5 reasons why you shouldn’t use ChatGPT to write proposals

There can be few people who haven’t heard of ChatGPT. It’s been high on the news agenda in the last few months being touted as the new next-best thing. It’s an artificial intelligence chatbot that can answer questions, and assist you with tasks such as writing emails, essays, and code.

It can be incredibly useful for tasks such as generating content, providing customer support, and even aiding in language translation. So, if it’s that marvellous, why not use it to help you write your proposals?

ChatGPT may be a powerful tool, but here are five reasons why relying on it could be risky for your business and why we believe it shouldn’t be used to write proposals.

1. Lack of industry expertise

While ChatGPT has been trained on a vast amount of data, it may not have the domain-specific knowledge necessary to understand the nuances of your industry and customer. This lack of understanding could result in recommendations that are not appropriate for your specific proposal, and result in unintended consequences. Only experts should provide input on your proposals (see reason 2).

2. It won’t know your solution

ChatGPT can help with generalities as it relies on patterns and trends in publicly available data to generate responses, but only you or your SMEs will know the solution required to ‘answer the question’. For example, it will be able to give you chapter and verse on TUPE (regulations applying to transferring employees from one business to another in the UK), but it won’t know how your organisation would deliver it to the particular requirements of your customer.

This could result in proposals that are irrelevant or inaccurate, potentially damaging your business’s reputation or lead to missed opportunities.

3. Potential for inaccurate responses

Linked to the above, while ChatGPT can generate responses that are grammatically correct and make logical sense, there is still the potential for inaccuracies. This could be due to errors in the training data or limitations in the machine learning algorithms used to train ChatGPT. Any responses generated by ChatGPT should be checked before using them (whether or not it’s for a proposal).

4. Limited knowledge of confidentiality

ChatGPT does not have the ability to understand confidentiality, so it may inadvertently leak sensitive information. This could be disastrous in a commercially sensitive proposal where confidentiality is crucial.

As an open-source app, the content will also be in the public domain so your proprietary, confidential and commercially sensitive content will be available for use by others.

You should use great caution when providing any sensitive information to ChatGPT. In fact, it’s best if you don’t as you would likely be in breach of your contractual obligations.

5. Lack of legal compliance

ChatGPT does not have the ability to understand legal requirements and regulations, which could result in proposals that are not compliant with local laws and regulations. This is particularly relevant if you are writing proposals that cover multiple countries.

In conclusion, while ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it is important to recognise its limitations and not use it for commercially sensitive proposals.

You may think that we would say this as a company that provides specialist proposal writing expertise to our clients, but we asked ChatGPT and it gave us many of the above reasons for not using it!

Author: Karen Espley – Head of Operations – UK/EMEA

Article published: March 2023

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