Jan 16, 2023

Why copywriters shouldn't be afraid of ChatGPT.

A Clockwork Orange style prose describing the British royal family.

ChatGPT - it's funny for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of copywriters have got their adjectives and synonyms in a twist over ChatGPT.

It's the new toy on the internet block that every copywriter wants to play with mainly to see if it will put them out of a job.

Just like an excited kid that gets a new toy, they will thrash the hell out of it until it falls apart or get bored with it.

Whether it will fall apart or they will tire of it is anyone’s guess, but the world is trying its best to catch it out and ridicule it.

Writers of all kinds have been messing about with it until the wee hours or until it’s time for them to do some real work.

What writers will use it for and how useful it will be in the real world is open to debate.

OpenAI—the AI research and deployment company developing ChatGPT—says its mission is to ensure artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity. 

Fat chance.

Maybe they don’t understand human nature. Most people have ignored this idealistic nonsense and used it as a source of entertainment.

I'm no different.

Like a lot of copywriters have been doing since its launch, I asked it to write a short passage in a certain style, usually a very silly one.

The results were amusing and disappointing, but also revealing.

ChatGPT can't do no clockwork orange.

Firstly, I asked it to describe the British royal family in the style of the 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange. I imagined that ChatGPT might struggle with the fictional language Nadsat.

It surprised me. It is very funny, and not far from the truth. Have a read, and I defy you not to chuckle.

ChatGPT prose describing the British royal family in the style of A Clockwork Orange.
Well, my droogs, this is full of radosty.

Writing but not exactly the Malcolm Tucker way.

I then asked ChatGPT to describe the British royal family in the style of Malcolm Tucker from the British comedy series The Thick of It.

The prospect of Tucker spouting profanities was unlikely as the system has guidelines in place to disregard any hateful and indecent language, but I thought I would give it a go.

The result is a disappointing rant with no point. It lost its way in an absurdly tame Tucker universe and spiralled into a black hole never to be seen again.

ChatGPT prose describing the British royal family in the style of Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It.
Fuck me, this is fucking crap.

ChatGPT - it doesn’t do funny copy.

Finally, I asked it to describe the Members of Parliament in the style of Bertie Wooster. I had hoped that the wonderful singing language of PG Wodehouse would shine through.

Sadly, no. It is a dull, drab effort riddled with stereotypical phrases and devoid of funny similes or metaphors Wodehouse is known for.

Could ChatGPT ever write such beauties as:

"Honoria, you see, was one of those robust, dynamic girls with muscles of a welter-weight and a laugh like a squadron of cavalry charging over a tin bridge."


"It isn't often Aunt Dahlia lets her angry passion rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them."

ChatGPT has a lot to learn about hitting the funny bone.

ChatGPT prose describing the members of parliament in the style of Bertie Wooster.
Poor old PG Wodehouse will be turning in his grave.

The butt of all the jokes.

I scoured the web looking for other examples of silliness.

Here are a couple of chats from other users of ChatGT that made me laugh.

Admittedly, I’m unable to verify these examples, but they show the sort of thinking and creativity that ChatGPT encourages among its enthusiastic users.

Or should I say, mischievous users.

ChatGPT adding 2 plus 5. Chat about why the wife is always right.
Yep. The wife is always right.
Funny ChatGPT chat about playing hangman.
So computers aren't that clever after all.

ChatGPT ends not with a bang but a whimper.

ChatGPT is fantastic at certain types of writing but woefully inadequate at others.

The flaw with ChatGPT is that it can only pluck words and ideas from the text databases already out there.

It can't invent anything. It could never create an original novel like A Clockwork Orange.

Its probabilistic language model splices together whatever it evaluates as the most probable outcome after every word. This is why it invariably comes up with clichés and very plain writing.

In addition, its guidelines, such as avoiding profanity and being a nasty mean old bastard, restrict its creativity. Where’s the fun in that?

This leads me to the inescapable conclusion that ChatGPT is unable and unlikely to be truly creative and funny. And that's something we humans do very well.

So cheer up you miserable copywriters. It ain't going to take away your job.

It might help you have a bit of fun.