AI Content Creation: Understanding the Impact on Writers and Businesses
There seems to be a lot of noise around AI and writing, with writers deeming it as an existential moment in their careers. While it may not be as dramatic as SkyNet from The Terminator films, it can feel that way for many writers.
And with ChatGPT garnering 100 million users in its first two months, you might be justified in asking whether there is any truth to this claim. Even 82% of marketers agree that content generated by AI or ML (Machine Learning) software is just as good or better than human-generated content, which can make writers even more weary.
What is the word on the street?
AI is here to stay.
Fighting it is a losing battle when over 60% of marketers already use AI tools in their marketing processes, especially for content creation.
A majority of their workweek goes into generating content – either directly or with writers. As the quality of content determines your brand's reach and levels of consumer engagement, it becomes imperative for marketers to remain competitive by using all tools at their disposal. Including AI.
According to 49% of marketers, AI is efficient at producing easy-to-read text.
43% of marketers believe that AI can speed up the content creation process.
AI in marketing is growing at a rate of 186% year-on-year.
44% of businesses have seen a reduction in their operating costs due to the implementation of AI tools.
However, it’s important to note that AI is used for more than just content creation. Email marketing, targeted advertising, data analysis, and personalization, are brought up as the largest use cases of these AI tools. Yelp is even using AI to help its users write reviews.
What are the problems with using AI content generators?
Lack of creativity – The content emerging from AI tools is usually dry and feels like a machine wrote it. Of course this is based on your prompts, but the writing tends to be generic and formulaic. This necessitates intervention by a human writer who can add flair.
Duplicate content – You aren’t the only one trying their hands at AI-written content. And chances are that the machine will spit out similar ideas and write-ups. For example, a literary magazine received over 20 short stories titled "The Last Hope."
Incorrect information – AI software is scraping the internet for data, which does not always contain accurate information. The tool will distill information for you that may have grammatical and syntax errors, along with fabricated facts.
Bias – AI consumes content from across the globe and uses that to train itself. It has been observed that racism and bias can creep into the system, which becomes problematic for brands and marketers.
Limitations and lived experience – Asyou push these systems to produce more, you’ll realize that they have limitations in their responses. AI can provide content, but it cannot replicate the lived experiences and perspectives of the writer. It's a subjective quality but can provide relatability for your readers.
Legal concerns – Large language models take written content from across the web and provide it to you. But that information was seeded from somewhere, which becomes a gray area for copyright. Recently, an artist was unable to get the copyright for a graphic novel she created using AI – What does that mean for your business? Do you want to become subject to a class-action lawsuit?
SEO – Not all AI platforms are calibrated for high-SEO content, with a tendency for duplicate content affecting your SERP ranking. The guidance regarding this has changed and the future is unknown on how search engines might rank AI content. Read more.
Should writers be worried?
While AI tools can streamline certain aspects of writing, the technology hasn’t reached a level where it can entirely replace human thought.
Machines can’t yet replicate the emotional resonance that arises from understanding your readers.
Human-led offline research can be crucial in creating unique content that is accurate and investigative.
Humans will need to judge the efficacy of any generated content, particularly the impact it has on brands.
Writing is a creative and complex task that requires nuance, empathy, and an understanding of the human experience.
Writers should look at AI as an assistant, rather than as a replacement.
We’ve been using AI for a while now, with most people unable to even write without spell check (another form of AI). If we look at AI as a tool, it can allow us to focus our energies on other aspects of the content creation journey.
So what are the benefits of using AI writing?
Increased productivity – You can unlock a vast amount of time in your day as soon as you automate time-consuming tasks in the content writing process. Research, keyword planning, outlining, first draft – All can be optimized.
Faster content creation – Generate high-quality writing in a shorter period to improve the content publishing schedule, thereby helping businesses meet their goals and deadlines.
Simplification – Copywriting and content writing can seem like mysterious entities for many, but these AI tools can now allow “non-creatives” to generate content. It will actually increase the number of content writers, rather than keep this task concentrated in the hands of a few.
Real-time changes – If you’re a startup trying to work with external writers, it can become a mammoth task to translate your thoughts into specific ideas. With AI, you can find personalized content based on your own search prompts.
Quality and consistency – AI tools can ensure consistency of tone across your content cycle, especially if you use your previous writing as a reference. With slight human intervention, you can get spell checks, grammar checks, plagiarism checks, and bias checks, helping you create high-quality content.
How should you use AI content tools?
Jumpstart your research – While it's inadvisable to use AI for research (due to factual inconsistencies), you should use it to kickstart your research journey. Ask AI for 10 questions related to a topic and then use those questions to conduct your own research on search engines.
Short-form copy – Create captions, posts, and taglines at scale to fuel your social media platforms. Brands can benefit from creating a large volume of content that’s topical and relevant. Using humans as editors, rather than as writers, can expedite this process while retaining originality.
Draft long-form copy –Don’t directly publish an AI article in its entirety; use it as a first draft instead. Writers no longer have to look at a blank white document wondering where to begin - AI can provide a great starting point for content creation. Most platforms don’t generate more than 600-700 words for free versions, unless you’re lucky. So writers can also use it to create sections or paragraphs.
Other tasks – Various time-consuming tasks in content creation can be automated. Technical SEO, SERP research, keyword analysis, content strategy development, website functionality through chatbots, customer experience journeys, and even email marketing.
What AI tools should you consider?
When evaluating AI tools for your needs, it's important to consider a few key factors:
Purpose: What specific aspects of the writing process do you want to automate - Is it to improve grammar and style, optimize for SEO, or just analyze your headlines? Most tools have areas of expertise, so it's important to choose the one that aligns with your specific needs.
Accuracy: How reliable is the output? Does the tool provide high-quality recommendations and feedback consistently? Or does it give you irrelevant suggestions and make frequent errors?
Ease of Use: You don’t want an interface that feels like you’re trying to crack a code. Always check how user-friendly the tool is. Does it require a significant amount of time and effort to use effectively, or is it easy to integrate into your existing workflow?
Cost: Every person must consider the cost of these AI tools, as they can start to add up. Does the cost align with the benefits that the tool provides? Is it a one-time purchase, a subscription-based model, or a freemium model with in-app purchases?
Overall, the right AI tool for marketing copywriters will depend on your specific needs and priorities. By evaluating your options based on the factors outlined above, you can choose a tool that helps you optimize your writing process and create content that is engaging, effective, and on-brand.
Some popular tools include:
ChatGPT – AI writing, research and everything text
Grammarly – Grammar and syntax check
Jasper – AI writing with structured formats
Copy.ai – Social media content creation
Semrush Ai – Content optimization for SEO
MarketMuse – Content analysis and optimization for engagement
A key indicator of the importance of AI is Microsoft investing $10 billion in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT and Dall-E, while letting go of around 10,000 people. It is estimated that AI and automation might cause an estimated loss of 300 million full-time jobs, so there is some reason for concern.
However, it's worth noting that 60% of workers today are in occupations that did not exist in 1940. AI has the potential of being a similar disruption in the global economy. Writers should consider this as a new opportunity that can help optimize certain tasks in the creation process, becoming a support system for writers and businesses both.
What are your thoughts on this? Maybe you should use ChatGPT and let us know. Write to us here.
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