ai,  writing

On the Rise (and Fall) of AI Writing Tools

cover image for the blog post on the rise of ai tools
on the rise of ai writing tools

It’s been about a year-ish since AI driven content took the world by storm. More specifically AI writing tools. I was actually in an interview with the CEO of a tech company, the day after ChatGPT-4 was announced.

Up until that point, I had been extremely excited by the idea of AI writing tools. Unfortunately, some employers decided to believe that AI writing tools were a replacement for copywriters and not a useful writing aid for them. 


Let’s go back to the interview I was in. I was pretty confident that I would get the job. My experience was perfectly aligned with the position. I had the perfect references, my previous three interview rounds had gone exceptionally well and I understood the industry.

I had to get the job, right?

No. The CEO was adamant on the fact that copywriters were now obsolete. After all, to quote him, “The world has changed in the last 24 hours.” 

I tried presenting my case, of course. For years, I’ve wanted a writing tool that could help me get started whenever I experienced a writer’s block. After all, any experienced copywriter will tell you, sometimes all you need is that general format, that one paragraph to help you get started.

AI writing tools were just that to me, and to this day, they’ve remained that “help.” However, in the months following the release of ChatGPT-4, my prospects dwindled. I couldn’t find writing gigs on Fiverr or At least ones with livable rates.

Corporate Attitudes Towards AI Writing Tools

I think we reached the peak of it in January where I was being offered $1 per 1000 words because, to quote the client, “you’re using AI tools anyway.” The general attitude from corporations, I felt, was that AI was going to replace all the “menial jobs” and I get it. 

I do. 

But writing isn’t a menial job. First of all, it’s a skill. Of course, I believe that everyone can write. I don’t, however, think that you can hire a high school graduate and expect them to write a 5,000 word article.

First of all, that’ll be disastrous for SEO (I say this, while completely ignoring my own SEO strategy but this is a “comeback post” so I’ll cut myself some slack). Second of all, what? In which industry do people even do this?

I will forever hold the belief that companies do not understand the importance of marketing, especially the different forms of marketing. But this new attitude: wow, talk about ignorance. You don’t just hire anyone to be the CEO of a company. You can definitely not use an AI tool to be the voice of your company.

So, why be so aggressive with writers? Of course, I’m writing this blog a day after the Writer’s Guild of America reached an agreement with major Hollywood studios. But I think the situation is interesting.

The Writer’s Guild Situation

Like many companies, Hollywood executives actually believed that you can replace writers with an AI tool. For them, it’s a way to save money. That’s how the world works, right? I want to get it, but I can’t.

Like, you want to replace the entire writing process, which requires a lot of human input, with an AI tool? Especially since we now know that a lot of these tools are extremely derivative? Sure, you can use AI tools to write emails. I do this now as well. But would I use an AI tool to write my entire blog?

No. We could use it for a press release, maybe tweak up stuff here and there. But those are perfectly good places to use AI. Press releases by nature are supposed to be to the point, following a template anyway. You can find these templates anywhere on Google, and yes, ChatGPT and Jasper and the hundreds of other AI tools have probably been fed these templates. Those are fine.

I’ve spent a lot of hours perfecting press releases, and AI writing tools have made the process significantly more streamlined then it was. It’s quicker too. But for blog posts? Social media content? Scripts?

What executives across the board seem to ignore is that, at this point in time, and probably for the next couple of years, every content produced by AI writing tools isn’t going to be that good. There’s also the copyright issue. Writers like John Grisham and George RR Martin are actually suing ChatGPT for copyright infringement

AI is a nightmare for copyright laws. Luckily, almost every country on earth is quite clear about copyright laws: to get a copyright for any form of art, writing or media, you need to be human.

AI vs. Humans

I think the debate on AI surpassing humans is extremely premature. People are treating AI as though it’s a sentient being. We can blame pop culture for this, of course. Remember Terminator? Yeah, I think people, especially executives, think that our primitive (and yes, they’re primitive because they will be better in the future) AI tools are like the Terminator androids. They could be that in the next decade (I have my doubts) but not right now.

We’ve seen that these AI tools are just that: tools. All those content gurus on Instagram and TikTok, claiming that you can automate your entire digital marketing agency are lying to you. You can’t do that. It requires a lot of time. Sure, these tools speed up the process. But by completely depending on them, you’re probably violating a lot of copyright laws and you can get in big trouble for that.

Sure, a small blog like mine won’t sue you but the very corporations that really want to replace writers with AI tools, well, they will come for you big time.

Google to the Rescue

But, of course, until recently, no one was really talking about this. It’s only when our one true saviour, Google, updated its policy regarding AI that corporations have started to understand writers’ place in the workforce again.

