Understanding ChatGPT: The Pros and Cons of AI-Generated Content

While artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for years, in late 2022, ChatGPT — a tool for creating AI-generated content — exploded on the scene.

Setting a record for the fastest-growing user base and reaching 100 million users in the first two months of launch, it’s safe to say that ChatGPT is here to stay.

Since ChatGPT is a writing tool, there’s been more and more exploration of how (and if) this tool can be leveraged for content marketing. With an eye on saving money and increasing output, some companies are looking towards AI-generated content as a possibility to replace human-generated content.

But is this a solid strategy?

Good question!

Let’s look at what the tool can do and whether it makes sense to focus on AI-generated content as part of your overall marketing strategy.

CREDIT: Ascannio – stock.adobe.com

What is GPT and How Does It Work?

Let’s start with some of the basics.

The GPT in ChatGPT stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer and is a generative language model.

Leveraging machine learning and deep learning technologies, the tool uses large data sets to predict what comes next in a conversation or sentence.

A good way to think of this is that it’s like using autocomplete on your phone. Your phone tries to predict what word comes next in the conversation based on what you’re saying. The ChatGPT tool pulls from over 175 billion different parameters to make these predictions.

Users input ChatGPT with an initial question, and then the user can ask additional questions or make additional requests to refine the answers they receive.

Similar to other machine-based technologies, what you get for output will be very dependent on the input. Meaning, the quality of the work you get fully relies on a user offering accurate prompts, and the tool pulling from accurate information to form the answers. ChatGPT is trained to provide answers based on what it *predicts* the user will want, which can result in all sorts of inaccuracies with the replies.

ChatGPT Can be a Helpful Springboard for Ideas

Like most AI-generated content, there are some positives to be found when using this type and technology.

For people who don’t produce content regularly, coming up with topics or ideas for what to write about can be challenging. This is one area where ChatGPT can be helpful. With some prompts and the right keywords, you can use the tool to brainstorm and pull in some possible topics that you may not have come up with on your own.

For example, if you are thinking about blogging for a manufacturing business, you could start by asking ChatGPT what are the five most asked questions about the topic. These questions can then serve as a jumping-off point for your blog.

Using ChatGPT for the purpose of idea generation can help save time, and in turn, save money — both things needed for content production. While we wouldn’t suggest solely relying on the tool to write a whole blog post, asking an additional question when you have the topic nailed down can help further flesh out what sort of information you want to include.

Let’s say you want to do a blog post highlighting a specific product, you could ask ChatGPT “what do you need to know before buying X?” and it will provide you with more key points to help guide your writing.

One of the main pluses of ChatGPT is that the tool retains information from previous conversations to generate more relevant responses in the future. It’s perpetually learning and gathering information.

AI-Generated Content Can Be Risky

As tempting as it may be to fully immerse yourself in embracing the world of AI-generated content, there are pitfalls — ones that can have big ramifications — to being reliant on an AI tool.

To date, one of the biggest concerns raised about ChatGPT is the inaccuracy of information. It pulls from the internet, and we all know that the online world can be rife with misinformation.

When Newsguard, an organization that keeps track of online misinformation, tested out ChatGPT to see how it performed, what they found was alarming.

The result? They concluded that “This tool is going to be the most powerful tool for spreading misinformation that has ever been on the internet.”.

The last thing you want to happen is to be the one perpetuating the cycle of misinformation, and for that reason alone, relying on ChatGPT for AI-generated content production isn’t a solid strategy.

Another layer of concern is over the sources ChatGPT pulls from is plagiarism. As ChatGPT relies on its algorithms to gather information, whatever you’re writing is really just an amalgamation of other people’s writing.

While people who write content for a living will pull from various sources to create it, they vet sources as they go. They’re checking to see where a statistic or quote originated from and ensuring it’s valid. AI-generated content isn’t going to do that. So not only are you now at risk of plagiarising, but you’re also not going to have proper citations included — which is an important part of being a writer with integrity.

A recent example of how the use of AI-generated content can go very wrong occurred at the tech news site CNET. After being exposed for using AI-generated content for some of their stories, not only was it found that there were multiple factual errors in the content, but their AI was dubbed a “serial plagiarist” as well.

When you combine misinformation and plagiarism, what you’re left with is a very risky gamble with the choice to create AI-generated content for your business. Do you want to risk your reputation and erode the trust people have in you? Do you want to potentially compromise your integrity in the market?

Of course, you don’t!

ChatGPT Can’t Replace the Human Touch

Whether it’s a blog post, a whitepaper, or social media, the tone of the content created for your business should be consistent. Most businesses have identified how they want to “sound,” what language style they use (like formal versus casual), whether there are certain words or phrases to avoid, and so much more.

AI-generated content isn’t going to deliver any of that. It can’t parse out what YOUR business should sound like, and as mentioned above, because it’s pulling from other existing content, you may very well sound much like everyone else.

Nuance is also important when creating content. AI-generated content won’t be able to distinguish subtle differences in meanings, so what you want to say may not actually end up translating well without a human touch.

If your business deals with topics that offer more complexity, having a blog post filled with industry jargon and terms that will be unknown to the reader won’t get the result you want. A content writer will be skilled in breaking down complex topics into more bite-size, digestible pieces that educate the reader in a way they grasp.

Human-driven storytelling is an important strategy in the world of digital marketing, and if there’s no human involved in doing the storytelling, creating content that has an impact is going to be a big hurdle. It’s all about creating memorable and positive associations with your brand, and if you’re using an AI tool to create that, it’s likely to lack that personal touch that makes this type of storytelling compelling and effective.

CREDIT: Tada Images – stock.adobe.com

Google Isn’t a Fan of AI-Generated Content

For many companies, an important part of their content strategy is search engine optimization (SEO). You want your company to be easily found online, and you want to be viewed as an expert or leader in your field. SEO helps with that.

While Google can’t immediately detect if something was written with ChatGPT or an actual human, it CAN make a quick assessment of one thing — the quality of the work. 

Google will determine whether your content is high quality, low quality, or spam, affecting your rank in the search engine. Your AI-generated content is unlikely to help you make it to the first page of a Google search.

When Google indexes content, it looks at several things, including if there is duplication. As we talked about above, AI-generated content that comes from tools like ChatGPT runs the risk of being a duplicate. The last thing you want is for Google to take it a step further and issue a manual action report, which is what happens when your content isn’t complying with Google’s quality guidelines.

On the subject of AI-generated content, Google’s John Mueller had this to say in a 2022 tweet: “As far as I can tell, most sites have trouble creating higher-quality content, they don’t need help creating low-quality content.”

AI-Generated Content Tools Are a Supplement, not a Replacement

As you can see from the above, while ChatGPT has some benefits, human-generated content is always your best bet.

AI-generated content absolutely has its place, but we wouldn’t recommend it as being a primary part of any content strategy.

Knowing how and when to leverage these tools (and when not to!) means you can take advantage of some great technological advances, without compromising the quality and integrity of the content you’re creating.

Like anything else, writing is a specific skill set, and the people who write content understand the purpose and intent of each piece of writing — something you won’t get when using a bot to do the work.

If you’re looking for help with nailing down your content strategy or would like support with your content production, Marketing2Connect would love to help.

Please contact us to get started.