Generative AI survey: Are your days as a writer numbered?

  • 13 October 2023
  • AI
  • Rosalyn Page

At a time when we’re all thinking, and worrying, about the extent to which AI, specifically generative AI, will change our work, I decided to run a small survey. I wanted to gauge attitudes and adoption of tools like ChatGPT. It may not be able to answer the existential question: am I set to be made redundant anytime soon, but hopefully there are some interesting insights on early adoption, like and dislikes and predictions.

The AI Adoption Landscape

The first question we asked was a fundamental one: Is your agency or business using AI? The results were telling. A significant 50% of respondents stated that they are already using AI to some extent, signalling a widespread acknowledgment of AI’s potential in content marketing. A further 40% are in the experimental phase, cautiously exploring what AI can offer. Only 10% have not yet adopted AI or are unfamiliar with its applications, suggesting that the majority are keen to embrace this transformative technology.

The Human Touch vs. AI

One of the most pressing concerns in the AI-driven content landscape is the fate of human writers. Have businesses cut back on their reliance on human creativity and skill in favour of AI efficiency? The answer is a resounding “no” from 90% of respondents. They have not reduced their dependence on human writers. However, 10% have scaled back their reliance on freelance writers.

The Generative AI Experience

The survey delved into the world of generative AI tools, asking respondents about their experiences and opinions, with just 10% of respondents finding generative AI to be the solution they were looking for. On the other hand, some 40% likened it to the performance of an intern, while 30% believed their intern could do better, and 20% had other varied opinions about the tool’s performance.

Best things you’ve found with generative AI?

Respondents highlighted several positive aspects of using generative AI, including:

  • Speed and efficiency in content creation.
  • Content ideation, proofreading, and summarisation.
  • Ability to quickly generate social media posts.
  • Ease of use and productivity gains.
  • Assistance with research and quick responses, such as answering Reddit questions.

Generative AI is very fast and offers a new perspective on various concepts. It can quickly provide alternative versions of content, making it a valuable tool for creativity and brainstorming.

Generative AI excels at content ideation, proofreading, and summarising lengthy text. It can efficiently generate the foundation of a story, enabling writers to refine and publish content faster compared to starting from scratch.

It’s particularly useful for rapidly drafting short, basic social media posts, facilitating social media management, generating emails and increasing productivity by handling routine tasks.

Many respondents noted that it’s easy to get started with generative AI tools, making them accessible to a wide range of users.

While there were mentions of occasional reliability issues, some respondents found generative AI somewhat helpful for research purposes, providing quick information and responses.

In summary, respondents highlighted the versatility of generative AI in content creation, optimisation and time-saving. They appreciated its ability to handle various tasks efficiently and provide creative solutions, even when dealing with challenging inputs or content generation tasks.

Worst Things About Working with Generative AI

Despite the positive aspects, respondents did not shy away from highlighting challenges and concerns. These included:

Making up information and creating fictional sources to support its generated content, creating challenges in terms of credibility and accuracy.

Some users found that using generative AI required more effort in fact-checking than conducting research manually.

The use of American spelling was a source of annoyance for some users, suggesting a lack of flexibility in accommodating different linguistic preferences.

Generative AI was noted to be competent but struggled with adapting to specific tone of voice requirements.

For content requiring delicate nuance or fact-dense copy, generative AI was seen as often factually incorrect and prone to rambling. However, it was acknowledged that this may change in the future.

Respondents pointed out that some generative AI models, like ChatGPT, do not consider information from before 2021 in their results, which can lead to gaps in knowledge and understanding.

Generative AI was criticised for being inaccurate and producing bland or uninspiring content.

Will AI replace us as writers?

Interestingly, 90% do not believe that generative AI, in its current form, will replace human writers. This sentiment indicates that human creativity and nuance remain essential in content marketing.

However, 10% are more optimistic about the possibility of AI replacing human writers in the future, suggesting that the role of AI may evolve over time.

It’s here to stay. The message: You’re not going away anytime soon as a writer, but it is changing things. Take note and look for ways to stay in touch with developments and evolve your skills and offerings as a creative.

Respondents acknowledged that generative AI is here to stay and emphasised the need to work with it. It was noted that generative AI currently saves a significant amount of time for users.
Some respondents expressed the belief that generative AI represents a turning point in the media industry, emphasising its significance in the past 15 years of media evolution.

There was an observation that generative AI will augment jobs, and smart writers should recognise and embrace its potential.

Generative AI was viewed as a learning curve that is still evolving, with respondents emphasising the importance of human adaptability and continuous learning in the face of this technology.

Main image: Image by Javier López from Pixabay

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Rosalyn Page

Rosalyn is an award-winning writer with a niche in digital lifestyle, technology, innovation and travel.

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