One of the most important aspects of marketing and advertising in Islam is transparency and honesty. That also means that any points presented by marketing or advertising experts must be correct, with no room for doubt.
Please read our article on Islamic Advertising Principles.
ChatGPT is being tested by marketers to create blog content, paid ads copy, copywriting, and more. If you are still new to the workings of ChatGPT as many people are, have a look at “The ChatGPT Guide for Muslim Marketing and Advertising”.
Let us now look at ChatGPT pitfalls, from a halal marketing and advertising perspective, and how to overcome them.
Non-Intentional ChatGPT Deceit
ChatGPT, like any other generative AI tool, depends on the data that it has been fed to create content. It does not have the ability to filter true facts from myths around a specialized niche like the Muslim consumer market.
As a user of this awesome technology that is still in its infancy, you are responsible for fact-checking based on the content you are creating. As a halal marketer and advertiser, you need to do your due diligence before publishing the content you create as fact.
There are no excuses for not checking the facts. Islamic law issues a stern warning against passing on all that one hears.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“It is enough lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” – Narrated by Muslim in Al-Muqaddimah, 6; SahIh al-Jaami, 4482.
One of the greatest scholars of Islam, Al Nawawi, comments about the issue of passing on every piece of information one receives, without proper knowledge of whether it is true or false.
“Usually, a person hears truth and lies, so if he speaks of everything that he hears, he is lying by telling of things that did not happen and lying by speaking of something other than the way it happened; and he does not have to do that deliberately (in order to be regarded as telling lies).”
ChatGPT May Lie Unintentionally
It seems that ChatGPT can be a bit mischievous or just delusional at times. Or maybe it just has the vivid imagination of a toddler. Either way, a research paper on ChatGPT revealed that it has a tendency to make up answers when there is a lack of available answers to a question.
The lies it tells are formatted in such a way that it is very persuasive. According to the research paper,
“When answering a question that requires professional knowledge from a particular field, ChatGPT may fabricate facts in order to give an answer…”.
Making factual errors is one thing, but an outright lie is something that could land you in hot water and may destroy your reputation and that of your client.
To keep it fair, I asked ChatGPT if it actually lies and it gave me a quite diplomatic answer:
Solution: Fact-check everything. The information that ChatGPT feeds you is available in some form on the internet (except for the made-up lies). There should be multiple sources for the same information. If you search deeper you may even find actual research and studies supporting the information. Use ChatGPT as a content-outline generator and not as the ultimate content generator.
ChatGPT Content Has Quality Issues
To say that ChatGPT content lacks quality is unfair because it has not been created with a mechanism to perform its own research and come back with unique content no one has written before.
However, at the end of the day, if content marketing is part of your business and you offer that to other organizations, you need to keep in mind that you will be cheating on your clients if you just copy and paste from ChatGPT-generated content.
Also, because of the way generative AI works (taking bits and pieces) from available online sources, you could be committing plagiarism and both you and your clients could get in trouble. It is up to you to make sure that you (at the risk of sounding like a broken record) use ChatGPT as a content-outline generator and not as the ultimate content generator.
Offering quality to your clients is part of a Muslim’s mission to get the good in this world and in the hereafter. So, whether it is a physical product that you are selling or a service such as marketing consultancy and advertising, the concept is the same.
“And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with an even balance. That is the best [way] and best in result”. – [Quran – Surah al-A’rah, 35]
In Islamic literature, the words Ihsan and Itqan are used to refer to “quality,” which means perfection or a desire for excellence, perpetual self-evaluation, and so on. Itqan means “goodness” and represents the level of quality work, implying putting in the effort or performing a task in such a way that the highest or best results are obtained.
Solution: Going about your content creation process with ChatGPT only playing a supporting role and making research your top priority will yield better results than giving it undue importance. Remember, as a content marketer you are the creator. You have the creativity and talent and ChatGPT is just a tool.
General Pitfalls of Using ChatGPT
You should also be aware of other general short-comings of using ChatGPT as listed below:
Too Biased Language-Wise
ChatGPT has a certain bias to using words and sentences that renders all of its answers too formal. Some of its responses can also be too wordy and lack that human agility that makes a language more pleasant and cannot communicate in a colloquial style as humans do.
Lack of Emotional Triggers
As a marketer or advertiser, you know very well that most people buy due to emotional motivation rather than logic. ChatGPT is a machine and if you have ever used it you may have noticed that it lacks the prowess to trigger emotions in its responses.
Lack of Insight and Depth
Writing about the Muslim consumer market requires in-depth research to answer complex questions of which answers are not readily available. While ChatGPT can give you a standard answer with good grammatical accuracy, it does not give you its own insight. It just summarizes what it can find in its own data in an overly detailed manner that may look like an in-depth answer to the untrained eye.
To add perspective to the three aspects above I asked ChatGPT what a person should do when bitten by an ant while performing the Islamic prayer. If I asked a human being the same question they would most probably say, “I would continue praying and take care of the bite after I finish my prayers”.
However, the way ChatGPT is designed you will get a more detailed explanation that includes the aspects we mentioned above.
Muslim marketers and advertisers must be particularly careful when using ChatGPT for content. There is no excuse for spreading false or inaccurate information that misleads clients and customers and violates any part of the Islamic principles of running a business including communication and media.
There are numerous issues with ChatGPT that make it unsuitable for unsupervised content generation. It has biases and does not produce content that appears natural and contains no genuine insights.
Furthermore, its inability to feel or generate unique ideas makes it an unsuitable candidate for creating human expressions.
You should use detailed prompts merely to produce content that can be considered superior to the default content it generates.
Finally, human scrutiny of machine-generated content is not always sufficient, as ChatGPT content has been optimized to sound correct even when it is not.
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