This is what Google has to say about AI written content:

“Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.”

I know, awesome, right? Of course, for some people, this might be a step backwards. But let’s be real for a second: why do we write content?

To get people to listen. You have to be able to get people to stop what they’re doing and listen to you. It could be a billboard, a book, or a blog.

Anything, really. But what matters is that you’d have people’s attention. And businesses need people’s attention to be able to sell their products and services.

This is what makes writing extremely profitable and underrated.

There are so many different paths you can go down. Even in copywriting, you can specialise in specific industries. For me, it’s tech- not just like, any tech. I am super into the travel tech industry; I’ve got about three years experience in it at this point; that’s more than half of my total experience as a copywriter.

And for the life of me, I can’t write medical stuff. Scientific writing, particularly medical, is really well paying. But I can’t do it. Even with an AI tool, I can’t write medical articles.

So, my specialisations are literally just travel tech, and the blockchain, but not in the crypto madness. More like a solution for renewable energy sources. And maybe EVs. It’s been a year since I was in that industry.

We’ll talk about it some time later.

Why You Can’t Depend on AI Writing Tools Completely 

Going back to the original topic of this blog post: AI tools and why they will not be replacing writers any time soon. In the coming days, I will be talking about how I’ve integrated AI into my writing process. I think, generally, AI writing tools can really help new writers get started. Especially if you fall into copywriting like I did with no training wheels whatsoever.

For now, I’m going to re-iterate why these execs were out of their mind when they decided that they could use AI tools to create something that isn’t your standard press release, email or WikiHow-style guide.

Present Day AI Tools Repeat Themselves…More Than Humans

In case I haven’t said it already, the machine learning processes of AI tools are kind of limited. And given our current technology, you can easily reach a point with AI where it starts repeating itself.

I have tried soooo many prompts to convince ChatGPT, and a bunch of other AI tools, to use other words, to start a blog in a different way, and so on. But for some reason, these “intelligent” tools just don’t get the memo.

Even Bard, which I think is much better than GPT, has this problem. You can’t ask it to create something that’s completely new. These tools just can’t do it. If you want to use a blog written by AI tools and make sure that the on-page SEO is correct, you need to go in and do it yourself. 

As much as some AI copywriting tools will tell you that they’ve got it sorted for you, the truth is, you need to double check. And this would’ve been great in 2018 when the standard blog post had to be somewhere between 500 to 1,000 words for you to rank on Google.

And to be fair, ask these tools to write a 500 word blog post, and they’re pretty good at it. Unfortunately, in our current competitive SEO environment, you need more than 1,900 words to actually get a fair shot at ranking organically.

I have so much to tell you about this, we’ll get to this in a later blog post too.

Whatever Happened to Creativity?

Another massive issue with these copywriting AI tools is that there’s no semblance of creativity in their content. I guess they’ve been fed with some primary school creative writing rule or something. I kid you not. The way the blogs are constructed remind me of when I was introduced to essay writing back in fifth grade. Yeah, I’m not joking. I distinctly remember my teacher telling us that an essay has five paragraphs broken down as follows: introduction, where you include your stance, three paragraphs (or more, depending on the situation) that include your arguments/points and a final paragraph where you must summarise everything.

A little while later we were taught that, for argumentative essays, we must include one extra paragraph where we include the counterarguments, about three points, too.

Side note: I don’t get why we were taught this, because in ninth grade, these rules became extremely flexible and I loved ‘em. 

But the point is, as we grew up, these rules became more like guidelines. And we know that you can shuffle things around to fit the context or your own creative choices.

They’re not strict rules!

But ChatGPT, and many other AI writing tools, write blogs and essays in this format like they are strict, unbreakable rules. WHY? 

Modern day copywriting requires some sort of punchline, some character, some sort of background or context, something to get people to keep reading. Writers on their personal blogs (like mine) can choose to convey their personality through their blogs.

That’s how you get people to READ. 

Lack of Original Content

Another big issue (that we’ve kind of already mentioned) with these AI tools is that they’re very derivative. This goes hand in hand with them being repetitive and having no creativity whatsoever. They’re essentially learning and replicating works of other people.

As I’ve said before, this can be a problem when you have copyright laws involved. Also, what will you do if you create a product that has its own unique features, and is completely different from the competition? You don’t want to use an AI tool that will repeat the jargon of other industry players.

And what if it uses a copyrighted term? Hello, lawsuit.

It doesn’t have to be a new, never-been-made product either. You could have the exact same product as your competitor but what makes it different could be an additional bonus feature targeting a specific industry. Or a specific audience. Your tone changes depending on the industry and the audience you serve.

