AI Writing Tools: Should You Use Them to Write Emails?

For those that have used ChatGPT or other AI language modeling tools, there’s no arguing that the results are often impressive and time-saving. Advancements in AI technology have made it possible for such tools to generate readable and natural-sounding content. AI tools can generate blogs, emails, subject line variations, website content, formulas for Excel, and more; the options are seemingly limitless. While it may seem like a great idea to use AI to write content, there are a few reasons why you might not want to rely solely on AI.

Why You Shouldn’t Rely Solely on AI for Writing Content

  • Inability to understand context: AI language models don’t have the same level of understanding of context and nuance that a human writer would have. This limitation means that AI-generated content might miss essential points or fail to convey the intended tone of the message. 
  • Inability to make qualitative judgments: Qualitative judgments are subjective judgments, and AI tools cannot make these judgments. In other words, AI language models lack the ability to understand the complexity of human language and conversation and make adjustments to content based on qualitative judgments like a human would.
  • Potential for inconsistencies or errors: AI language models aren’t perfect; they can generate errors, typos, and factually incorrect information that have the potential to impact the message you are trying to convey negatively. 
  • Potential for biases: AI language models such as ChatGPT are not search engines but use learned information to generate responses. If the data the tools are trained on is biased, the bot's answers can also be biased.

Here are a few examples of when AI-generated emails didn’t have the intended outcome:

Opportunities For Using AI-Generated Content

While relying solely on AI for generating content is not recommended, it can be a helpful tool. Here are a few use cases, keeping in mind results generated by AI should always be reviewed and edited by a human.

  • Generating subject line variations based on your email content.
  • Rephrasing something you’ve already written but may not be happy with its current flow.
  • Generating a first draft if you’re experiencing writer's block or need some ideas to get started. Spoiler alert: I used ChatGPT to generate the first draft of the conclusion paragraph for this blog based on the content I wrote in the body. Using the tool for this purpose is not recommended if you are writing a sensitive or important message.

Here is a brief article (5 min read or listen) discussing everything you need to know about ChatGPT in simple terms ChatGPT: Everything you Really Need to Know (In Simple Terms).

While AI language models such as ChatGPT can be impressive and time-saving tools for generating content, there are limitations to relying solely on them. The lack of context, inability to make qualitative judgments, potential for inconsistencies or errors, and potential for biases are all reasons why AI-generated content should always be reviewed and edited by a human. Despite these limitations, AI can still be a helpful tool. However, it's essential to balance utilizing AI technology's benefits and recognizing its limitations to ensure effective and ethical communication.

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