $500 billion in revenue in 2023. It isn’t surprising companies like OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, and a host of other big tech companies focus a lot of resources on building tools to help businesses perform better.
Sam Altman developed the new software and released it through the company OpenAI. The Silicon Valley brand is known for other applications, such as Dall-E and GPE-3. ChatGPT works on the GPE-3 model, taking on many of the characteristics of the previous platform and utilizing NLP to scour databases for input and come up with text that sounds almost human.
Why this chatbot is all the rage
Technology review estimated the chatbot reached around 100 million users in two months, making it one of the fastest-growing services online in history. For a time, OpenAI ran out of bandwidth and stopped allowing new users but that seems to be fixed now. It’s so popular because of the user-friendly interface and the software’s ability to come up with responses that sound reasonably intelligent.
People are excited about what they see as a leap in AI technology. Rather than spitting out answers that are clearly formulated by a machine, ChatGPT sounds almost like a conversation with another person.
While the output is based on data the program gathers from databases and spits back out in its own way, it still is quite helpful with a wide variety of tasks from creating an outline to making a list. Those in marketing and writing are either excited about utilizing it as a tool or concerned it will replace them in their current jobs.
How it’s being used
What are some of the ways people utilize ChatGPT in the business world and their personal lives?
- Create to-do lists based on the steps needed to complete a project.
- Come up with summaries of complex topics.
- Write an outline for an article or white paper or even a first draft of a blog post.
- Chat with customers and create personalized responses.
- Write a quick response email.
- Locate information online more quickly.
- Write a meta description for a blog post or a caption for your social media image.
The software comes alongside companies and offers communication advantages. For example, it might pull recommendations based on the person’s preferences and improve the customer experience with little effort from a salesperson.
Even though ChatGPT has many applications in the real world, it still has some limitations. For example, it can only respond from the data it pulls from articles, education websites, Wikipedia, scientific journals, and some public databases. Although some claim it is creative, it isn’t. It is mirroring information found on other websites and from other sources. There’s nothing new in the content it produces.
By contrast, humans can come up with a new idea or a new way to look at an idea. Although computers keep advancing beyond what we once thought they were capable of, they aren’t yet the stuff of science fiction movies. They can’t think autonomously when it comes to creating something or seeing various perspectives not already thought of and shared online.
Predictions for where ChatGPT will take us
Is the next phase in chatbot technology something writers, marketing agencies, and other creative professionals should be concerned about? Not at all. Look at software as a tool to help you work more efficiently. Companies today have a huge need for content that’s only going to grow over time. Consumers absorb more and more every minute of every day. If you can find ways to create articles faster and with a stronger focus on smart SEO and user intent, you’ll be ahead of the competition.
One way you can get assistance with content creation is by generating options for topics to cover. The writer still chooses which topics fit best or comes up with some fresh ideas but can see at a glance what has been covered and what most people want from the keyword phrase.
What are some of the long-term impacts of the program?
Google has competition
Some people aren’t fans of the monopoly Google has on the internet. ChatGPT could spell trouble for the digital media giant’s portion of the search engine market share. Some experts believe chatbots could replace traditional search methods since they pull content from so many different sources and spit it out in a split second.
The New York Times reports that Google actually declared a code red over ChatGPT and fears it is the technological change that might be the beginning of the end for their search engine business. Obviously, Google has a stake in a lot of other things online, but if they are no longer the go-to for searches, they lose out on revenue and name recognition.
Google has had chatbots in development for a while but they haven’t deployed it because 80% of their ad revenue comes from serving up display ads in SERPs (search engine results pages). ChatGPT could change all that as it forces Google to release its own software in order to stay competitive. It will be interesting to see how the advertising end of the equation plays out in the coming months and years.
Creatives don’t have to worry
Some creatives in the marketing industry were initially worried about ChatGPT as it seemed capable of spitting out some pretty complex phrasing and adept at predicting natural language patterns.
However, after working with the software for a while, it has become clear that it still has a long way to go before it can replace the human brain. Chatbots are excellent at predicting the next word or two but as with other writer helper tools, such as grammar checkers, it only goes so far.
There may come a time when computers actually can think much like a human brain. For now, writers, marketers, and creators can put their minds at ease that they’ll lose their job to a machine.
Routine tasks get easier
One of the best things about AI is the ability to automate repetitive tasks and save time and effort on those things that don’t add a lot of value to growing a business or coming up with new ideas. Companies can utilize the software to deal with reaching out to customers and reminding them it’s time to order or letting them know about new product arrivals that match their interests. The software can also handle live chats or throw up suggestions on a website to save additional minutes from a person’s day.
All the free time gives marketing teams the chance to network, try out new ideas, dig into analytics, and figure out what works best to grow their brand.
Close gender gaps in the workplace
ChatGPT can gather information and come up with reports that help management see the bigger picture in productivity and effort. While some human components are still needed, HR departments will be able to make hiring, firing, and promotion decisions without letting their personal feelings cloud their judgment.
Chatbots could thus be used to predict future work value and remove any gaps due to gender, race, or other differences.
Spotting burnout before it happens
In industries with a lot of repetition or high-stress projects, burnout is a real fear. No one wants to lose an otherwise excellent employee because they feel stressed and can no longer handle the daily grind of the work.
ChatGPT and other bots can track productivity and see if someone is struggling with their daily work. It can even be utilized to ask key questions, such as whether the person feels stressed, tired, or unable to focus.
If you could spot burnout before it happened and give your employee a few days of paid time off to re-energize, you might be able to keep top workers for the entirety of their careers. The software even has the possibility of choosing how much of a raise or perks would be most likely to keep them competitive and prevent the worker from leaving for a different position.
Is the program a flash or here to stay?
With all the different capabilities of ChatGPT, it isn’t surprising how excited people are about the new technology based on older programs. As scientists perfect the software and add new components to it, expect it to become even more valuable to companies.
Chatbots are here to stay. The only question left to answer is in what ways they’ll most benefit corporations and help them grow over time.
Eleanor Hecks is the managing editor of Designerly. She’s also a mobile app designer with a focus on UI. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and Goldendoodles, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, UX, and/or tea on LinkedIn
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