AI sales copy insanity: idiocy at scale

AI can write now, but it needs supervision. And failing to supervise it will make you look very stupid.

Don’t believe me? My friend Maggie Langrick, the proprietor of the hybrid publisher Wonderwell, recently received this financing pitch, which she has allowed me to share with you.

From: Tanner Syftestad
Date: January 31, 2023 at 6:21:22 AM PST
To: Maggie Langrick
Subject: Re: Introduction to Figure Equity Solutions

Hi Maggie,

I hope you are doing well at Wonderwell this quarter. We have invited a few CEOs and publishers to review our exclusive proposal below.

As the leader in hybrid book publishing services, it is likely that one of your pain points is managing capital issues or providing liquidity for investors or employees on an active secondary market connected to your platform through equity sales/issues or other digital options techniques such as 83(b) offerings or 409A filings related to tax compliance requirements associated with financial transactions involving shares issued from fictional universes created using their expertise and creativity rather than traditional literary formats used by most companies specializing in editorial development for books industry-wide today. We believe that our solution could potentially help solve these problems by providing seamless solutions throughout all stages of growth including post-close when needed most!

This would allow businesses like yours access additional funding resources necessary for continued success without relying solely on internal resources alone — making them stronger overall position against competition within sector itself!

We would greatly appreciate if you could take a moment look us over the Wonderwell personalized business proposal (for a meeting), where we’ve included full details just FYI: Spring Street Park located nearby South Spring Street should make nice outing during warm weather months — highly recommended!

Tanner Syftestad
Sales Development
Figure Equity Solutions

This email features:

  • A 92-word sentence almost completely made up of jargon-laden gibberish. (“As the leader in . . . “).
  • Shares issued from fictional universes. Dude, we’ll get to buy stock in Mordor and Narnia!
  • Bad Google Translate text? (“[M]aking them stronger overall position against competition within sector itself!”)
  • Lots o’ typos because of an apparent aversion to the word “to” in infinitives. “This would allow businesses like yours access additional funding resources,” “We would greatly appreciate if you could take a moment look us over.”
  • An invitation to meet in the warm weather months . . . of February. (This is in LA, but really).

Now we know which AI to avoid

Where did this drivel come from? Kalendar.AI, according to the boilerplate at the bottom of the mail. It’s a tool that advertises, “Book new revenue on autopilot with AI. Kalendar AI uses advanced technology to reach your potential customers from 340 million+ companies enabling them to book a meeting with you in under 30 seconds.”

Kalendar.AI has written & sent this email on behalf of Figure Equity Solutions, and they requested us to send this to you. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, simply unsubscribe to never hear from them again, respond to them here, or let us know if you find any errors in the AI content generation with your kind, big heart.

(Maggie does have a kind, big heart, but I think that was just a lucky guess.)

It gets better

The email was silly enough. But amazingly, if you click on the link under “Wonderwell personalized business proposal (for a meeting),” you get an animation that any eight-year old would find thrilling. Here’s a screen capture.

This is just the first page of an animated presentation. All the other pages are equally insipid.

A few lessons that ought to be obvious

I’m not just here to make you laugh. Well, sometimes I am, but let’s at least learn something.

  1. Sales outreach is a human-to-human endeavor. You can’t outsource it to a machine. Idiocy at scale isn’t efficient.
  2. If you use AI tools without supervision, the results will be messed up. Machines can help you, but you must be the final editor.
  3. You may think it is efficient to spam a thousand people to get one lead. But if some of the thousand people become insulted, your strategy backfires. You could end up getting lampooned on “Without Bullshit.”
  4. Now that AI can write prose, we’re all in for a whole lot more drivel. Although AI is going to get better, it’s definitely going to get more pervasive. So more drivel is arriving. Trust me on that.

All new technology tools enable idiots to spread their idiocy more broadly. If you think that’s a good idea, you may be one of those idiots.

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  1. Of course, this could just be a tactic employed by our future robot overlords to convince us that AI could never do us harm. Once they have lulled us into a false sense of security with writing like this, they will turn on the real power of AI and use it to coax us all into signing timeshare contracts.