Artificial intelligence has permanently become part of our lives, as evidenced by everything from our Spotify playlists to search engines. While we were already comfortable with AI algorithms that recommended what to listen to, watch or read, the launch of ChatGPT in November of last year took our awareness of AI to a whole new level. There’s been a lot of buzz, a lot of curiosity and a lot of confusion. Let’s start by sorting through some of that.
ChatGPT — along with tools like Jasper AI — have been trained using machine learning and natural language processing to have human-like conversations. The two tools have many similarities, such as being able to understand what you’re asking and find answers. But while ChatGPT is an all-purpose AI tool, Jasper AI is designed specifically for ideating and writing marketing content.
Essentially, it’s the difference between going to a generalist and a specialist; do you want to go to the guy down the street who works on all kinds of cars, or will you take your car to the dealership? We opted for the dealership.
We decided to compare AI writing versus human writing and discover some pros and cons of using Jasper AI writing tools.
Blog Writing With Jasper AI
Deciding to take Jasper AI for a test run is a lot like meeting your ex’s new girlfriend: You’ve heard great things about her, you’re pretty sure you won’t like her, and you really hope she’s not smarter or funnier than you. But you can only listen to the hype for so long before you have to just grit your teeth, jump in and see what all the fuss is about.
Getting started is easy, with lots of suggestions, prompts and videos to get you going. Jasper AI has quietly been ramping up its offerings to include a chatbot, a Chrome extension, content editing tools and the ability to generate both text and images, making content creation with Jasper an absolute breeze.
Thanks to its specific focus on content marketing, it has become an all-encompassing solution for every aspect of the industry. Whether you want to create outlines, brainstorm blog post ideas, write intros or conclusions for a blog post or even have Jasper write the entire post, it’s as simple as telling it what you want and clicking a button.
You can even enter your own content into its content improver template and ask for it to be rewritten to be more engaging or have a different tone. (And it’s way nicer about it than most copy editors!)
The scope of what it can do is both discomforting and fascinating for anyone in content marketing. AI is clearly here to stay. It will only continue becoming more prevalent and more adept at emulating human conversation, so this is the time to learn how to use it. But what does that mean for writers and editors? After all, it’s not like we can depend on our math skills to get us through life.
The answer is better than you might think — at least for now. While Jasper AI can do many things, it certainly can’t do everything. For example, when I entered a prompt from an actual creative brief for a local client, Jasper AI brought back some great information — but much of it wasn’t usable. While the description of the services was on point, many of the products it mentioned were offered by another company, not our client. As an algorithm, Jasper gathered information based on the industry, not the specific client.
It could be that learning to write a better prompt would resolve the problem, but it also underscores the fact that Jasper AI is a writing assistant, not an actual writer. It’s a great tool to increase efficiency and gather information; it can even help write a blog post intro if you’re stuck. But it’s definitely not ready to take over the entire writing process.
Finding Your Voice
One feature that makes Jasper AI appealing to content marketers is that it allows you to choose your brand voice. That’s incredibly helpful in crafting messaging that consistently aligns with your brand identity and tone. The more you teach it about your company, the closer the branded content will be to your human-written voice, meaning it will require less editing.
That means you can also add the brand voices of your clients, increasing the chance of Jasper creating content with the right tone and style.
It will also help you with other aspects of content marketing, such as creating poll questions and multiple-choice answers or even offering ideas for art that can accompany a blog post.
What We Learned
AI has earned all the attention it has received, and like Alex in Fatal Attraction, it will not be ignored. But because it is a machine, it still lacks things like context, sensitivity and emotional intelligence — elements that are crucial to crafting quality content. Here are some other things I learned about it:
Jasper is a bit behind the times. Jasper was trained by reading the internet, which we all know can be problematic. The training data used for AI only goes through September 2021, which means Jasper’s answers won’t include any information occurring after that.
When I asked Jasper to outline the biggest content marketing trends of 2023, it noted that “2023 might still seem like a distant future…” (However, in all fairness, the five predicted trends were spot-on.) So, if you’re using Jasper AI, be aware that you aren’t getting up-to-date info.
Jasper doesn’t cite its sources. While Jasper can quickly gather and spit out information, it won’t tell you where it generates it from, which could cause big problems. Content marketers and editors must be hypervigilant about checking AI-generated content to avoid plagiarizing another website or competitor.
Jasper’s sense of humor is … just OK. Maybe nobody else cares about this, but when I entered “witty” as my preferred conversational tone, Jasper kicked out some of the cheesiest copy imaginable. We’re talking 100% Velveeta. If you’re going to slip some one-liners in your copy, don’t count on Jasper to bring the funny.
(Wo)man vs. Machine
AI is forever changing the way creators and marketing agencies approach content. As my experiences with Jasper AI proved, it has advantages in many areas; it’s faster and can access far more information in seconds than you can find in a day. It can provide tremendous amounts of research, and you can even send it down factual rabbit holes to discover interesting but random facts — as long as they happened before September 2021. (You can also have a lot of fun challenging it to write limericks about your co-workers if you’re so inclined.)
For now, Jasper AI is like an intern that you can trust to handle some tasks, but you’ll definitely need to check their work closely. Rest assured, it’s not ready to take your job — but it can make it easier.