We have all been talking about ChatGPT lately. In the marketing industry over the past few months, there have been countless discussions on the possible consequences of this brand-new item. Social media is overflowing with tips and tutorials about the best way to use ChatGPT for various digital marketing-related stuff.
What caught our attention was a discussion in regard to contracting an independent writer to compose content, only to discover that what he or she wrote in the piece had been actually produced by a chatbot. Have you ever imagined such a situation? It has happened to numerous freelance employers and will happen in the future, for sure.
Alarm bells began to ring in our head: how will a client be able to tell if a writer is genuinely producing the content they were contracted to produce, or if they are only using ChatGPT to do so? Will the ability to write pieces yourself as opposed to having a bot do it currently make a difference? What about copyright violations and plagiarism? Can users who publish content created by a chatbot under their own name face legal repercussions? What happens if a consultant provides the chatbot with confidential client data?
At the same time, we noticed that marketers and businesses, including some executives, were only too eager to jump on board. We made the decision to go into our own investigation.
Here is what you need to know before you fall for the hype…
The Explanation of ChatGPT
Let us take a step back for a moment before responding to the queries from above. Here is a paraphrased definition of ChatGPT in case you do not know what it is: An artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot named ChatGPT was created by OpenAI and released in November 2022. It has been tweaked using both reinforcement and supervised learning methods, and it is based on the OpenAI GPT-3 family of big language models. In conclusion, ChatGPT relies on limited AI.
AI is, of course, nothing new. We have been employing additional AI-infused tools for some time now. There are lists of best-ranked AI writing software tools. One that many people use is Gmail, as an example. Another illustration is Grammarly. It is not the notion of an AI-based tool making our minds spin. We are worrying more about the potential abuse of a program like ChatGPT.
The ability to communicate effectively through writing, such as if you have a degree in journalism and work as a B2B PR consultant, content developer, and writer (all roles that are important for the topic of the article), is important to you, right? You can think more clearly and on a variety of topics thanks to it. There is a reason why Seth Godin, a well-known American author, lecturer, and most importantly, businessman, once claimed that writing is an indicator of thinking.
Do you create content for pay? Wouldn’t it be nice to think that the clients who employ you to write think that you, as a person with expertise, have something to offer? Of course, it would! It upsets us on many levels when we start to hear about so-called writers who seek to rip off clients by lazily letting a bot perform the work. Additionally, it should worry other authors, marketers, and the businesses that employ them.
Fair enough, we have heard several people voice this viewpoint. However, it appears that there are just as many people who are eager to join the ChatGPT train. We urge businesses that are thinking about doing away with genuine writers in favor of this recently introduced gizmo to stop! Think. Take a breath and delve into the dangers of:
- Ruined reputation
- Not being original.
Let us go over each of these in detail.
The Legal Dangers of Having ChatGPT Write Your Content
Since we lack legal expertise, we looked for folks who are familiar with Internet and intellectual property law to help handle those issues. Concerns regarding plagiarism were our first question: What happens if a business or media outlet publishes what it creates (without fact-checking) given that ChatGPT draws from pre-existing content?
Here, there is not one but three problems:
- First problem: Internet material is frequently scraped and used to train AI algorithms. This indicates that the final product may be a copy or an adapted version of another person’s work that is protected by a copyright. The AI company and you are being set up to be prosecuted for copyright infringement. Text might be included in copyright claims against AI businesses, which are currently primarily focused on visuals.
- Second problem: The accuracy of AI’s fact-stating is poor. AI is more suited for tasks like suggesting subjects and ideas investigate a portion of an answer than for actually providing accurate answers or changing claims that have already been verified as true or that are only expressing an opinion.
- Third problem: The OpenAI terms state that there is no assurance that it will provide the same result for two different users, which not many have read!
Given the restricted capabilities of the brain that humans have, you should anticipate that someone else will enter the same prompt and receive the same response if you ask ChatGPT a question. This implies that two websites could publish the same content under their own original authorship. Even both of these websites could be created following the same ChatGPT instructions. Of course, ChatGPT cannot create your whole portfolio website for which you would need to opt for one of the 5 best membership website builders having the ideal balance between cost, convenience of use, and membership features. Anyway, your audience will not think highly of you if you publish the same content signed by two different authors.
Additionally, when ChatGPT responds to a prompt, its sources are not explicitly disclosed. Does it use complete sentences that somebody else wrote? Is it stealing someone else’s words without giving them credit? These are all significant points to think about.
Are ChatGPT’s Works Covered by Copyright Regulations?
