#314: ChatGPT — the Threat and Opportunities for Writers in the Age of Powerful AI, With Sarah Greesonbach

By now you’ve probably heard of (and played with) ChatGPT. And, boy, has it (rightly so!) created a stir in the writing community.

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to, among other things, have human-like conversations with a chatbot. It was created by OpenAI, an AI and research company.

The AI in ChatGPT can answer all kinds of questions. And it can write emails, essays, computer code, screenplays … you name it.

In fact, after playing with it for about 30 minutes, it seems like there’s little it can’t do.

As of this recording, ChatGPT is free to use. So millions of people have flocked to the tool to play around with it and test its capabilities. If you’ve done this, you already know how amazing it is.

In fact, you’ve probably wondered how long it will be before this tool (or some other similar AI) will replace us as writers.

It’s a fair question. And it’s precisely what we’re discussing in today’s episode. Joining me is my good friend, colleague and coaching client Sarah Greesonbach. Sarah is the founder of the B2B Writing Institute, which trains and coaches individuals on the writing skills, marketing strategies and project efficiency techniques that will help you build a stable, exciting career in B2B writing.

In this conversation we dive right into the ChatGPT controversy. Sarah brings in analysis and opinions from a wide range of industry experts on the issue. And we then share our own thoughts and predictions for where this is all going … how it could hurt your business … how it could actually help you further … and what you need to do to prepare.

This is a great discussion, and I hope you enjoy it!

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to podcasts.

(04:59): ChatGPT what it is and what it does?

It’s a language model, a computer program that’s designed to process and analyze language data.

(05:49): Why are people freaking out about this? For those who haven’t tried it, haven’t played around with it, give us a sense as to why it’s creating so much fear?

I think because especially if you’re intermediate or senior in writing, especially B2B and marketing, when you read it, it really does seem like just your first year in your career, um, you’re just reading something that you could have written

(08:38): What did you think of the output?

I thought it was interesting. I wonder if it’ll show us how formulaic our writing has become, because what it delivers is pretty decent, but none of it felt real

(09:44): Where could we go with this? I know you’ve been digging a lot into this, where should we take this conversation?

I think the first thing I wanted to talk about that was interesting is just that how much this reveals about people’s mindsets in general about business, because I feel like we all have this gut response to it that’s either really positive or really negative.

(10:36): What are, what are you seeing?

Mainly it inspires in me this desire to help people soothe their fear and just tell when to calm down a little bit.

(20:12): Is it really about finding the right application and coming up with better, more creative approaches? Or do you really need to have the fundamental knowledge?

The sense that we’re learning everything in theory, and like you said, we might not know the fundamentals to really know if we’ve done it correctly.

(31:58): How do we move up that value chain or that value pyramid?

I imagine there could be some exceptions for SEO and product descriptions and stuff where this does become how the job gets done, because that is such a structured way of doing writing.

(39:15): What about this order taking mindset that a lot of writers get into? How do we shift away from that? Is that something we should start shifting away from?

I think at first your first couple clients, it’s going to be natural that you want to show up and help.

(50:26): So Sarah, as we wrap up, was there anything we didn’t address? Any final thoughts on your end?

I think embracing your own potential becomes the ultimate way to outsmart anything a bot could do to your career where the clients you’re working with.

Learn more about Sarah:

B2B Writing Institute
B2B Content Studio


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I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’re earning $5k+/month (or the part-time equivalent) from your freelance business … and you’d like to grow your income quickly with better clients … just email me at [email protected]

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