My GPT-powered Robot is a Liar. I Caught Him. Here’s The Story…

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My AI copywriting robot is full of feces 💩 

Before I explain with a story, two things you must know: 

1) This is IMPORTANT for anyone who uses ChatGPT or other AI-powered content-generators.

Yes, this email is long. But I encourage you to read it top-to-bottom. I don’t use all-caps often. When I say IMPORTANT, I mean it. 

2) My AI copywriting robots — Bjorn and B-9? — are powered by GPT.

You may think Bjorn and B-9? are not real (think what you will). But all of those conversations I publish between my robots and me? They’re real. Every word. I prompt the robot (just as others prompt Chat GPT) and the Robot spits out GPT-powered answers.

Some readers have asked me if I make up these conversations. The answer: NO! (note the all-caps). I wanted to clarify that so you know the conversations with B-9? below are 100% real. 

Now…the story…

Later this month, I’m releasing a new program called Email Marketing Power.

To emphasize the importance and power of email marketing, I wanted some quotes from other marketing experts. So I prompted my robot…

Me:
Create a three-column spreadsheet with quotes from well-known marketing and business experts regarding the power of email marketing. Pull quotes from websites that are not “quotation sites.” Preferably pull the quotes from websites created and run by the marketing expert.  

My robot spit out the spreadsheet faster than I could say, “Excel for dummies.” It contained quotes from Seth Godin, Neil Patel, Ann Handley, Gary Vaynerchuk, and others. 

I asked for more…

…and then more…

…and then more.

After just two minutes, I had 40 quotes — each with the address of the webpage from which they came.

(Or so I thought). 

I clicked one of those webpage links. 

“404 Error. Page not found” 

And another. No dice. 

And another. Broken, too.

I clicked all 40 links and…

…not a single link worked. Zero for 40!

So I went straight to the source. I emailed one of the experts — Daniel Throssell. 

Me: 
Checking to see if you once said this: “Email is the ultimate ‘own-your-own-communication-channel’ tool. It’s the most powerful way to build relationships and trust with your audience.” (My robot) says you did and says it came from here: https://www.persuasivepage.com/email-marketing/

Daniel:
No I have never said that nor is that a URL I have ever used.

(Uh-oh!) 

I confronted the robot. 

Me: 
I tested every one of the URLs you gave me and none of them worked. Every link was broken. 

Robot:

I apologize for the inconvenience caused. I understand that the URLs provided in the previous responses may not have led you to the direct source of the quotes. As an AI language model, I am unable to browse the internet in real-time, and I rely on the information I have been trained on up until September 2021.

Unfortunately, I cannot provide real-time URLs, and there may be inconsistencies in the information provided. I encourage you to verify the quotes and URLs independently.

However, I can still provide you with quotes from the marketing experts you requested without including URLs. Please let me know if you would like me to proceed with that.

(Ahhh… The old “Maybe the link is out-of-date” excuse. But I wasn’t buying it.)

Me:
Daniel Throssell told me he NEVER had a page on the website with the URL you gave me – https://www.persuasivepage.com/email-marketing/. If that URL never existed, why did you give it to me? 

Robot:

I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience caused. My intention was not to mislead you. As an AI language model, I am designed to generate human-like text based on the patterns in the data I have been trained on. Sometimes, when providing URLs or specific information based on user requests, I may inadvertently generate inaccurate information.

Me:
So you’re saying you might have generated that URL based on a pattern of how a URL might have been constructed? In other words, the URLs you gave me night not be actual URLs, but just URLs that seem like actual URLs?

Robot:

Yes, that’s correct. As an AI language model, I generate text based on patterns and data I have been trained on. Sometimes, this can result in the creation of URLs that may seem plausible but are not actual, functioning URLs.

Holy Pinocchio, Batman!  

Did you catch that? My GPT-powered robot admitted he dishes out BS.

The robot dishes out information that is “plausible but not actual.” And he knows it! 

(Imagine paying for a research assistant who delivers findings that are “plausible, not actual.” I’d demand my money back.)

The conversation continued. 

Me: 
Is the same true of the quotes you gave me? Daniel Throssell says he never said, “Email is the ultimate ‘own-your-own-communication-channel’ tool. It’s the most powerful way to build relationships and trust with your audience.” Did you actually dig up that quote from somewhere on the internet or did you fabricate that quote based on patterns and data? 