How can you properly acknowledge sources if you utilize a copy the bot generated? Even though ChatGPT’s terms claim that the user is given ownership of the output, this is untrue for one of two reasons:
- Reason #1: If a human was not significantly involved, AI-generated content does not have any copyright.
- Reason #2: The output is an unlawful derivative work of the other person’s work, often known as copyright infringement, if the input is a copyright-protected work of someone else or if a copyright-protected work was utilized to make the output.
Check the service’s terms for the AI program to learn how to properly attribute content created by AI. Additionally, never, ever, ever request that AI produce anything “in the style of someone”. Hire that person to write or make anything for you if you want it done in their style.
What Occurs if You Provide the Bot with Your Clients’ Information?
Next, let us talk about privacy. Employee “chats” with ChatGPT may involve the disclosure of proprietary, private, or trade secret information. But why on Earth would you possibly do such a thing?
Although Chat GPT can improve workplace procedures, it also puts businesses at risk legally. JPMorgan Chase, the American financial service conglomerate, prohibited the use of the AI chatbot by its 250,000+ employees because it was worried about data privacy and ChatGPT.
If you receive trade secret information, as well as confidential or proprietary information from a client, the agreement you have with them likely contains a clause stating that you will use your best or even reasonable efforts to keep that information private and only divulge it to those individuals who require it to carry out their job duties. Nobody requires ChatGPT to carry out their job duties!
Do you realize what you have just done when you gave ChatGPT access to a client’s private information? You authorized them to make use of it! Your inputs as well as your outputs will be used by ChatGPT. Additionally, you are obligated to defend ChatGPT and pay their legal expenses if they file a lawsuit as a result of what you did.
Assume you and your client sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), as CEOs are frequently prompted to do. After that, you are required to draft a statement for the press for that customer. As a result, you enter ChatGPT with the client’s confidential information. However, perhaps more crucially, you have put your customer in danger because any information you provide to ChatGPT becomes fodder for EVERYONE ELSE utilizing the chatbot. It spits out a terrible manuscript that you then need to devote time to improving.
If reading this did not make you shiver, we have more.
What Else Ought Communicators to Think About When Deciding Whether or Not to Use ChatGPT?
We are certain we overlooked some crucial legal factors here. We are interested to see if any of the many AI companies that have been filed a lawsuit against for copyright infringement will go out of operation because they cannot afford their legal fees or because they will be forced to cease employing any AI that was developed through copyright infringement, In addition to what effect that will have on businesses that dismissed their marketers as a substitute for using AI.
Similarly, we are interested to see how many businesses may face copyright infringement lawsuits (or at least receive a demand letter) as a result of AIs providing them with content that infringes on the rights of third parties. If you are exposed as unintentionally stealing from other authors, take into account the reputational damage to your firm too (more on reputational damage in a moment).
Tools are what ChatGPT and other AI basically are. The most important factor is how you apply them. Before deciding how to apply it to your firm, consider all potential outcomes, even the worst-case ones. Before using the AI, do your research to determine if the company has been accused of wrongdoing, and consider how your company would react if you find out that it is hurting other creators. And make sure to confirm every piece of information before using it. relying on what you state, you may be charged with anything from being mistaken to defaming someone.
The Dangers to Your Reputation if You Hire ChatGPT to Write for You
Assume you avoid any legal repercussions by using ChatGPT to produce content that you then publish under your own name. What transpires if someone finds out that the content was merely a modified copy of something that was already published but did not belong to the author? Regarding your reputation, what does that say? It might not be something you want to risk.
There is also the chance of disseminating false information. If we consume content produced by a tool that is unable to distinguish between credible and unreliable sources, we are ill-prepared for the potential consequences. Users are on their own when there are no safeguards in place. We can observe how previous technology advancements have worked out for that. Consider social media and the Internet as examples.
AI systems are still far from being sophisticated enough to distinguish between trustworthy and untrustworthy sources. Simply put, they simply are not there yet and probably will not be for a while. As a result, they will quote false material and present it as gospel. Let us not forget that NFT devotees were among the first to embrace this trend. The result is not very nice.
Even Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, is unsure about the technology’s intended application. However, his assessment of the worst-case situation was really dire. The bad scenario, he added, is, like, lights out for all of them, and he thought that was necessary to mention. In the immediate term, he is more concerned about an inadvertent misuse instance. Therefore, he believes that the significance of AI safety and alignment work cannot be overstated. Both he and us wish to see a great deal more to occur.
The SEO-Related Dangers of Using ChatGPT to Produce Your Writing
In terms of whether or not all of this benefits SEO, what does Google think of all of this? In August 2022, Google announced the rollout of what they called a “helpful content update”, which is a component of a larger initiative to guarantee that search results show more unique, helpful information created by people, for people.
