Writers, ignore prompt programming at your peril

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT to the public marks an important milestone in the history of AI text generation. ChatGPT showed the world what AI is capable of when it comes to writing.

ChatGPT is the free version of OpenAI’s Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) AI model, which is the most advanced currently on the market. 

With just a simple prompt, ChatGPT users can produce full blog posts, articles, funny comedy scenes, and much, much more. ChatGPT is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to existing AI text generation services. 

Paid services, like Copymatic, allow users to use GPT-3 to do far greater things than what ChatGPT is able to do. You can use services like Copymatic to write Tweets, search engine optimized articles, and even generate mission statements for your business, among many other things. 

While what I have discussed is exciting to new AI users, experienced AI users will be aware of all of this already. The question we should all be asking now is what AI means for the future of writing. 

Whether you are an up-and-coming freelance writer or an experienced copywriter, understanding how AI will be used in the future writing industry is a must.

How exactly will AI be used in the future for writing?

It is hard to whittle it down to one thing, but, in my opinion, understanding prompt programming is the most important thing you can do to prepare for the future writing industry.

Here is what you need to know about prompt programming (also called prompt engineering) and what writers like you can do to prepare for the future world of writing using AI.

What is prompt programming?

To put it very simply, prompt programming is the fine tuning of prompts until you get the outcome you desire from the AI program. There are more complex theories and strategies for how to best utilize prompt programming, but I will stick to the basics for now.

All AI programs rely on humans giving it directions. These directions are called prompts. Many AI programs allow you to input multiple prompts that will influence the generated text.

For example, if you wanted to write an article using Copymatic’s “Article Generator” tool, you need to include a title, at least three subheadings, and then optional keywords you would like sprinkled through your article. All these variables will affect what Copymatic produces for you. 

By reworking your prompts and editing these variables, you can tailor the generated text to be exactly what you are looking for. 

ChatGPT took this to the next level in the AI text generation space because ChatGPT is also a chatbot. Instead of starting over and finetuning your prompts from scratch, you can simply ask ChatGPT to edit the existing draft it created. 

Below, I asked ChatGPT to write an article about the future of writing with AI. It spit back out at me a very formal and dense article presented in a boring list format. I asked ChatGPT to make the tone more casual and remove the list format.

An example of telling ChatGPT to edit and piece of text by changing the tone.
An example of telling ChatGPT to edit and piece of text by changing the tone.

Voila! In seconds, ChatGPT had incorporated my edits and produced a much more engaging and aesthetically pleasing article.

It is worth noting that prompt programming is a relatively new field in the context of AI text generation, so there is still a lot to be learned. Examples of how prompt programming can be used effectively are much more common with AI image generation programs.

What will the future of writing look like with AI?

Predicting future of writing with AI is a complex and simple task at the same time. The key factor for whether it is a complex or simple answer is what you will be using AI to write.

If you are a graduate student hoping a robot can write your entire 25-page dissertation, I am sorry to tell you that you are out of luck (for now). In reality, most of what is written is not complex dissertations on 20th century French philosophy or studies into the effect of pop tarts on a person’s brain chemistry. Because AI technology is so far out from writing something that complex, I will focus on the future of more popular forms of writing.

The vast majority of writing most people interact with, especially on the internet, are short-form articles or listicles that can be read while on break at work or while sitting on the toilet (e.g., The 5 best places to visit on a European vacation).

Right now, AI text generators can pump out articles like this with little problems. They may sometimes be factually inaccurate or slightly repetitive, but those things can be fixed easily after a quick readthrough by a human. Also, as AI technology improves, those issues will be less and less common.

Therefore, in the future, it would not be surprising if the vast majority of articles people read are written using AI. Why would a travel blog pay an entire team of writers to churn out short, simple tourism articles when a couple of editors could use AI to write a month’s worth of content in less than an hour?

That was a rhetorical question. Editors would obviously choose to cut costs, if possible, especially if they are only seeking customer engagement and not concerned with winning a Pulitzer for their journalism. 

AI is not just a way for existing companies to cut costs, but it also is a way for new writers to enter the market. The simplicity of using AI text generation programs means anyone will be able to start a website and start churning out content. 

In short, the future of AI-assisted writing could lead to more writers competing for less writing positions while all fighting for the same number of consumers. If that scares you, it should. The next thing you should ask yourself is “how can I prepare for this new reality?”

Will prompt programmers replace writers? 

The answer to the question I just posed and the question in the header for this section are inextricably linked. To be blunt, yes, prompt programmers will replace writers. If you want to prepare for the future landscape of writing with AI, learn how to be a prompt programmer.

Being able to produce quality articles quickly will be an essential skill for future writing positions. The quicker you can produce quality articles, the better.

Understanding how an AI text generation program works and how to get the best out of it using certain prompt strategies could set you apart from other potential candidates, especially ones who are more traditional writers and take their time writing out their thoughts in multiple drafts and repetitive edits.

The best thing you can do now is pay attention to the AI space and experiment with new technology as it comes out so you can be a pro once using AI is the norm. If you are working for a website already, consider asking its owner or your editor to splash out on a subscription to one of the high-quality paid AI-powered writing assistant programs for your entire writing team. 

Alternatively, you many sites offer free trials so you can get a taste of the program before deciding whether to buy a subscription for yourself. Copymatic is one such program and offers 1500 words for free. If you are interested in learning more about what paid AI-powered writing assistants can do, take a look at our review of Copymatic.


In just the last five years, AI text generation technology has grown leaps and bounds. The most up-to-date technology available to the public for free OpenAI’s ChatGPT. 

What ChatGPT shows us is the importance of your prompt due to how prompts can affect the text the AI generates. ChatGPT’s chatbot format and what we have already seen with AI image generators, are great templates for what the future of writing will look like.

Authors and editors will be required to engage with AI programs through prompt programming to finetune their content. 

Writing with AI is a simpler process than traditional writing. As AI becomes better and more accessible, the potential pool of writers will grow. However, the number of jobs for writers will shrink due to the ease of simply using AI instead of paying a team of writers.

To participate in the writing industry of the future, writers must think of themselves as prompt programmers first and writers second. Otherwise, better prompt programmers will come along and produce better content in less time and thus costing you your job.

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