And if your product is something that’s always been geared towards, say, banking professionals, and you’re trying to get ordinary people involved, extremely difficult jargon can turn them off. You need a human to go in and understand how your audience speaks, what they like to hear, the kind of content they consume, and then you can start creating something.


And lastly, in our beautiful world of fake news, you have to be very careful about your sources. These AI writing tools might be able to write an accurate article on how to grow strawberries in your backyard, but taxes? Corporate law? Monetary advice? Cryptocurrency guides?

Yeah, they’re going to mess up there. And a copywriter’s worst nightmare is using the wrong source. It can spread misinformation, ruin your company’s credibility and image. Back in 2020, I actually lost a contract with a really good company because I used a right-leaning news organisation as a source for a blog post on immigration. It wasn’t even the whole “Make America Great Again” thing; it was just a stat on how many Americans are leaving the US. Their stats were correct and irrefutable but the company’s policies did not support right or left leaning organisation. They preferred neutral entities.

They were very nice about it, but my point is, this stuff is important. Even if it seems miniscule.

info graphic depicting the shortcomings of ai tools
current ai writing tools have many shortcomings

So, What’s the Solution?

Well, the solution’s quite simple. A lot of people like taking extreme sides: you’re either for AI or against it. I think we should treat it for what it is: a new, fun technology that has limitations. You can’t completely depend on it, but you can use it.

It shouldn’t be a requirement to use it or not. Like, this blog, for example, is completely written by me. I haven’t used any tools for it. But in the future, as I try to organise myself and get back into the groove, I will use AI tools for more posts.

I stopped posting here because I was figuring out if I should do what the industry was doing. And for a time, the industry kind of went crazy with AI, but things have gotten better now. And the new understanding is that AI copywriting tools are just tools.

They aren’t replacing anyone. So, how do you go about it? It’s actually really easy.

You Need to Work with the Tool

There are hundreds of copywriting AI tools in the market. Some are paid, some are free. But in my year-ish of exploring them, I’ve found that the only thing you’re really looking for is the user experience. 

How quickly can the AI tool write a paragraph for you? How accurate is it? Do you have to completely rewrite it, or does a bit of paraphrasing do the job?

These are the questions you should be asking when choosing your AI copywriting tool. You could use Bard or GPT. But then you need to be prepared to fact-check and completely rewrite the blogs because there’s a huge chance someone else saw it and used it too.

In general, I think the best way to use AI writing tools is to ask them to write like an outline or maybe just a few sentences of each paragraph and then you can take it from there. For me personally, once I have a general idea of what the blog will look like, I can get writing immediately.

And the start and outline is usually the hardest part of the writing process.

AI Tools Are Great Proofreaders

Now, even though I have criticised the “rules” these AI writing tools follow, I will admit that I do appreciate how good they are at being proofreaders. Seriously. Oh, and grammar/spell checks. Though there are tools for that too.

You can actually even get Bard or GPT to critique your work. And because these tools are kind of primitive, they do point out what’s confusing. As a writer, you want people to understand what you’re saying as simply as possible.

These tools are great for that.

These Tools Help Save Time, Not Costs

By using AI to create an outline, starting sentences, and proofreading your work, writers can expect to get their work done more quickly. In the past, I’d spend about 2 or 3 hrs just coming up with the general outline of my posts. With AI tools, when they present me with 2 or 3 variants in a matter of minutes, I immediately know what to do.

I’m also able to add parts that the AI couldn’t possibly know about because it’s either new, or probably not as common. But that’s alright. My content strategy and planning takes less time now, so I can focus on what matters: writing.

Executives here please take note: you can get more work out of your copywriters through AI tools, but you can’t replace them and expect your marketing manager to create blogs in minutes. 

info graphic (corrected) showing how ai can help with writing
how you can use ai tools

I Waffled, I Reasoned and I (May Have) Conquered!

So, there you have it. That’s what I think of AI writing tools. As a whole, now that (almost) a year has passed, I’m quite happy knowing that my career isn’t going to be taken over by a bunch of computer stuff that could one day annihilate humanity.

I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I love how crazy some people are about AI taking over the planet. It’s a fun theory, and I’m happy to be back in the swing of things.

A lot has happened in a year-ish, and you may have noticed that I’ve updated my bio to call myself a digital marketing specialist. Yes, I got a new job, and I have been promoted. Awesome stuff really, but even though I’m not exclusively writing blogs these days, I’m quite happy with where I am career-wise.

I’m still going to talk about writing a lot because, at the end of the day, I am still very much a writer, but my responsibilities have expanded beyond SEO, and towards other aspects of marketing as well.

Hope all 100 of you will stick around and see what I’m up to, and also see this little blog of mine grow (and yes, Barki’s on the site speed issue).


Sura x

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