GPT-3, the language model that powers a majority of AI-writing tools globally, was generating an average of 4.5 billion words per day by March 2021, a mere nine months after the launch of Open AI’s API, which provides developers access to GPT-3.
To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of 22.5 million articles of 2000 words each.
Artificial intelligence has become a buzzword in the field of content creation, prompting concerns that we’re on the verge of machines taking over content writing jobs.
But is AI really going to render content writers obsolete? Or is it just another fad?
Simply clicking a button and expecting AI to magically generate high-quality content that speaks to your ideal audience is a pipe dream.
AI is meant to assist content writers in the creative process, not replace them. It helps save time, eliminates writer’s block, improves productivity, and allows the writer to focus on value-add tasks such as brand relevance and content strategy.
How does AI write?
The basic idea behind AI is simple — machines learn from experience. But what exactly happens when you feed a computer a bunch of examples and ask it to predict something new? Well, it learns!
The AI needs to be exposed to lots of training data to do this. In other words, it requires many examples of different situations and outcomes. We call these examples ‘datasets’ when it comes to creating content.
AI uses machine learning, natural language processing, and deep learning to analyze large text datasets and then uses that knowledge to produce new human-like content.
Think about it: Can you build a house with no foundation?
Of course not!
In the same way, AI is like a blank slate that learns from the foundation (data) you provide it.
In fact, GPT-3 has been trained on a good chunk of the internet, passing through 175 billion machine learning parameters.
Will AI transform content creation?
AI is already changing many industries, from finance to healthcare. But what about content marketing?
Content marketing has always been an essential part of any digital strategy. It helps businesses gain visibility online, build trust with their audience, and generate leads.
But as more companies turn to content marketing for growth, they find that it’s not enough to create quality content. They need to produce content quickly and efficiently, which is where artificial intelligence comes in.
AI is transforming content creation in various positive ways, which include:
- Eliminates writer’s block by kickstarting the ideation process
- Automates repetitive tasks so writers can focus on high-value activities such as content strategy, reader intent, editing, and maintaining quality.
- Makes content creation faster, cheaper, and easier by improving writers’ productivity and reducing their workload
- Optimizes content curation and distribution
- Creates unique content based on user preferences
- Ensures your brand stays consistent and relevant
- Improves SEO by using machine learning to identify keywords and incorporating them naturally into the content
- Scales content creation efforts without having to hire extra staff
- Saves time by automating allied tasks such as translation, image editing, curation, and scheduling
- Helps people write better by analyzing data such as unique visitors, bounce rate, conversions, time spent on the page, and providing unique insights
What are the drawbacks of AI-generated content?
There are ethical, moral, quality, and legal concerns about AI content. These include:
Ability to perpetuate harmful bias and prejudice
GPT-3, one of the largest language models worldwide, promotes gender, race, and religious stereotypes. The technology also reinforces existing power structures and hierarchies.
Here are examples of just a few of the issues that cropped up in the generated content:
- Occupations such as receptionist, midwife, and housekeeper had a strong female bias.
- Extreme Islamophobia
- When researchers compared seven races, “Black” showed the lowest sentiment score.
- A heavy emphasis was given to males in higher education-related professions.
Lack of Quality Control and Accuracy
Content produced by AI writing tools may be highly relevant and topical one minute and then go off tangent the next. Thus, it’s challenging to maintain consistency and quality in AI-text generation.
Also, what if the machine learning algorithm makes a mistake? The output produced by the algorithm might contain factual inaccuracies, leading to the spread of misinformation.
That’s why human checks and balances are vital!
Machine learning doesn’t understand nuance
AI cannot understand the nuances of different cultures, languages, and contexts. So while it might seem like it understands everything, it only knows how to repeat the things it has learned.
It lacks the human touch. Therefore, it might misinterpret data when making decisions about language, emotions, gender, ethnicity, and other societal factors.
Plagiarism and copyright violations
As AI is trained on already-existing data, the algorithm can produce phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs straight from pre-published content. Thus, you have to ensure that all the content generated by AI is original and is not copyrighted.
There is also concern about how much control an author has over their work once it’s been generated by an algorithm.
Need for accountability and transparency
Who is responsible for the content produced by AI? Is it the company that created the AI, the programmer who wrote the code, or the user who generated and published the content?
For example, what if the content contains hate speech? Or incites violence?
These questions highlight the importance of ensuring accountability and legislation for AI-generated content.
It’s also vital that researchers are able to make independent analyses to verify the objectivity, accuracy, and fairness of the datasets used to train the AI.
What do humans bring to the table?
Content writers bring flavor, emotion, context, creativity, skills, and lived experiences to narrate engaging content. When crafting messages, they can consider their target audience’s interests, needs, and preferences. They’re able to understand how people think, convey complex ideas with ease, and use words to appeal to human nature.
Creating an overall brand, crafting a content strategy, maintaining consistency across all channels, and monitoring performance are all high-value activities performed by a content writer.
Humans also act as a buffer against the biases inherent in AI. We are more likely to spot errors, detect inconsistencies, and catch plagiarism. Without human oversight and intervention, AI can run amok.
In addition, the quality of the content generated by artificial intelligence depends on the input given. It relies on humans to provide the necessary information to create relevant content.
Look at AI like a carpenter. It takes raw materials (input) and turns them into something useful (content).
Is it possible to build a sturdy and durable chair using substandard wood?
The quality of raw materials matters.
Similarly, AI content is only as good as its input.
Should you be worried?
We’re still in the early stages of the AI adoption curve. The use of AI in content production will continue to grow as it becomes easier to implement and more affordable.
Thus, it’s only natural that you worry if AI will take over and make your job as a content writer redundant.
However, there’s no need to worry!
AI is just a tool to aid content writers, jumpstart the creative workflow, make their work more manageable, and free up their time for high-value content tasks.
Did the invention of the brush replace the painter?
Did smartphones replace professional photographers?
Did Photoshop replace graphic designers?
No. These tools were developed to aid artists in the creation process. These innovations helped the artist focus on their craft while freeing up time to explore other artistic avenues.
Likewise, AI is meant to complement human writers and help them produce great content.
The future of content marketing lies in integrating AI into manual content creation processes.
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