Not a word on this page was dreamt up by a machine. Honestly.
But here’s the thing – would you know if it had? Suddenly the question is a lot harder to answer thanks to one shiny new platform.
Engineers have been labouring for years to produce AI content generators that sound convincingly human. But very recently, OpenAI unveiled a new contender, ChatGPT, that’s changing the game. It’s available to all, and produces detailed long-form content in response to queries ranging from the basic (‘Describe a dog’) to the complex (‘Tell me a story in a gothic style featuring supernatural characters and media influencers’).
Give ChatGPT a reasonably general business-related query (‘Explain the trends and challenges facing the modern packaging industry’) and within seconds it replies with clear, well-written content that captures the issues remarkably well.
Under the bonnet of ChatGPT
ChatGPT is a spectacular language system. It’s the latest release from OpenAI’s portfolio, which includes the image creation platform DALL-E. It’s been trained on colossal amounts of data from the internet, including conversations, and strongly driven by a machine learning technique called Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF).
The result is a learning, evolving system that does much more than just imitate human language – it creates an internal representation of the ideas and concepts behind the words, and uses that to answer queries in a logical, rational way.
In essence, it thinks.
Who needs writers anyway?
The debate around what systems like ChatGPT will mean for writers has quickly snowballed.
Just as AI art triggered furious discussion around the nature of art itself, journalists, novelists, poets and of course commercial content creators across the globe are now faced with existential questions around the future of writing.
Will human writing ever be replaced? Will AI content-generators make copy and content producers redundant for good?
A new age for B2B content?
ChatGPT is not the only player in its field. Jasper, Rytr and Copy.ai are just a few of the other contenders available, with varying payment models attached. But ChatGPT has, in one launch, made AI content a much more serious proposition. Microsoft is in discussions to build ChatGPT into Bing very soon.
Its depth of understanding and flexibility are extremely impressive. From a simple request it can delve into its ready-crawled data store and conjure lengthy drafts of content that are relevant and well-written on almost any subject. The word ‘retrieve’ is important here, because despite its intelligence, ChatGPT is still only as good as the information that has already been published in some form on the web.
It can also only use what was available up to 2021, although we expect that timelag to shorten with subsequent updates.