AI Prompt Ninjas Of The World Unite!

Oct 11, 2023

Now that some of the initial hype and hysteria surrounding generative AI has ebbed, perhaps it’s time to take a clear-eyed look at what the technology really means to marketing (and specifically, the content creation community).

I was on a call with a client recently and, just like so many of these conversations with those in healthcare IT go these days, the conversation turned to AI. “No one is losing their job to ChatGPT,” he said. This made me think back to the flurry of coverage that stemmed from a Washington Post article published a few months ago telling about a young content writer who claimed she lost her job to ChatGPT.

In the following weeks, when the alarms were sounded predicting the demise of human-generated content, my BS meter’s needle pegged into the red.

If you hear “content” and think “long-form thought leadership” or “white paper” or “contributed byline article” or “executive presentation” then you’re not alone. But all too often, these forms of true content are lumped in with the mountains of text blurbs, Google ads, and meta descriptions that command much of the time of “copywriters.” This “stuff” isn’t really content; its main purpose is to spur search rankings. It’s marketing spam.

Whether it’s, ProWritingAid, QuillBot, WordTune,, Jounce,, or the good old instigator, ChatGPT, you can find a platform that will readily churn out passable short-form stuff. Some can even produce a serviceable low-level (read: throw-away) press release. That said, they all still require a degree of handholding and some level of prompt savvy to pull off it on the first or second try without a lot of editing.

But when it comes to the longer stuff –– the content that requires thoughtful, deliberate *human* writing –– these tools have a long way to go. Will they get there? Maybe. However, in our lifetime they will still require some form of human assistance.

Sure, you could lay off your internal writing resources, fire your agency, and disband your freelance corps, but to ensure that the new AI replacements are doing what they’re intended to do, you’ll probably need to hire an entire new crew of specialists to keep things above board.

First, you’ll need a stable of AI Prompt Ninjas –– folks who are conversant in all platforms’ prompt quirks and shortcuts. Solid generative AI prompts that result in semi-decent copy are sometimes as long as the end result itself. Think about that. Generative AI prompts are now a bona fide cottage industry.

Then you’ll need a few Veracity Verifiers to, well, verify the veracity of the end products. These AI platforms are notorious for their hallucinations, mistakes, and outright baloney. If you want a great example of how off-base the results can be, simply ask any platform to write an executive bio about you. The results are often hilarious.

And don’t forget a team of editors who can paraphrase the AI-generated copy to not only make it sound human (these things are devoid of creativity), but to blur out any potentially plagiarized passages from existing content that the AI models were trained on. And finally, while you’re filling out new-hire requisitions with HR, the in-house legal team will require the services of at least one specialist trained in the fine art of plagiarism defense.

While it may seem that generative AI has “arrived” and will usurp its human overlords in their vocations, the truth is that it remains a tool. In many applications, it’s an amazing tool. But it has a long way to go, and much to learn from us before it conquers the content universe.