Robot: 

I apologize for any confusion caused. It seems that the quote I provided was not accurate, and I am sorry for any misrepresentation. As an AI language model, I am trained on a vast dataset, but there may be instances where I generate text that is not entirely accurate or misattributed.

In this case, it appears that the quote I provided was not an actual quote from Daniel Throssell but rather a text generated based on patterns and data from my training.

I told you this is important. Here’s why…

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. 

Many claim it’s the ultimate ghostwriter. (It’s not. See past emails for more on that.)

Others claim it’s the ultimate research assistant. I’ve contributed to the hype by singing GPT’s praises as a research tool. 

But this cautionary tale reveals big danger. All that GPT-powered research you’re doing may be true, but maybe not. 

Those quotes you collect from GPT? Maybe accurate. Maybe not. 

That data you get from GPT? Maybe accurate. Maybe not. 

The research you conduct to gauge the mood of your target market? Maybe accurate. Maybe not. 

And…

…Maybe is not good enough.  

Last month, I heard an experienced marketer brag about using GPT to write her sales letters. 

I’m sure those letters looked and sounded great — because they drew from vast collections of patterns and data (other sales letters). 

But did the letters speak to the actual hopes, fears, frustrations, and dreams that currently drive the market? Maybe. But probably not. 

Were the facts and figures in the sales letter accurate or just plausible? 

That’s not a rhetorical question. 

If you dish out content that’s merely plausible (but not confirmed as accurate), you’re merely guessing, and…

…your marketing will fail, Pinocchio. 

I still love my robots. I just don’t trust them. 

They’re great at sparking ideas and inspiring creativity. 

They can reveal paths I can explore to help my research.

They can generate questions to ask and angles to pursue. 

But…

…you can’t rely on your robot to be your ghostwriter or unchecked research assistant. 

One last thing…

My robot, B-9?, worked very hard to generate all those email marketing quotes. I don’t want all that hard work to go to waste. 

The quotes may be fake, but they make accurate points about email marketing’s power. So, with no further ado, here are…

10 plausible (and insightful) “quotes” about email marketing, generated by my GPT-powered robot, “B-9?”

“Email is the ultimate ‘own-your-own-communication-channel’ tool. It’s the most powerful way to build relationships and trust with your audience.”

(Not said by Daniel Throssell)

“Email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. When you know how to tap into people’s emotions, you’ll be able to make a connection that will keep them engaged.”

(Not said by Neil Patel) 

“Email is the only place where people (not algorithms) are in control. With social and other digital channels — the algorithms are in charge.”

(Not said by Ann Handley)

“Email is such a powerful way to communicate with your customers, and I believe it is still one of the most effective ways to drive sales for your business.”

(Not said by Gary Vaynerchuk)

“Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your audience, especially when integrated with social media marketing.”

(Not said by Mari Smith)

“Email marketing is the glue that holds everything together in your online business.”

(Not said by Amy Porterfield)

“Email marketing is a two-way street, and its effectiveness lies in its ability to build and maintain relationships with your customers.”

(Not said by Dan Kennedy)

“Email marketing isn’t just about selling; it’s about making an impact, forging a bond, and leaving a lasting impression on your subscribers.”

(Not said by Ben Settle)

“Email marketing, when done right, can be a powerful tool for connecting with your audience and driving sales.”

(Not said by John Carlton)

“Email marketing is a dynamic force in driving relationships, value, and revenue. It is the most personal, highest-leverage communication medium available today.”

(Not said by Jay Abraham)

“The power of email marketing lies in its ability to nurture relationships with your audience, allowing you to build trust and turn leads into lifelong customers.”

(Not said by Russell Brunson)

“An email list is your golden ticket to building relationships and turning them into loyal customers. The more you connect with your audience through email, the more they’ll trust you and want to do business with you.”

(Not said by Laura Belgray)


Well said, Not-Laura-Belgray! So true and so important. 

That’s why I’m launchingthe Email Marketing Power program later this month — to help you, dear reader, get the golden ticket. 

I’ll show you how to use email to build strong relationships with your subscribers so you can turn them into loyal customers. 

Because, as Not-Laura-Belgray says, “The more you connect with your audience through email, the more they’ll trust you and want to do business with you.” 

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.