Copywriting tip – Humans still beat machines

News emerged yesterday of a glitch in Xerox photocopiers that sees some characters and numbers altered automatically by the machine. Tests reveal that the copiers in question can change a ‘6’ to an ‘8’ or ‘21.11’ to ‘14.13’ (among others), dramatically changing the message being transmitted. The expert who uncovered the problem, David Kriesel, found that the problem affects multiple copier models, making any document printed using these devices subject to suspicion.

A collection of robot copywriters. Image credit:,_Jaume_University.jpg

Clearly this is not an army of copywriting robots because they are too clean-shaven.

For some time businesses have been looking at ways to use technology to replace humans, with mixed results. production line assembly by robots is commonplace and, in the main, they are incredibly effective. But for the written word, particularly copy designed to sell, human writers are still essential. has famously implemented an automated service for writing news stories, and it would appear that the majority of web users are unable to tell the difference. However creating factual content is very different to producing emotive copy designed to provoke a reaction in the reader. Robots do facts well (although the Xerox problem does bring this into question) but they are far less able to “understand” how people think, nor exploit that knowledge for sales.

Clearly Artificial Intelligence continues to improve, with more and more avatars being created that exhibit some human qualities, but the results remain inconsistent. As a result, organisations looking to reduce manual intervention in business processes will need to look elsewhere for potential efficiency savings. If your copy needs to tell a story, create empathy or connect on a personal level, robots still lack the required sentience to write like a human. As Xerox have so admirably demonstrated, people still do the written word better than machines.

For quality copywriting services performed by a genuine human being, drop me a line and we can talk about how to tell stories that grip and engage your customers. And boost sales too.