The Robots Are Coming: Let's Talk About AI-Generated Content

The Robots Are Coming: Let's Talk About AI-Generated Content

Content marketing is the buzzword for today - people are constantly looking for content that is interesting, informative, and engaging. This content is created in the form of blogs, articles, and videos. To ensure that the content is engaging, creative, and catchy: many companies are turning towards artificial intelligence to fill that role. But is that the right approach? Is it possible for AI to create content that is engaging and effective? An article here at Paragraft shows some main reasons why AI can't replace human writers.

Something about that introduction feel a little…off?

The topic of AI in content creation is all the rage right now, and for good reason.

Artificial intelligence (AI) utilises a software process known as natural language generation (NLG) to construct a written narrative drawn from a library of data. This means AI is better able to understand the subtle nuances of language, tonality and form, and use this to inform the production of a variety of natural content styles.

In short? The rise of AI’s ability to understand and produce content has led some to question who reigns supreme in content creation: man or machine? Yikes. Remember the good ol’ days when Skynet was nothing more than a product of dystopian fiction?

With The Press Association already able to produce 30,000 AI-written local news stories per month, what role does AI look set to play in the future of content production and content marketing?

Today, we’re exploring exactly that.

The advantages

Broadens research

How do you approach your content research?

Head straight to Google? Reach out to a subject matter expert? Get your head in some books?

The fact is that even the most skilled content researchers are limited by their own parameters. This means your research is ultimately dictated by the avenues you choose to explore, as well as the sources at your disposal.

AI, on the other hand, is able to scour a far greater range of resources at a far greater speed, contributing to a broader and more efficient research process.

AI is also advanced at quote-sourcing and fact-checking - both incredibly important elements of establishing and asserting authority within your content. While this obviously benefits content writers every day of the week, this ability is perhaps most useful in instances where you lack a reputable subject matter expert.

Improves internal efficiencies

The most obvious and documented benefit of AI-generated content is its efficiency.

For many, the greatest appeal of AI content generators is the promise of ‘content at the click of a button’. We can’t deny there’s some truth in this - in fact, the introduction to this blog post was generated by AI in approximately 2.5 seconds.

That’s not to say this instantaneous content is primed and ready for publishing (more on that soon), but even requiring human input in the proof and editing stage often saves significantly more time than human-written content from scratch.

Indeed, when you consider well-known grammar and spell check applications such as Grammarly, AI can often remain a tag-team partner at this stage of content creation, too.

While this should never lead to a focus on quantity over quality, it’s easy to understand the appeal of AI content for time-poor, small-team businesses.

The disadvantages

There’s still work to be done

Go ahead and revisit the introduction to this blog post.

To produce that content, we utilised a leading SaaS service, feeding it our blog title and general synopsis before leaving the robots to take care of the rest.

The result? Well, it’s not terrible

In truth, it would likely suffice as a comprehensible introduction to a regular ol’ blog post. But here at Paragraft, we hold the bar higher than that.

Best practice dictates that grammatical and technical accuracy is key to content that reigns supreme. So, despite being comprehensible, technical inaccuracies such as the misuse of a colon deduct some AI brownie points.

Of course, this simply requires a lil’ bit of TLC from a living, breathing content writer. The same too could be said of the introduction’s slightly jarring flow (caused by a quick succession of formulaic sentence structures), as well as the relevance of the points discussed (did we really need to define what content was?).

Though these imperfections aren’t drastic, the proof’s in the pudding: there’s still some work to be done.

Accessibility

There are free applications galore out there claiming to offer a quick and easy solution to AI-generated content creation. However, the truth is that these are very rarely worth their salt.

While we have no doubt that the AI content generators invested in and utilised by the likes of Yahoo Sports and The Huffington Post will far surpass the capabilities of smaller-scale alternatives, the fact remains that AI accessible to small and medium-sized businesses is still in its infancy.

This means, for the majority, AI is yet to offer a trustworthy and autonomous alternative to everyday human content creation.

Lack of emotion

Emotion is integral to successful content creation, but knowing which emotional response to elicit (as well as when and how to do it) is key.

No matter how cute WALL-E might be, computers don’t comprehend emotion. AI can simulate intelligence and language; it can’t simulate expression.

This lack of sentience also means AI can be susceptible to bias - everything learned, translated and imitated has come from an original input. While humans are in no way guilt-free when it comes to slipping into similar cognitive biases, by becoming more aware of them, we’re able to put the necessary steps in place to overcome them. This helps content become more empathetic as a result.

We, as humans, are natural storytellers because it’s in the soul. In a market where direct, relatable and purposeful content is more important than ever before, content must form an emotional connection with the reader through demonstrating understanding.

How can AI be expected to form an emotional bond if it doesn’t understand the complexities of human thought, experience and emotion?

By understanding these subtleties, human input remains invaluable to purposeful content creation.

No creativity

Humanity’s biggest trump card in content creation is creativity.

Content generated through automated mediums is, by its very definition, formulaic - any self-respecting writer will tell you that this is rarely an ingredient in the recipe for content success.

Take our approach here at Paragraft. We try to offer up our content tips through unique, entertaining and out-of-the-box ideas - like this one, for example.

Writing in this style requires an innate understanding of concept, reference and theme, as well as the creative understanding to put these elements into application.

AI, on the other hand, works through imitation. Even if fed an innovative angle to expand on, AI lacks the creative autonomy to run with a concept or idea.

Perhaps, then, we should concern ourselves less with the possibility of a robot revolution and instead consider how humans and AI can work in tandem to produce the content of the future.

If we start thinking of AI less like the Terminator and more like Paulie’s friendly (albeit slightly creepy) robot in Rocky 4, content quality will always come out on top - to the benefit of writer, reader and brand.

Or, as our new AI buddy put it:

Now that AI is at the point of mainstream adoption, it's time to consider how we can use it to learn and share knowledge. We are excited for the future of content creation and consumption and are looking forward to seeing how AI and humans work together to make the internet a better place.

To find out how more about Paragraft can assist with your brand’s content creation, get in touch with one of our human writers today.

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