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I had a presentation last week which I had to prepare for and put a lot of thought into. It was only internal (with my Communications Director hat on for Oxford HR), but it was important information being conveyed and I wanted it to come across well. I was a bit nervous, but it seemed to go down well and then there was a question… ‘What did I think about the role of ChatGPT in replacing copywriting and/or design’. It was slightly leftfield to what we were talking about and my mind went blank, I gave a rubbish response and then the meeting ended and I was left with a wholly dissatisfied feeling about how it had wound up – annoyingly, seeing as I was happy with the presentation itself.

And I have continued to reflect on the question ever since, as part of the reason it took me by surprise was the very obvious answer to me is an outright ‘no’. I find it slightly outrageous that the skilled and (very human) copywriters and designers that we work with at OXygen, could ever be replaced by AI, no matter how skilled it might be in other areas. Yes, research is showing that content (of varying consistency and quality from what I can see) can be generated quickly and efficiently using AI algorithms, but how could that ever capture all the nuances of a language or the subtleties required in communicating our clients mission, vision and values, when the topics are often ones of a very sensitive, emotional or delicate nature? (OXygen works purely in the purpose-led sector). Speed is most definitely not always a good thing, after all.

Still, I can see where AI might have its uses and actually relieve humans of a job they don’t want to have to do. For example, where companies have large amounts of data to sift through and need insights from it but don’t have the human resources to analyse it all, or if someone needed content writing super quickly because they had left it to the last minute and were up against a deadline…that could be useful. So then maybe it’s that AI can only ever be a tool useful to creatives, that they need to work into their armoury for when required – I could probably go with that definition of how this is going to pan out for the creative industry.

But then I sat in on a presentation today of first concepts for a new client of ours, where our OXygen designers had taken two elements inherent to the country this charity operates in (the flag and the colours of nature) and turned them, so sensitively and so thoughtfully, into two amazing concepts, that blew the client away.

So then I came back to 100% being in camp ‘no’ and to finally answer your question Grace, I am not worried about ChatGPT replacing copywriters and designers – well certainly not my OXygen ones anyway.