How AI is changing copywriting, one of first industries under threat from new tech

As the expansion of artificial intelligence has left many fearing for their jobs and questioning the future stability of several industries, copywriters are amongst the first to feel the impact.

A recent academic report has found the demand for digital freelancers in writing and coding has declined by 21% since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022.

Writing, software, and app development-related roles saw a 21% decrease in job listings and data entry and social media post-production jobs experienced a 13% drop.

While it may seem like AI has taken over copywriting completely, those in the industry are finding themselves turning to editing positions as the need to make the content sound more human has become a necessity.

Speaking with the BBC, a writer under the pseudonym Benjamin Miller explained how his once-fulfilling work has turned into fixing the shoddy work of a robot: “Mostly, it was just about cleaning things up and making the writing sound less awkward, cutting out weirdly formal or over-enthusiastic language.

“It was more editing than I had to do with human writers, but it was always the exact same kind of edits. The real problem was it was just so repetitive and boring. It started to feel like I was the robot.”

From copywriting to editing, the industry has had to adapt

Another copywriter, based in Kentucky, said her work on AI editing projects often takes longer than writing a piece from scratch but is paid worse.

“The grammar and word choice just sound weird. You’re always cutting out flowery words like ‘therefore’ and ‘nevertheless’ that don’t fit in casual writing. Plus, you have to fact-check the whole thing because AI just makes things up, which takes forever because it’s not just big ideas. AI hallucinates these flippant little things in throwaway lines that you’d never notice.”

While the general consensus sounds negative, others in the industry are enjoying the help AI can give.

The president of the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI) Rebecca Matter says AI is “an incredible tool.

“For people who make copywriting a career, the risk isn’t AI taking their jobs, it’s that they have to adapt. That can be uncomfortable, but I think it’s a huge opportunity.”

Featured Image: Via Ideogram

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Sophie Atkinson