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The AI-powered language model GPT-3 made waves when it was first introduced to the world in 2020, yet few realize that this AI could become a true game changer in the business world and, in particular, the marketing industry.
Created by Elon Musk’s research firm, OpenAI, this AI language model was built with 175 billion parameters, more than ten times the number of its nearest competitor at the time, Microsoft’s Turing NLG.
What impressed so many people about GPT-3 was its ability to generate text that was virtually indistinguishable from human writing. Until its introduction, most computer-generated text sounded unnatural at best and incoherent at worst.
please try this recipe i made using a predictive text imitator and The American Woman’s Cook Book (1938) pic.twitter.com/X0NgV6FOTb
— Jamie Brew (@jamieabrew) February 4, 2016
GPT-3, however, can fool humans and even emulate tones of voice, writing styles, or specific authors.
Yet the biggest disruption may not come from the discovery itself, but from the fact that OpenAI has decided to make it commercially available.
Today, there are already numerous apps being built around GPT-3, many of which promise to revolutionize business functions that rely heavily on content creation, such as marketing.
Why GPT-3 is a game changer for marketers
One of the most obvious applications of GPT-3 is automated copywriting, and marketers have been quick to capitalize on this possibility.
Several companies, for instance, have already built GPT-3-powered tools that can assist with:
Content generation and copywriting
For short-form ads or descriptions, GPT-3 can be an excellent automation tool. It can also be used to write short passages, such as introductory paragraphs, product descriptions, and email content.
Ideation, brainstorming, and outlining
Marketers and copywriters are always faced with the challenge of consistently coming up with fresh ideas for their campaigns. Certain platforms built upon GPT-3 are designed to tackle this obstacle. Copysmith, for instance, includes features for article ideation, blog outlining, listicle creation, and more.
GPT-3 is not a professor, but with the proper inputs, its output can be directed and marketers can receive information that assists with research. Targeted queries in Copysmith’s listicle feature, for example, can list the cast members of specific movies, Python commands, physics formulas, or even step-by-step instructions on how to build a WordPress site.
Perhaps one of the most astonishing accomplishments is GPT-3’s ability to generate not only native-sounding language, but code. Developers are experimenting with turning English sentences into Linux commands, HTML pages, or even entire apps.
https://twitter.com/sharifshameem/status/1282676454690451457 (embed twitter card if possible)
Text and language generation, however, are just the beginning – OpenAI has also announced a new AI model that generates images from short text descriptions.
How will the role of the marketer change as a result of GPT-3?
Automation has been one of the most disruptive forces in the marketing industry, and GPT-3 is set to take that automation to the next level.
More automation, in turn, carries several implications for anyone involved in the marketing industry, including content writers, copywriters, marketers, and developers.
In the coming years, GPT-3 and other models like it will result in:
A greater focus on strategy
Regardless of the industry in question, automation reduces the need for technicians. In marketing, GPT-3 can take over technical tasks such as metadata writing, headline writing, social media posting, repetitive tasks related to SEO, and other “grunt work.” The result will be a greater focus on marketing strategy rather than on the technical implementation of that strategy.
Increased pressure for quality information and content
Even if marketers around the world have easy access to affordable AI-generated content, it will not remove the need for marketers to differentiate their brand, become trusted authorities, build thought leadership, or create engaging content.
More pressure to undergo digital transformation
As automated content creation tools become more widespread, they will drive performance improvements that can generate a competitive advantage for early adopters. Those digital leaders, in turn, will gradually pressure the rest of the industry to implement the same tools. In time, we shouldn’t be surprised if AI-powered language models become as commonplace as marketing automation tools are today.
The ongoing automation of technical marketing tasks will ultimately accelerate the transformation of the marketing department and the roles within it. With the help of AI, for instance, tomorrow’s copywriter may be able to handle five times the workload they handle today.
At first glance, this trend may appear worrisome – many people, after all, are anxious about automation and job displacement.
While it may be difficult to imagine using AI for content creation as readily as we use keyboards, this shift to AI could actually “democratize” high-quality marketing content by making it that much more affordable for small businesses.
Limitations of GPT-3
To make the most of marketing tools based on GPT-3, it is important to understand the language model’s limitations.
GPT-3, for instance:
Because GPT-3 learned from human language, it can craft sentences or paragraphs that sound natural and are well-written. But the platform doesn’t actually understand the meaning of those words. This becomes apparent when reading longer passages, which are often logically incoherent. AI should therefore augment human marketers and writers, rather than replace them.
Can create inappropriate or biased content
Since AI models are trained on real-world data, they can unfortunately reflect human biases and easily generate inappropriate or even hateful content. Steps are being taken to mitigate such biases, but it demonstrates yet another reason why marketers must review auto-generated content carefully before publication.
Can output content protected by intellectual property laws
Brainstorming, as mentioned above, is an excellent use case for GPT-3. However, depending on the circumstances, the generated text could include proprietary names or terms. Asking for ideas for character names or product names, for instance, could result in character names from existing creative works or the names of products that already exist.
Fortunately, hurdles such as these are easy to avoid, as long as marketers structure their input appropriately, review content, and do their due diligence. Over time, we can also expect tools built upon GPT-3 to add more safety mechanisms that minimize the risks covered here.
In the meantime, forward-thinking marketers should investigate these tools seriously and consider experimenting with them – early adopters, after all, will be better positioned for the future of marketing, which will undoubtedly be driven by AI.