What’s the future of white papers in an AI world?
Now that many people around the world are using AI for more and more of their work, do people have a future in writing white papers?
Isn’t it just a matter of time before AI, like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, replaces all professional US white paper writers and the market bottoms out? Why should you waste your time learning a skill that will become obsolete in a few years? In this article we will exlpore this controversial issue.
Where it all started
The AI ‘revolution’ started by writing short, simple articles: Little League baseball stories for local papers that couldn’t afford to send a real reporter to the games.
Like an elementary school textbook, these subjects contain limited vocabulary and a lot of repetition. For example, one of the “creative” decisions that baseball software makes is to choose which synonym to use to win.
The winning team won, recaptured, blasted, smashed, smashed, smashed, wrecked, destroyed, dominated, eliminated, wrested, smashed, ruled, smashed, crushed, smashed the losers? After this triumphant show of stylistic genius, AI proponents argued in the early 2020s that it was now moving on to longer, more complex projects.
Should the authors of white papers be concerned?
Here are several reasons why white paper authors don’t need to spend a lot of time worrying about AI right now.
White papers are complicated
White papers are long content designed to solve a specific marketing problem for an individual company. This company may need to generate leads, get noticed in a crowd, or support a product launch.
White papers are not Little League baseball records
White papers are not short tweets, emails, squeeze pages, or deep blog posts that AI can infer today. And the white papers don’t cover public issues like elections or celebrity breakups, with a lot of other scopes that the AI can access to participate.
White papers are long, custom, research-oriented, complex writing projects. Who would ask an AI to write them when there are so many simpler projects it can solve first?
White papers analyze and research products
Practically every such document is studied and a large amount of data is collected to compile it. And all this for that. not to mislead people or convey a certain point of view.
Will AI be able to do all this?
AI can certainly access and process a lot of information very quickly. Computer programs have great advantages over humans in this respect. But can AI choose the most compelling evidence from the most respected sources to appeal to a specific type of audience in a specific industry?
And can it create footnotes to credible content so you know it’s not just relying on disinformation? Can AI interview a company’s SMB and consistently extract its knowledge, even if it hasn’t been published anywhere? Very unlikely.
So why not get the writer to do the research. Or let the writer and AI work as a team so everyone can do what they do best. Let the software do intelligent searches and dig out a bunch of stuff, create good enough summaries, and let the writer choose the best sources to use.
And then ask the AI to format the footnotes in the format you choose. Let him perform the mechanical and mind-blowing duties of a white paper, while the human writer performs creative and more complex tasks.
White papers take on rhetorical finesse
An effective white paper needs to build a compelling argument that launches several thousand words and compels the reader to take the next step in the customer’s journey. In other words, convert.
Can AI do this?
Computers can be logical, but only cold and scientific logic transforms perspectives.
Advanced business citizens will not read your document if there is no connection between facts and logic. And if they contain a little emotionality, then they will simply be delighted. White papers require subtle writing that walks the fine line between explanation and persuasion.
Most likely, they come up with a collection of search engine results, rolled up with a little craft or insight.
Soft, average C-level content that’s about as good as drek published by companies that just don’t get it or just don’t care. Maybe they are too small, too local, or too cheap.
White papers need to make sense
To prepare today’s AI programs, developers feed them a lot of data and then ask them to come up with something original.
White papers demand more than facts
What if you ask AI to write, section by section, without being overwhelmed, a white paper for a specific company in a specific industry with a distinct marketing challenge and a specific set of goals?
Will he have the sensitivity to write any text that touched the human reader’s pain points, made him feel anything, painted any picture with words, soared, and flew from the valley to the top of the mountain?
The white paper requires more than non-cognitive facts and scientific logic. To be effective, the White Paper needs a human touch. Effective white papers will continue to be written by people for people Perhaps, over time, artificial intelligence technology will get there.
If computers start compiling various documents, this could lead to the end of a white paper writer’s career. What content will the AI write first? Tweets. Landing pages. Email. Blog posts. Possibly web pages. The entire website, every element of every page is tested and improved over several months and years. Then newsletters.
And when all these formats can be written by algorithms, what is left? What will be one of the last bastions of writing that people still make for people? We are convinced that, most likely, there will be official documents.