Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way since Alan Turing first posed the question, “Can machines think?” in 1950.
Hitting closer to home, machine learning algorithms can allow businesses to make sense of overwhelming amounts of data and deliver content marketing at scale. But can it live up to your standards?
As a business made up of content marketers, writers, and editors, Scribly has been keeping a close eye on everything AI, and we’re sharing our thoughts on this so-called AI revolution.
Let’s take a look and see if AI is ready to give content creators a run for their money.
What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
First, let’s explore what AI is.
Artificial intelligence (AI) was once the realm of science fiction, but it’s now a very real part of our everyday lives. In simple terms, AI simulates or approximates human thinking processes with machines, usually computers. AI developers aim to “teach” computers to think, reason, and learn like humans do.
Until recently, many AIs have appeared in the public sphere, but few have garnered mainstream attention — minus a few for the wrong reasons. Though we may not have noticed AI, it’s played a significant role in our lives through our mobile phones and computers. From face recognition to maps and directions to autocorrect, we’ve all been living with AI in different forms for years.
So, why is everyone suddenly so excited about AI?
The AIs released to the public in the past haven’t felt particularly human and haven’t seamlessly replicated human thought processes and intelligence. But there’s a new kid on the block who’s changing everything.
AI in content marketing today
ChatGPT is a form of generative AI trained to identify patterns in existing data and then use those patterns to generate or create new content.
With the introduction of ChatGPT, AI is starting to play a substantial role in content marketing and is poised to play an even bigger part as the years go on.
Here’s a quick look at how AI can be used for blog content.
The slippery slope of AI for content creation
As we’ve said, AI isn’t only good at identifying patterns. Once it’s had enough exposure to a subset of patterns, it can start to create its own.
This is how AI content creation works. Over the years, researchers and developers have been feeding AI systems hundreds upon thousands of articles, blogs, books, and more. And every year, AIs get a little bit better at recreating this content. ChatGPT is very good at this kind of task.
Unfortunately (but expectedly), AI blog content isn’t quite up to scratch when it comes to SEO and truly connecting with your target audiences. Despite years of learning and recent advancements, AI-generated content still lacks the finesse of content from human writers.
From our own experimentation, we’ve found AI-generated blogs to be repetitive, overly formal for the web, lacking an emotional touch, and prone to mistakes and inaccuracies.
While Large Learning Model AIs have chewed through mountains of information to build up their knowledge banks, that doesn’t mean they’ll always give you correct information.
As more people use AIs like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, they’re noticing more and more “hallucinations” or instances of incorrect information. This likely stems from how these large language models are designed — essentially as people pleasers to give users the best answer to their queries even if that answer isn’t accurate.
The same can be said for citing sources. The free version of ChatGPT doesn’t crawl the web, and its data sources end at around September 2021, so if your content needs up-to-date information, you may be out of luck. And neither ChatGPT nor Google’s Bard cite sources for the content they create, so you have no way of knowing where they got their information and if it’s even accurate.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing search engine can give you up-to-date information based on what’s online but can’t write long-form content.
Don’t get us wrong, the text that AI can spit out almost instantly is impressive at first glance. But based on its writing samples, we wouldn’t hire ChatGPT as a Scribly writer.
Instead, AI is best left to simpler tasks that can assist the content creation process. Think content ideation, keyword research, outlining posts, or improving tone of voice and readability as you write.
How you should be using AI in your content marketing
Just because we wouldn’t suggest replacing copywriters with ChatGPT doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for AI tools in content marketing.
Because AI is so good at interpreting vast quantities of data, it can learn about your users/readers and tailor small aspects of a piece of content to “match” them.
For instance, imagine if your website’s homepage could display only the content that speaks most to a customer’s needs. Or an email newsletter that serves up personalized content to each user based on their consumption habits from previous sends.
AI can help you get the right content in front of the right people at the right time.
It’s not uncommon to find a business, in any sector, that has more data than it knows what to do with. And while this might sound like a good thing, it can often equate to lost potential revenue and extra overheads tied to storing this data.
With AI, marketers can better organize this data, activating it and putting it to good use. For example, AI-enhanced audience research was used to find and better understand 850,000 individuals with the aim of developing a new television show — the insights were then used to guide character development at the writing stage. Without AI, a mammoth task. With AI, less so.
What will AI be able to do in the future?
Now that we’ve covered how you can use AI for content marketing today, let’s take a look at how it might be used in the future. Here are our top predictions for AI blog content.
1. Identifying content opportunities
AI will likely be very useful for identifying content opportunities. AI is doing this already and doing it well — but by looking retrospectively. In the future, by aggregating large amounts of data, AI will be able to identify trends as they’re happening, not after.
This will give marketers and businesses the jump, allowing them to create products and content that immediately match their customers’ expectations. It will still take creatives to capitalize on these opportunities, but we’ll be able to hand off the research required to spot them to AI.
2. Automating content updates
Blog content is an excellent investment largely because it becomes more valuable over time.
However, it also becomes less accurate. Stats go out of date, cultural references stop making sense, and certain points are no longer relevant to the reader. Going back and updating this is currently done manually by writers and editors. But with AI, this could be done automatically all of the time, keeping pieces relevant for longer.
3. Take over the world…
…just kidding! We’re a long way off from that.
So, has AI made copywriters obsolete?
Simple answer? No. To create truly compelling content, you’ll still need human input.
AI, in its current form, can only take things it’s read and rearrange them in a new order. It can’t technically create something new, form its own opinion, or truly connect empathetically with a target audience. Unless you’re looking for blog fodder, it’s best to avoid handing over the reins to AI when it comes to writing.
Instead, AI can be used to help create content outlines, pull together keywords, and so on. It can be a great time-saving tool for writers and editors to use and will also allow writers to create even better content (which we’re here for!)
Get in touch with expert writers, editors, and marketers today
AI blog content might not be ready for the big leagues just yet, but Scribly has the expertise (and human touch) you need to bring your next content marketing campaign to life.
There are times when fully outsourcing your content creation to an expert just makes sense from an ROI standpoint, and if you’re there, we’d be happy to help.
Reach out to our team today and see how we can give your content the human touch it needs.