March 4, 2024

AI assisted “personalization” is lying


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

If your inbox has gotten worse, this is probably why.

Salespeople: if you use AI writing tools to help you “personalize” your messaging, you are lying at scale. Deepfake Personalization™️ is trash.

I receive a lot of sales emails. Send some, too. Over the last few months, I noticed a big uptick in messages that just felt “off.”

People who say they read a post I made. Or pulled some other snippet from my LinkedIn profile. But their phrasing is awkward and robotic.

It’s obvious they didn’t really read it. Skimmed it at best, but I doubt it.

e.g. “I really enjoyed your post on employer branding.” is how a bot talks. A human who enjoys my inane nonsense would say something “lol at how you took a fat dump on EB!”

But last week kicked it up a notch. This is a real message, word for word, with only the sender’s details redacted.

“New Favorite Movie – The Shellowners Association

James – congrats on the new movie deal! I know its been a while since you spoke with [redacted]. Wanted to see if we could find time to connect? We can swap tales of our own adventures – How about we grab a virtual coffee and share stories of cracked shells, monstrous clients, and the occasional beachside escapade? I promise it’ll be a cracking good time!”

What. The. F*ck.

For context: I started writing fiction as a hobby last year. I got my first story “The Shell Owners Association” published in an online publication, Sci-Fi Shorts. As a joke (and to encourage people to read my masterfully written 800 word satirical take on the housing crisis through the eyes of hermit crabs), I made the following post. It linked to the story (and included an AI generated faux Pixar poster – oh the irony.) Here.

Anyone with a human brain can tell my post was a gag. Who would actually take that seriously?

AI bots, that’s who. LLMs can’t detect sarcasm. They read and write everything literally. And their humor is sh*t. (Confirmed this was AI written by Sapling and Copyleaks.)

From Copyleaks.
From Sapling.

Here’s the rub. I don’t hate people trying to use AI to improve their writing. (I think it’s embarrassing that they need to, but that’s another rant for another day.)

But Deepfake Personalization™️ goes beyond writing assistance. It’s a misrepresentation. If you said “I read your post” but you didn’t read it (or not closely enough to comprehend the context), then you lied. Full stop.

In this example, I don’t blame the sales rep. It’s someone with 3 years of experience who is undoubtedly doing exactly what their sales manager told them to do.

👉Sales Leaders: Stop pushing AI shortcuts like this onto your team. Lying is the #1 thing you shouldn’t do in sales. Encouraging this to book meetings starts the buyer journey in the worst way possible.

That is all. Head over to LinkedIn and tag a salesbro influencer who encourages this garbage in comments.🍿

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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