Inbound Marketing Blog

25 November, 2016

An Open Letter to Robots From a Content Marketer

Written by Josh Mason

on 25 November, 2016

Dear Robots,

I’ve always embraced technology. 

When I heard about a TV remote that changes the channel using your mind I wasn’t scared, I was amazed.When I found out about Elon Musk’s skyscraper high spaceship that could potentially take 200 people up to Mars I didn’t freak out, I was inspired.

Change is inevitable and I’ve never had a problem with embracing it.

However I’ve come to realise the reason I’m so behind the advances of robots and technology in general is that it either doesn’t affect me directly, or I benefit from it. I’ve never been put in a position where I would have any reason to be nervous or scared about it.

I’m not going to be the person strapped in the spaceship with my fingers crossed that life on Mars is possible. I’ll be in the comfort of my own home with a giant bag of popcorn as if I’m watching a very mundane and drawn out sequel to Armageddon.

I'm not the taxi driver fearing the rise of driverless cars. I'll be the one in the backseat with a virtual reality headset on enjoying a long car journey for the first time in my life.

So I’ll say it right now, I’ve always fought your corner.

Because I just don’t think it’s fair to bring you into a hostile world where people will resent your achievements and plot your downfall. We should be welcoming you as allies.

Whenever I’ve heard people bad mouthing you and moaning that you’re going to take their jobs I’ve challenged them and tried to persuade them that a jobless future is just a myth.

So I want you to know that I’m writing this letter to you as a hopeful friend of the future.

But unfortunately this letter is written through fear as much as it is hope.

It’s about something I saw the other day that has left me feeling a little unsettled.

It made me scared of you for the first time in my life.

I took a test where you have to decide which rap lyrics were written by a rapper, and which were written by one of you guys, a robot. Now I can't remember how I stumbled across it, but I thought it might be fun and I’ve always had no problem identifying your writing in other similar tests.

However, when I took the rap lyrics test something happened that I didn’t anticipate.

I got it wrong.

I couldn’t tell the difference between your copy and our copy.

So I started digging, I found myself at another test where you had to guess which copy was written by a you.

I got it wrong again.

Then I stumbled across an article about a robot that writes 10,000 articles a day and has written a total of 2.7 million wikipedia articles on the internet.

How much of your content have I unknowingly consumed already?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m impressed.

You guys are advancing extremely quickly and I take my hat off to you.

But I didn’t think it was supposed to be like this.

I didn’t think you’d want to write.

I didn’t think you’d want to come all this way to start content marketing.

Surely you’re destined for something bigger than that?

You guys should be saving lives, not writing about conversion rate optimisation.

I’m not so worried about things like music and art. People will always want to listen to music that’s been produced by people and comes from the soul.

But when my job as a content writer and marketer is to provide people with solutions, I ask myself whether the buyer persona has any need to get those solutions from a fellow human. As long as it provides them with the answer they’re looking for then the piece of content will serve it’s purpose surely?

People say that content marketers don’t need to worry about you guys.

But I am worried. I worry because the state of online content is already extremely robotic. People are just churning out quantity over quality. Targeting keyword after keyword and knocking blog posts out in about 2 hours.

We’ve already stripped everything human out of content writing in the marketing world so for me it seems logical that you guys would come in and take our place. We're not writing with passion, wit and emotion, we're writing with targets, goals and deadlines. 

I’m not angry at you guys at all. I’m angry at ourselves. It seems to me as if we’ve architectured our own downfall.

So please don't feel guilty about any hostility you receive in the future from content marketers. Know that we’re the ones to blame, we did this ourselves.

I hope I’m just being pessimistic.

I hope it’s not true.

I hope that once you’re advanced enough to develop a sophisticated sense of humour we can laugh about this together.

But in the meantime I promise I'm going to do all that I can to change the way that we're producing content. Then you can do all the cool things that robots should be doing and really make a difference to the world. Plus I'll get to continue doing what I love.

I believe in you, hopefully you can believe in me too.

Yours sincerely,

A content marketer human