Is iA's approach to generative AI the right one?
Like it or not, generative AI is here to stay. But writers don’t have to lose their voices to technology.
iA writer has long been the writing app for writers. The company gets writers, as they’re constantly thinking of ways to remove distractions and make writing (and thinking) as simple as possible.
As you’re likely well aware, generative AI has been all the rage since OpenAI released ChatGPT just over a year ago. Too many apps are looking at ways to integrate with tools like ChatGPT, ignoring the fact they’re making their apps indistinguishable from others while letting their future success hinge on the decisions of another company.
As the company detailed recently on its blog1, iA put a lot of thought into how to integrate with generative AI. They didn’t want to just pipe in ChatGPT and make their customers’ words obsolete, while also undoing all they’ve worked for and accomplished over the last 15 years. But the company also accepted that putting its head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge generative AI wasn’t an option. Many writers will choose to use generative AI in the future. And some will feel the pressure to use generative AI to keep up with those churning out content at the speed of a ChatGPT prompt.
iA chose to stand out from the crowd by making it easier for writers to distinguish their words from the words borrowed from generative AI tools such as ChatGPT.
Basically, iA writer has made it easy to compare what you’ve pasted (which will be greyed out) vs. what you’ve written (which will still be shown in the normal font color).
See the video below for a quick explanation of the major feature of iA’s latest release, writer 7.
I’m sure the implementation of this solution was simple. No complex algorithms. It’s nothing academics will write papers about.
But iA was able to find this solution only by doing the hard work of keeping their customers and their customers’ needs front of mind, while also remaining true to the brand they’ve worked so hard to build.
This simple feature is a masterclass in great tech marketing. iA clearly knows its audience–people who identify as writers–and the company has taken a novel approach to serving the true needs of their customers, not what iA wants customers to need.
Is iA’s approach to generative AI the right one? I hope and think so. But only time will tell. If nothing else, they deserve credit for the thought and effort they’ve put into dealing with the challenges presented by generative AI.
Jake LaCaze is proud to call iA writer his writing app of choice.