How artificial intelligence is changing the world of content creation and what it means for the future of content writers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that is growing at a rapid pace and is slowly creeping into a number of different sectors and areas of business.
AI is making our lives easier every single day. From using Amazon Go to shop without cash or credit cards and asking Siri to help you manage your calendar, to using chatbots to enhance customer service efforts, AI is everywhere. Retail, entertainment, automobiles, and healthcare are just a few of the industries that are currently using AI to grow and advance.
More and more businesses are turning to AI to enhance their strategies and internal processes too. In fact, 47% of digitally mature organizations, or those that have advanced digital practices, said they have a defined AI strategy.
A report by PwC also stated that business leaders believe that AI is going to be fundamental in the future. In fact, 72% termed it a “business advantage.”
AI’s role in content marketing
The content marketing space is just another area where artificial intelligence is starting to make a major impact.
A recent study by Gartner suggested that by 2018, 20% of all content will be authored by machines, something that is made possible by two AI techniques: Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG).
NLP is a technology that understands the human voice and is able to process sentences into text. Using your phone’s “Ok Google” or auto-correct functionality is a prime example of NLP at work.
NLG, on the other hand, takes this whole process one step further. Instead of simply understanding a sentence and converting it into text, NLG is able to transform data into actual stories. To date, NLG is mostly used to generate business-type content such as product descriptions, news copy, financial reports, and earnings summaries.
Since content that is more geared towards branding and marketing needs to be engaging and incorporate a brand’s identity and personality, it’s not a job that’s as well suited to a machine that relies more on facts, numbers, and data.
There have, however, been a number of advancements in terms of AI bots writing content that is more creative.
Here are a few examples:
- Washington Post’s Robot Reporter. In 2016, The Washington Post used its very own AI technology, Heliograf, to generate 300 short pieces of content on the Rio Olympics. Since then, they’ve used Heliograf to produce content on Congress, Election Day, football games, and even tweets. The paper is continuing their exploration of AI and what it can do for them in the future, especially in terms of assisting their reporters.
- Quill. This intelligent system was developed by Narrative Science, who are specialists in NLG, and is used to analyze data, gain an understanding of what matters to the end user, and generate stories based on this audience. Organizations such as USAA, Deloitte, MasterCard, and American Century Investments all currently make use of the Quill platform.
- Articoolo. This impressive AI robot is able to produce new content or rewrite existing content in a matter of minutes. By analyzing and understanding the context of a topic, the Articoolo robot will find the best resources and keywords to use for the content you’re looking to create and generate it for you.
- The Princess and the Fox. This fairytale was created by both humans and machines and is the first new Brothers Grimm fairytale in 200 years. A team of writers and artists worked with Botnik, an AI bot that uses a predictive text program called Voicebox. Botnik was fed past stories by the Brothers Grimm in order for it to pick up on specific words and phrases that were then used to create a brand new fairytale.
AI is certainly advancing in terms of being able to break away from more technical, data-based copy to a space where the creation of creative, engaging content is possible.
Will AI replace content writers?
73% of Americans believe that artificial intelligence will eliminate more jobs than it creates across the country.
With so many technological advancements such as AI cropping up all the time, it only makes sense that professionals are starting to wonder whether their jobs will still be relevant in the next decade. So should content marketers be concerned about the rise of AI?
While there are a number of incredible tools out there that might suggest that content writers may be at risk, AI bots still aren’t able to bring the personality and emotion into a piece of content that an actual human can. And since the engaging content is a must for all brands, we can safely assume that for the moment, AI will mostly only be used as a tool to enhance writing and editing processes instead of taking over them.
While AI may seem like an intimidating technology, the content automation advancements that it offers far outweigh any immediate threats that it might present. Instead of fearing for their livelihood, content marketers should rather use AI technology as a way to focus more on the creative process, article structures, and messaging.
For more on the role of artificial intelligence in the content marketing space, click here.