Future generations will ask us one day, “Grandpa, what was it like when AI first beat you on the skills that you thought no computer could beat you on?
I think we’ll all soon have stories to tell about that. Sitting in our grandpa/ma chairs one day, wearing our cardigans and sipping our herbal teas, we’ll recall that watershed moment when AI first beat us.
For me, that moment was this weekend.
“Well, my grandson/daughter … let me tell you …”
AI beat me on copywriting for my website home page today
I was searching the net for AI-driven website builders because I assume that will soon be the way to start a website. You will give the AI co-pilot a prompt and it will lay out the basic website for you.
That already exists. For example, check out these two services
It’s super impressive already, albeit rudimentary for now. It asks you for a prompt to describe your site’s topic/purpose. Then it uses a generative AI writer. It looks for images that fit the topic and selects a color theme. Finally, it fills out a traditional, manual “cookie-cutter” web page template.
Here is what I input
Customer Experience Analytics. An unprecedented guide to user experience (UX) analytics. This book closes a mission-critical skill gap and enables business professionals in a digital-first world to make smart, effective, and quick decisions based on experience analytics.
Here is what Hostinger came up with.
And here is what 10Web came up with.
Sharper copy than what I had written, but still a Co-Pilot, not a Pilot
In both cases, the website copywriting is sharper than what I had come up with earlier. The AI did a better job of soaking in the collective copywriting wisdom of humanity from the Internet. Learning from that, it wrote more action-oriented and benefit-oriented headlines and paragraphs than I did.
It is still noticeable, however. that the copywriting is very “cliche” and it seems to be dancing around the edges of the topic rather than getting to the heart of it. After all, the AI is a zombie and doesn’t actually understand what it is writing.
So, using this AI as a Co-Pilot rather than a pilot, I updated the home page as seen in this image here. AI-inspired copy is on the left and mere mortal human copy is on the right.
Also here, AI-inspired action-oriented copy on the left, and grandpa’s manual attempts on the right.
But the proof is in the pudding (i.e. the conversion metrics)
Now, the real question is which copy performs better, e.g. draws more site visitors to click from the home page into the site? Would it not be good to run an A/B test? AI Co-Pilot vs. human, who is better at conversion rate optimization (CRO)?
So that’s exactly the A/B test I am currently running on the site. Will post again when the results are in.
Grandpa still has one chance to beat the stupid AI co-pilot if my numbers end up better than its numbers. (AI is an “it”, right, not a he or she or they?)
Why not ask Chat GPT and test its infamous coding skills? Here is the prompt I gave it
And the JS code that came back easily was this
I could have just as easily Google’d a code example, right? Nope, not true!
AI is just reading in what exists on the Internet and spitting it back out, right? So I could just as easily Google this and find a code snippet like this that dozens of humans have shared online as well, right?
I tried putting in the same prompt (mostly) into Google to see what comes back. Tons of web pages came back that either had some long convoluted answers or some sparse partial answers. But nothing even close to the completeness of what ChatGPT sent back in mere seconds.
Still, a JS Co-Pilot rather than a Pilot
But here too, it’s still a co-pilot, exactly as advertised. You still want to be able to read and understand the code to adapt it in the ways that you see fit. For example, in my case, I didn’t want one version to run for thirty minutes, and the next for the other half hour. So, I modified the code so that one version runs on even minutes, and the other version on odd minutes. But this was still infinitely easier with the starting point that AI provided me with.
So, my grandchildren of Gen AI
That’s how it all started … back when we still had to drive your mom and dad to school manually every day and pick them up ourselves.