The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in business often conjures images of big enterprises using the technology to optimize internal processes, but with tools that make AI more accessible, a growing number of non-enterprise companies may start to harness the power of AI. One such company is Copy.ai is a company that creates copy writing tools for businesses and they recently celebrated an $11 million funding round led by Wing Venture Capital. Copy.ai tools are used by over 300,000 marketers, as reported by TechCrunch.
Copy.ai is built on a machine learning model created by OpenAI called GPT-3. The model was trained on large quantities of text from the internet including wikipedia, books and websites. Copy.ai generates blog ideas, instagram captions, and product descriptions given a text prompt from the customer. One easy way to think about a model or algorithm is as a function -- Y=f(X). X is the input, Y is the output, f() is the relationship between the two. Machine learning allows the computers to learn, from training data, the relationship between X and Y and then it applies that relationship to new inputs going forward. With GPT-3, the technology Copy.ai uses, the input is text, and the output is also text. Take for example, if I prompt the tool with “Happy Birthday”, it might predict other words in the sentence and create the output: “Happy Birthday to You” or “I hope you have a wonderful birthday.” It’s like your boss telling you, “write a caption to this picture about birds and mention the company.” Before a tool like copy.ai you would generate a few ideas, but now, you can feed this information into the model and it might produce, “Birds love buzbyrd.com”. (Not a real company).
This funding round is the second for Copy.ai. In March 2021 the company raised $2.9 million with the round led by Craft Ventures. Its reports, the company plans to use the new infusion of cash to hire new engineers and advance new features.
One potential benefit of tools like Copy.ai is that as a business continues to use them, the models can become more personalized. It is not just recommending text from what it has learned from text on the internet, but also text that is relevant to your company. One challenge here though, is that when anything learns from you, you hope it is picking up your best and not your worst; a challenge that sparked early criticism of GPT-3.
A trend that may stem from growing investments in tools like Copy.ai is a workforce that is more knowledgeable about artificial intelligence. As we use AI powered tools and see how the models affect our inputs, it is easier to understand how AI works.
But at last, what does society stand to lose or gain with the proliferation of tools that take over creative endeavors like writing. Writing is a skill humans have been cultivating since the early days of man. Not only does writing allow us to communicate and connect with others, it helps us think clearly and master certain topics. While marketing and ad copy are not often associated with the works of Shakespeare, a question that many technologists must ask before we create these tools: just because we can, should we?