If it seems that artificial intelligence (AI) tools are suddenly everywhere, you’re not alone. The release of content-generating tools powered by AI technology has ushered in a new era of possibilities. Previously stable industries like the digital marketing sector are questioning their purpose in the wake of these easily-accessible (and much less expensive) AI tools. Now, companies and firms have the option to use AI-powered content-generating programs like ChatGPT to create websites, blog posts, newsletters, emails, and social media updates—all in a matter of minutes. While this may seem like a thrilling and cost-effective choice, it’s essential to take some time to understand the potential limitations and risks associated with putting your law firm’s digital marketing strategy in the hands of AI technology. This post will provide some basic information about how these technologies and tools work, along with their potential drawbacks and limitations. For now, humans remain the most reliable source of trustworthy, SEO-friendly content, which is why your law firm should invest in a high-quality digital marketing strategy to set your practice apart from those that rely too heavily on AI to generate content.
How AI-Powered Content Generation Tools Work
With the launch of ChatGPT last fall, the internet exploded with think pieces and reactions about how this tool could reshape nearly everything. This technology, created by OpenAI, allows users to ask the tool to compose a response using the parameters and criteria provided by the user. In a matter of minutes, the tool scours the internet to complete this request, composing a written response in the form of the user’s choosing (i.e., paragraph, poem, song lyrics, etc.). Some of the responses are truly remarkable and entertaining, but limitations and potential problems arose quickly. It’s telling that the homepage of OpenAI includes a large-font statement reading, “Creating safe AGI that benefits all of humanity,” a clear response to concerns about the more menacing aspects of this technology. As these tools will only evolve to become more responsive to user requests and commands, it’s essential to understand their current limitations and their potential drawbacks moving forward.
Why AI Marketing Tools Appeal to Law Firms
It’s easy to see why scrapping your law firm’s current digital marketing plan (which probably involves substantial time, effort, and costs) and using tools like ChatGPT to write content much faster and for less money seems like a no-brainer. If you play around with these technologies, you may be impressed with how quickly they can compose a few paragraphs about a field of law (i.e., divorce laws in Michigan, estate planning in Idaho, etc.). For the most part, the tone mimics the warm professionalism of many legal websites and blog posts, appealing to both site visitors and search engine algorithms. Since so much information already exists on the internet about the practice areas your law firm provides, it’s easy to trust that tools like ChatGPT will use this information to generate accurate content. Unfortunately, such blind trust can lead to undesirable outcomes—not to mention the potential for professional embarrassment.
Limitations of AI-Generative Technologies in Content Creation
As you weigh your decision on whether to transform your law firm’s digital marketing strategy into a primarily AI-powered endeavor, it’s crucial to understand the potential limitations and risks associated with this move. Below are some of the significant drawbacks to AI-powered generative tools to help you make a more informed decision regarding the adoption of these technologies.
They Rely on Information Currently Available on the Internet
AI-powered content-generative tools create their responses using the information that already exists on the internet. As we know, the internet provides a wide range of resources, some much more reliable than others. Unfortunately, tools like ChatGPT are still learning how to discern the accuracy of the sites and the information they use to generate content, so every response must be examined carefully before posting it. This is especially true for law firms, as laws and legal procedures are prone to change. Using ChatGPT to write your blog posts may result in factually incorrect or misleading content, further confusing your site visitors and potential clients.
These Technologies Lack Depth and Dimension
Even though some AI-generated content may read like a human wrote it, closer inspection often reveals that something seems “off” about the content written by AI. These technologies tend to sound stilted and awkward at times, as they are still learning how to capture the nuances of human emotion as expressed through writing. Additionally, the tools provide cursory responses that lack depth and complexity; a careful review of AI-generated content about an area of law may show that it is too cursory, repetitive, or insubstantial. Humans are much more capable of drawing from multiple, credible sources and synthesizing this information to produce clear, nuanced content in a straightforward and easily-digestible way.
The Human Element Makes All the Difference
Before we demonize the use of all AI technology, it’s important to recognize that we already rely on these tools in some capacity. For instance, many of us use Grammarly to revise our writing before sending an email, submitting a filing, or finalizing an important document. This tool can be monumental in detecting misspellings or other glaring grammatical errors, saving us from embarrassment. However, those who have used Grammarly regularly may have noticed that the program will make strange (or even incorrect) suggestions that make the content more confusing (or even change the fundamental meaning of the sentence!) These experiences serve to illustrate the limitations and risks of entrusting all of our communication and content generation tasks to such flawed programs. In fact, some writers that have used Grammarly for years have found that their writing skills and voice have altered in subtle ways, ultimately making their original content appear very similar to that generated by AI systems. Ultimately, when potential clients visit your website or read your social media post, they are much more likely to respond favorably to content that’s written by a human—whether they know it or not. There’s just something authentic and empathetic to human-sourced writing that AI tools have not been able to capture (just yet).
If you’re looking for a legal marketing strategy that actually works, LegalRev is here to help. Now more than ever, we believe in creating the highest-quality content to set your law firm apart from the rest. Call (800) 893-2590 today to get started.