As the age-old adage says, “There are always two sides to a story.” For the one we’re tackling today, the same holds. While robots can indeed work faster than humans, not to mention that they don’t complain no matter how tedious tasks become, professionals argue that there are just some things that humans can do that machines can’t. The question that remains is: Is writing one of those things? And what is the future of content?
What AI Brings to the Content Industry
AI proponents believe the technology is transforming the content industry. Content providers have begun using AI systems and so enjoy improved returns on investment (ROIs) from AI-enhanced campaigns. Some of the benefits identified include:
1. Keyword Identification
Search engines like Google use algorithms (e.g., RankBrain) to pay close attention to what people want when they search, making it essential for writers to create content that focuses on user intent.
AI-powered intent analysis helps offer content related to users’ intentions, thereby improving online ranking. Machine learning (ML) also allows systems to learn from data and make data-driven decisions and predictions by spotting patterns and user behaviors. That helps writers understand visitors’ intent and identify the right keywords for their business.
2. Topic Inspiration
Most companies start a blog for their business, yet writers struggle to find relevant topics to engage audiences consistently. AI can help in this dilemma, as its predictive analytics capability can predict customer reactions and sentiments toward a specific topic. It can also perform competitive research to see if an issue is worth pursuing or not. An example of such would be HubSpot’s content strategy tool, which uses ML to identify topic clusters and offer interesting suggestions. It also gives detailed metrics like competitiveness and relevance that can shape a company’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
3. Content Automation
Natural language generation (NLG) is recently making headway in the content industry. The AI-based tool offers real-time content suggestions that help writers create targeted and personalized content. Its list of capabilities include:
- Analyzes content effectiveness and suggests alternatives aligned with the voice, tone, and sentimental impact of one’s site or blog
- Comes up with content variations for various user personas, ensuring highly personalized digital experiences
- Helps new or less professional writers with copyediting
- Generates editorial text with little or no human intervention
Firms like Deloitte, MasterCard, and Franklin Templeton are already using NLG to translate data into written narratives to scale their content strategies. Companies with structured data and repetitive production patterns can particularly benefit from the technology. Examples include e-commerce firms that require thousands of product descriptions for online catalogs.
In sum, AI proponents believe robot writers can help companies make sense of massive amounts of data, speed up content creation, and offer personalized content to audiences. But can they match human writers?
How Different is Robot from Human Writing?
Every writer has his/her voice or style. That makes it easy to distinguish a human author from an AI writer. When reading a human writer’s work, readers may feel like he/she is speaking to them. Robot writers can’t do that, making the work created by humans more enjoyable.
Robot-written content is also not creative. While robots can find words and analyze data, they can’t fully develop ideas. At present, they are limited to making direct inferences based on a given set of data. In the simplest terms, their writing would sound like a mathematical equation.
Lastly, we all know that robots don’t have emotions, which writers draw on for content creation. Humans have memories, preferences, and ideals, which AI systems don’t.
What is the Future of Content?
As the number of robots continues to rise, it’s normal for people to fear for their jobs. But that is not the case. While most manufacturing jobs now involve machines, for instance, you need to know that robots have not taken over all tasks. They aren’t creative, and so while they can make cars that run impeccably, they probably can’t produce one with a design that would appeal to human aesthetics.
The same holds for any creative job, including writing. While AI systems can help you analyze and interpret data faster and maybe even copyediting, they can’t produce relatable work that elicits emotions from readers. And so we come to the question regarding the future of content. Should writers worry about robots replacing them? If that should ever happen, it will undoubtedly take a long time.