It is clear that it states that it will give priority to more unique, practical information created by PEOPLE. There is no mention whatsoever that they gave content authored by a BOT priority. The main drawback is that ChatGPT’s accuracy in producing information is erratic. It is erroneous since the model only forecasts the words that should follow a preposition in a sentence inside a paragraph on a particular subject. It does not care about being accurate.
Additionally, the following is directly lifted from Google Search’s guidelines for AI-generated content: “How will Google Search prevent poor quality AI content from taking over search results?” Google Search is not new to the problem of low-quality content. For years, they have been dealing with low-quality content produced by both humans and machines. Systems are in place to evaluate the value of the content. Original news reporting is elevated by other systems. Their systems are still being updated on a regular basis.
And this, paraphrased from Google’s spam guidelines for Google web search: Spammy artificially generated material, often referred to as auto-generated content, is content that has been systematically created with no originality or adequate value added; rather, its main goal is to manipulate search rankings rather than benefit people. Among the spammy auto-generated content examples are:
- Text translated automatically by a tool without human approval or curation prior to publication,
- Text produced by automated procedures without consideration for user experience or quality,
- Text taken from search results or feed scraping.
These items explain the functions of ChatGPT and its users. While some people assert that using ChatGPT-generated content will not result in any penalties, only time will tell.
The Dangers to Your Originality When Hiring ChatGPT to Create Text for You
The dearth of originality that the use of the program fosters is yet another factor to take into account. As a writer, you certainly are interested in sounding like everyone else, so maybe ChatGPT should be their catchphrase.
Because the chatbot only pulls from content that has already been published through 2021, users of the program are not contributing any original thoughts. This is problematic since, as you all know, presenting unique concepts makes your material stand out.
Advertisers promote the notion that voicing your unique viewpoint makes you distinguish from ALL the other companies who are stating the same thing. The best kind of stuff is original. Every day, millions of posts are published on this platform. But the majority receive absolutely no traction. The majority do not bring anything fresh to the discussion. Quality is originality.
Being creative in content creation and marketing is already a bit of a lost art. There are very few original ideas, therefore, why not just utilize ChatGPT to rehash already published stuff, as we heard many writers suggested recently? This is not how we see things. However, when you choose to rely on technologies to create your content for you, undoubtedly you do not come up with any original ideas. Alternatively, you will undoubtedly come up with new ideas if you are reflecting, speaking with influential people, conducting research, and actually WRITING. The procedure is what gets you there!
Positively, those of you who continue to write, investigate, and interview on your own will be distinguished from the others on this issue. Since ChatGPT produces only average content, there is a lot of space for original content. AI can produce concise, useful content that summarizes previous stuff without being too specific if your B2B brand needs it, but it appears a long way from creating content that really gets to the point.
Furthermore, distinctive content may soon become more crucial than ever because producing bland, identikit content is now practically free. Bot-written content may be acceptable to certain clients, but many others have greater expectations and do not want to run the risk of legal action.
Are You Considering Having ChatGPT Write for You? Be Cautious at First
Think about the following things before you join the ChatGPT frenzy.
You should wish to act in your clients’ and businesses’ best interests if assisting them in succeeding is your top concern. You may be able to talk about deploying a bot to compose pieces for you if producing more subpar content would benefit them. However, the evidence makes it very evident that this does not correspond to what they require because this can:
- Put them in danger by law
- Put their reputation in danger
- Harm their content’s SEO
Limit their credibility as an opinion leader by not offering any original viewpoints
So what exactly are you doing here? If you are in the position to employ agencies, consultants, or freelancers to complete writing, marketing, or public relations tasks for you, we advise you to find out if the company uses AI-based technologies and, if so, how. Make sure your confidential data is not being fed into ChatGPT, as it saves your inputs and makes them accessible to ANYONE using the chatbot, putting you at risk.
Additionally, check into plagiarism detectors. Grammarly and Microsoft Word both have these. Additionally, a few suggest Copyscape. If your firm uses ChatGPT, make sure you are aware of all the potential legal and reputational repercussions. Speak with your legal counsel so that you can plan ahead. It could be a costly error to follow this trend blindly without any established guidelines.
Furthermore, we would counsel independent contractors, consultants, and agencies to make sure that they inform clients if they are still handling the writing. It might make you stand out from the competition and set you apart. Since there are freelancers and agencies in the field of digital marketing who use this technology to produce content, we can attest to the fact that this is the case. All of this is not to argue that we should not recognize the potential application of AI in the writer’s profession. AI tools will not go away. They can be useful, but it depends on your profession.