Humaness versus Artificial Intelligence – who will win?

ChatGBT, AI and the future of communication are hot topics these days. In today’s post, we are featuring two conversations: 

  • Our own Paul Hudson posted on LinkedIn last month about the future of print as it is impacted by AI.  You can read his post and comment below. 
  • Next, Sam Johnson, a PR expert, reminds us that real life experience matters in writing. 

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this little topic that is sure to impact all businesses in the not-so-far-away future. As Paul reminds us in his post: 

“Out of chaos comes opportunity.”


Sam Johnson is Editor-In-Chief of Otter PR, an award-winning public relations firm based in Orlando. He has 10 years of experience in drafting, editing, and managing content across an array of industries including entertainment, technology, environmental, political science, government relations, and more. Sam obtained his MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, in 2017. After graduation, he consulted with the Office of Technology Transfer at NASA-KSC to help commercialize environmental remediation technology for startups before joining Otter PR in 2020.

What do you think sets human writers apart from AI writing tools like ChatGPT or Jasper?

Easy: experience. Think of every experience you’ve ever had throughout your entire life. How many total experiences that you have had can you recall? The actual number is much higher—humans create experiences nearly every waking moment of our lives, and each one of those experiences can become something to pull from when a human writer is looking for inspiration. While AI software like ChatGPT and Jasper offer valuable writing tools, they are just that: tools. And tools are only as valuable as the hand (and mind) behind them.


How does the emotional intelligence of a human writer impact their writing compared to AI’s output?

I’m not sure there’s even a comparison to make here. Human writers, by nature, have to possess high levels of emotional intelligence in order to do their job effectively and perform well consistently. Conversely, AI inherently lacks emotional intelligence because it is incapable of possessing emotions it can only mimic them to the best of its ability. Although AI may be great at mimicking this at times, no commercially-available AI program has passed the Turing test. Should one be able to, then it will be hard (if not outright impossible) for us to call it “artificial” intelligence.


Can you give an example of how human writers draw from their own experiences to create unique content, whereas AI is limited by its data?

Absolutely! It happens every day. For example, one of my staff writers was recently assigned to write a 1,000-word piece on the topic of how to improve customer loyalty and retention for a client in the theme park industry. When the writer used ChatGPT to begin outlining the article, he found that some of the tips it came back with were sound, but were more tailored for a piece talking about strategy for B2B logistics companies.


As it turns out, this writer also has some experience working in a major theme park where they were in a customer-facing role. They were able to pull from their own experiences working at that theme park and their own interactions with its leadership to finish the piece, which received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the client.


What role do soft skills like teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal communication play in client-focused writing, and why is it difficult for AI to exhibit these qualities?

AI does not—and cannot—possess soft skills. In today’s business world, soft skills are more important than ever before, especially when writers are interacting with clients for interviews, follow-ups, reviews, and so much more. 


Skills like teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal communication are impossible for AI to exhibit because it does not possess any of the traits or characteristics that could define them as “skills.” If you ask an AI how to build or lead a team and communicate with that team, it can only give advice on how this could be done. It can’t actually do it on its own. But if you ask a human writer how to do this, chances are high that they can have an entire article drafted on the topic in under an hour. 


Soft skills are always expected for writers to have by the clients we work with on a daily basis. The better those skills are understood, the more they show in your work and behavior. Since it’s difficult for AI to exhibit these skills, it’s basically impossible for an AI to exhibit them.


In your opinion, what is the biggest disadvantage of relying solely on AI for writing tasks?

The biggest disadvantage comes back to the notion of the human experience. AI’s creative expression is limited to the data it receives. While human writers can pull from their own past experiences, AI cannot—it can only scour through the mountains of data available to it. Without that data, there’s nothing for the AI to source from, meaning there’s nothing of value it can produce. Humans can create something entirely new without outside assistance, but AI still remains dependent upon this and likely will for the foreseeable future.


Can AI writing software fully replace the human touch in client-focused writing? Why or why not?

No, and the reason for this is simple. When writing for clients, the focus has to be far more narrow than it is when a writer is assigned to draft a more generalized piece. AI may be able to offer some tips or insight for writers—it may even be able to write entire bodies of text that are on-topic, sound, and grammatically correct—but it still cannot grasp all of the nuances and intricacies of each individual client’s needs, wants, and expectations. Only human writers can.


How dependent is AI on human intelligence and intervention to function effectively, and why is this a limitation?

AI is extremely dependent on human intelligence and intervention to function effectively. The only reason AI works is because of the work humans put into creating and managing it. 


Without human intelligence, there would be no artificial intelligence. Should an AI writing program crash or become corrupted, it can only be fixed and returned to normal through human intervention. Suddenly, the “intelligence” factor becomes null and void if the program stops working as intended, or even altogether.


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