For merchants selling on e-commerce portals, copywriting skills are as important as their ability to make goods that people want to buy. Of course, the skill doesn’t come naturally to many merchants who have been busy building a business and hiring a copywriter is not always smooth. Which is why Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced a copywriting tool which can churn out 20,000 lines of original content per second.

Alibaba’s marketing arm, Alimama, announced that the copywriting AI has passed Turing test which is used to judge a machine’s ability to mimic human responses. Alibaba says that the AI has learned the trade of writing original copies by digging into the “millions of top-quality existing samples” on its e-commerce websites Tmall and Taobao as well as Mei.com and 1688.com using “natural language processing“. It claims that fashion brands like Dickies and Esprit are already using this tool to auto-generate copies.

alibaba AI copywriter
Copies produced by Alibaba’s AI

To begin with the automatic copy generation, all a merchant needs to do is provide the link to the product’s current page, click on the “Produce Smart Copy”, and Alibaba’s AI will produce a variety of versions which can be used by these sellers. The tone of the copy can be adjusted to make it sound “promotional, functional, fun, poetic or heartwarming“, says the official blog post.

One of the compelling attributes of the tool, Alimama says, is that it will improve the efficiency of copywriters, giving them the ability to “shift from thinking up copy—one line at a time—to choosing the best out of many machine-generated options“. This is because a product might need multiple copies for different media based on where the content needs to be posted.

Creativity is one of the areas where machines will continue to learn from humans, suggests Alimama’s GM, Christina Lu. Hence, using the AI, human writers can rid themselves of the repetitive work and spend time being more creative. Likewise, people in the marketing departments can think of more unique ways of selling their products without necessarily being professional writers, themselves.

Human creativity is the cornerstone for the machine, which isn’t able to replace the creativity of people – Christina Lu

Besides the new AI Copywriter, Alibaba already has a suite of AI-backed tools, including its “smart banner designer”, designed to provide support to small and medium-sized enterprises. Currently, these tools are limited to Chinese, but we can expect similar tools for other languages in the near future.

Meanwhile, you can also hire AI Writer to work on articles for you while all you need to do is provide a title for your story. Welcome to the future of writing!