In case you didn't know, there's this thing called Chat GPT...
It's been hard to avoid the buzz surrounding Chat GPT, both in the mainstream media and healthcare communications circles.
The prospect of an AI system that can produce written work to a brief is as exciting as it is concerning. Whilst many argue that these innovations can provide a time-saving resource for the more tedious tasks, medical writers across varying levels of experience are beginning to express their concerns about the potential implications of a system which replicates the creative voice.
Quality over Quantity?
Specifically, writers are concerned about the potential impact on client relations and services. The creative voice is independently catered, (often through years of professional experience and training) to accurately and efficiently depict the needs of the client. It seems that the general consensus of many creative workers in the space believe that - whilst systems like Chat GPT can provide much needed support across under-resourced departments- ultimately the onus should remain on quality over quantity.
Whilst these systems can and do produce content instantly, it is much more difficult to replicate the voice needed to accurately represent a client. The content itself may be accurate and responsibly referenced, but it seems unlikely to be able to replicate the relationships built between content writer and client across days, months and years of collaborative work.
Money-saving tech or cutting corners?
It's no wonder that the potential introduction of this AI tool to the medical writing sphere has caused some concern amongst the existing community, with many articles emphasising that integrating this technology is a lifetime guarantee over human content writers. Multiple sources have pointed out that, especially for smaller agencies with limited budgets, this new technology could provide a budget-friendly alterative to multiple human roles, from digital marketing to content writing and programming. However, whilst these innovations can save time and money, they may only provide a temporary solution, as the nuance and quality of the human voice are lost in place of the creation of formulaic, generic copy.
Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Assistant?
Medical Writers who have begun to explore the potential of Chat GPT (and consider the implications of systems like it) overwhelmingly suggest that the software should be used one of many writing "tools" in their arsenal. However, several medical writers have mentioned in online forums that they are concerned about how the suggestion that AI can be used as an assistant will have a knock-on effect on hourly rates. Whilst the technology has the potential to make a medical writers work more efficient, it also has the potential to make it less valuable. If managers know that staff use Chat GPT as a quick and effective summary tool, will they lower hourly rates to reflect this shift? It's hard to say.
Either way, in order for medical writers and this "Artificial Assistant" to work harmoniously, it's clear that well-defined guidelines will have to be in place to protect both the quality of work and the creative input of writers.
Worth the buzz?
Ultimately, the integration of more AI-focused technology into everyday life isn't something most industries are going to get used to in a hurry. Especially in an industry like med-comms, which often sees the merging of high-science and creative work, it can feel like technological innovations are invading into a sector that's very purpose is based in human connection and communication. However, as easy as it is to panic when we see automated AI services rearing their terminator-like heads, it's important to remember the potential of such technology, rather than it's downfalls.
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