Can ChatGPT Proofread Documents?

ASK THE EDITOR: "Use ChatGPT as a Proofreader?"

Can ChatGPT proofread documents? Well, yes and no.

Many people are asking about ChatGPT and inquiring about its proofreading skill. To answer that question, we can think in terms of could and should. The answer for you depends on a few different factors, which are discussed below.

Could ChatGPT proofread your document? Simply put, the answer is yes. Artificial intelligence continues to make great improvements, and like spellcheck or auto-correct, it does a fairly good job. If AI checks a document, errors are bound to be found. In that sense AI is capable (can/could) to do the task.

However, there’s more. “Could” is not the only aspect to consider. We are not merely talking about capability here; quality also matters. That leads us to the next question.

Should ChatGPT proofread your document? The answer to this is more complicated. For some writers, using AI is enough. Let’s say you’re writing a five-sentence email to a friend. Or maybe you’re writing a birthday card. In those instance, sure, an automated check might suffice. You’ll have a computer catch any glaring errors.

However, there are many cases where ChatGPT should not be proofreading documents. Let’s say you are trying to be persuasive. You want to convince the school board… You are applying for a new job… You want to run for political office… You need to persuade a landlord… You want to attract more customers. In situations like that, relying on a machine may not be the best choice.

Furthermore, in our testing, ChatGPT makes crucial errors at points, such as missing commas when they would be helpful and misunderstanding the context (e.g., confusing the book “House of Dawn” with a Chinese text). The trouble is that many writers would not know the difference; the only person qualified to “outsmart AI” is a professional editor.

Human editing provides a more in-depth analysis, considering a wider context. A human editor is more likely than ChatGPT to consider the “sense,” which is often “hard to nail down,” even by a human. In short, writing often requires feeling, and try as it may (and as well as it might fake it) machine learning will never master that.

Elsewhere, we have shared about how to proofread ChatGPT. Here the point is that human editors play an essential role, and leaving machines on their own is never a good idea. 

The question, then, is not simply “Can ChatGPT proofread my document?” Nor is the question, “Should ChatGPT proofread for me?” since answers can be varied and complex. Perhaps the better question to ask is this: “How important is this document to me?”

If you’re dealing with a casual, unimportant, temporary document — such as a text message or a tweet — then you might be fine with automated editing. However, if you’re writing a formal, important, significant document, then you should go beyond AI and use human editing. After all, you deserve the best.

The more important the document is to you, the more you should consider human editing. As we say at PaperBlazer, “Invest in your words, and your words will thank you.” So when you have important documents, such as business marketing materials, a novel, or a dissertation, then rely on a professional editor — for that will lead to the best results.

Go ahead and give human editing a chance. You will see the benefits of having a human review the text and taking it to the next level.

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