It’s no secret that AI has been doing some heavy lifting in the content and marketing world. And yes, it’s pretty impressive – from churning out articles to creating images, suggesting hot topics to keep you relevant, and even supplying you with an endless amount of snappy email subject lines.
However, it’s not all as great as it sounds. In fact, when it comes to understanding the nuances of culture, inclusive language, and community… AI is still trying to find its footing.
At the end of the day, culture isn’t just about where you’re from or the language you speak. Culture combines social values, historical values, stories, and ‘tradition’.
It’s complex, emotional, personal, and deeply human.
And while AI might shock you with speed, there’s a warmth, depth, and cultural sensitivity that a machine just can’t replicate.
So, is AI really enough? Yes. But not really. But sometimes it can be.
Let’s take a closer look at what we mean.
Getting to the bottom of AI vs. human content
Here’s the deal: AI is great, but it has its limits.
When we talk about content – especially the kind that resonates with different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences – there’s a richness that only humans can bring to the table. The same kind of richness that comes from understanding a language, celebrating certain traditions, and even having face-to-face conversations with people from diverse backgrounds.
Meanwhile, AI just… doesn’t have the capacity to do that (yet?). Sure, it might be able to give you specific answers to certain questions, but it probably won’t understand why a certain joke is funny – or not funny at all, really. And while AI can analyze patterns, use fancy algorithms, and spit out content at the speed of light, when it comes to capturing the essence of human experiences… it still doesn’t have what it takes.
4 reasons you shouldn’t rely on AI to create culturally aware copy
When it comes to running a business in today’s hyper-connected world, cultural awareness is a top priority.
After all, not acknowledging diverse backgrounds and perspectives could lead to inadvertently excluding certain people or communities, or perpetuating harmful ideas, stereotypes, and misunderstandings.
That said, AI can’t always hold its own when it comes to cultural awareness or inclusive copywriting. In fact, you’ve probably seen it before if you’ve ever tried AI yourself: sexist language, ableist phrases, and even terminology that feels detached and insincere.
Because current AI tools are developed under our current socio-economic climate. it’s important that you keep a critical eye on what AI produces. We’ve seen the headlines that shared how AI recreated racist and sexist marketing materials because… it just didn’t know better.
With all this in mind, here’s where AI fails when writing culturally aware copy:
REASON #1: Real-life experiences and empathy
The thing about cultures is that they’re rooted in centuries of history, traditions, and shared experiences. When an individual from a specific culture writes, they bring all of that with them – the celebrations they’ve attended, the tales they’ve heard, the nuances they’ve observed in daily life.
An AI, no matter how advanced, lacks this personal touch. And it especially doesn’t have the empathy stemming from real-life experiences to try and grasp these very specific and unique situations. An agency, however – especially one that is filled with diverse team members – can tap into these lived experiences to create a message that truly resonates.
Think about it like this: an agency of experienced copywriters can weave your website copy, sales pages, or email sequences with culturally rich storytelling that deeply connects with your audience.
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REASON #2: Capturing cultural subtleties and nuances
Every culture has its idiosyncrasies. Whether it’s a unique way of expressing humor, sadness, or excitement, these can’t be replicated simply by using an algorithm. So while an AI can be fed data on how certain phrases might be used within a culture, it can’t truly grasp the deeper – often unspoken – meanings behind them.
On the other hand, an agency – especially one with a culturally diverse team – won’t just work toward recognizing these subtleties but also weave them seamlessly into content. All this while staying alert in regard to current situations that might impact how such nuances are perceived and received.
REASON #3: Avoiding stereotypes or exclusive language
Unfortunately, AI operates on patterns from vast amounts of data – which can sometimes mean throwing out biased information or language from certain sources that might be steeped in stereotypes. And while algorithms are devoid of intentions (they’re non-sentient and don’t necessarily “believe” what they say), they can inadvertently perpetuate harmful generalizations if they’re pulling from biased datasets. This means harmful language, racist phrases, and even ableist connotations.
On the other hand, a dedicated agency understands the weight and responsibility of language – and they’re also ready to vet content for any unintentional biases. This human touch, combined with a conscious effort to stay educated and updated on cultural shifts, ensures that the content remains not just relevant but also respectful and inclusive.
At The Quirky Pineapple Studio, we combine a culturally competent and intersectional feminist lens to all our brand message and marketing strategies. This means we strive to write with inclusive language, and take into account anti-capitalism, and cultural relevance so we don’t recreate harmful systems of oppression for ourselves AND our clients.
REASON #4: Collaborating through creativity
One of the unique advantages of working with an agency is the collaborative effort it brings to the table. A moment where different minds of varied backgrounds and cultural touchpoints come together to brainstorm, discuss, and refine ideas, this kind of collective creativity – steeped in diverse experiences and knowledge – often leads to richer, more nuanced content that resonates on a wider scale.
And while AI boasts efficiency and speed, it often operates in a vacuum – executing tasks based on the data it’s been fed and nothing else beyond that.
PRO TIP: You can’t write culturally aware copy or engaging content in a vacuum – you need people for that!
The importance of culturally aware copy
Today’s businesses are no longer confined to local borders.
Thanks to the ease of digital communication, your audience can stretch far beyond continents, cultures, and communities – and with this comes the responsibility to showcase a heightened sensitivity and respect.
Now, culturally aware copy goes beyond surface-level recognition – it’s about resonating, understanding the values, beliefs, traditions, and nuances of different cultures, and reflecting that understanding in every piece of content.
Beyond trying to avoid offense – although that is crucial – culturally aware copy is more about making every individual feel seen, respected, and valued.
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Choosing between AI and a dedicated agency
When it comes to deciding whether or not to work with an agency, ask yourself this: “Do I want my brand’s voice to echo real, human experiences or simply follow programmed patterns?”
If the answer is “resonating with real emotions and understanding”, then you’re probably ready to kick things up a notch in terms of cultural competence and community engagement and find an agency that’s right for you.
Let’s recap why that’s the case:
- Agencies work with real-life experiences and through empathy
- Humans are better at capturing cultural subtleties and nuances
- An agency will work toward avoiding stereotypes or exclusive language
- Working with an agency means collaborating through creativity
So while AI has its benefits and can offer quick content solutions, there’s an undeniable warmth, depth, and adaptability in human-crafted content that machines just can’t match.