I'm in denial... I feel anxious.
Occasionally, I wake up in the middle of the night. My heart is pounding and I'm covered in sweat. It is really happening: the march of A.I. One thought keeps running through my head: am I simply replaceable? Previously, we’ve written about the rise of A.I. We know it is hard to predict the future but it is for sure that A.I. will have an effect on our everyday lives.
When the morning arrives, I'm still entangled in a stream of thoughts of A.I. scare... Honestly, how sure can we be about our "human" jobs, when A.I. technology and software solutions develop so fast? Could a machine do my job as a content creator and copywriter? What about emotions, tone of voice, personality, creativity...? I doubt that my automated intelligent competitors are able to outperform me on that... Right?!
I pledge to take on the challenge and find out to what extent I am replaceable. I'm not giving in that easily. I will stay put and defend my position: Copywriter vs. the Bot.
The stages of robot replacement
'Soon A.I. will be influencing everything', is what our inspirational source on the future of A.I., Kevin Kelly, advocates in his book 'The Inevitable'. You can see A.I. as an easily accessible layer of intelligence that will fuel and shape products, services, and media. Different manifestations of A.I. have already taken shape in our daily lives. We asked ourselves the question: what is left to do for us if these A.I.’s take over all our intelligent work?
'In the coming years, our relationship with robots become even more complex. But already a recurring pattern is emerging. No matter what your current job or salary, you will progress through a predictable cycle of denial again and again." - Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable.
- A robot/computer cannot possibly do the tasks I do.
- [Later.] OK, it can do a lot of those tasks, but it can't do everything I do.
- [Later.] OK, it can do everything I do, except it needs me when it breaks down, which is often.
- [Later.] OK, it operates flawlessly on routine stuff, but I need to train it for new tasks.
- [Later.] OK, OK, it can have my old boring job, because it's obvious that was not a job that humans were meant to do.
- [Later.] Wow, now that robots are doing my old job, my new job is much more interesting and pays more!
- [Later.] I am so glad a robot/computer cannot possibly do what I do now. [Repeat.]
So, how does this work? What most people don't know is that the emergence of A.I. technology has been a gradual process over many years. The prediction is that plenty of new and more interesting jobs will appear as an evolution of a certain job with the adoption of machine learning into the process. For instance, the "human" jobs that will remain are service jobs.
Reality check: how fast is technology catching up?
As a content creator, there's no better name to call yourself than a 'wordsmith'. This is what we aim for when we perform the job of writing. In order to do this work, you need skills and sources for the input to your story. You collect data to back what you are writing. But what if a machine could do that better and faster than you do? Big data is the fuel for the A.I. engine. Recently, a new A.I. solution appeared on stage: Wordsmith. This natural language generation (NLG) engine lets you turn data into text at any scale and in any format or language. Journalism can thus be automated to produce personalised content!
Automated content generation
Another example is an automated copywriting service - cognitive content generation - that writes natural language to obtain direct marketing goals. Persado made a science of the power of words and claim that cognitive content outperformed man-made messages 100% of the time. What if you're engagement data could help systematically craft the most effective content to inspire action? They found a combination of math, data, machine learning, natural language processing and emotional language data to generate just the right personal message. They arm organizations and individuals with “smart content” that maximizes engagement with any audience by being relevant for every touchpoint.
Creative A.I. projects
What about creativity and A.I.? It is likely that when bots take over your job, it will give you the opportunity to spend more time on the creative and the less "routinely" work. But maybe even these kind of tasks, like creating art or music, could be substituted. Scientists at IBM Research created the first movie trailer by AI, making use of experimental Watson APIs and machine learning techniques. 'After learning what keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, the A.I. system suggested the top 10 best candidate moments for a trailer...', states 20th Century Fox. And then there is this experiment from Google, creating art images produced by a neural network. These examples are not about copywriting skills, but they show that tasks that once needed a specific sense of uniqueness (or some kind of signature) are now ready to be done by algorithms.
What is the half time score?
For now, I'm still good at where I am. However, with these kinds of developments in A.I. software technology, I'm afraid that automated generated 'smart content' will soon outperform my vulnerable creativity and personal writings. Content generated by A.I. can be loaded with emotions and "algorithm smartness" with the aim of engaging its public. I'm at stage 2: I believe a bot cannot do everything I do at this moment. It's an ambitious task to outsource creative writing to a bot. The data part can be covered, but... what about true passion for writing? A certain level of humanity? I believe it is just unmanageable for a bot to handle every variable situation without getting stuck in a loop at one point, right? A.I. will still have flaws and needs me to make things right. A bot will not perform better than me in my job anytime soon.
Interested in how A.I. will affect other expertises? In the near future, our designers and developers will also share their views regarding this (kind of scary?) topic. What does the rise of A.I. mean for different types of jobs? Will our tasks be replaced in the blink of an eye of will it not go that fast? Let us present your future. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.