Artificial intelligence attacks the written word


If you go to this page on my blog, you will find an introductory article on the use of artificial intelligence in the generation of written content, marketing messages and personalized emails. It won’t win any Pulitzer, but that’s easy enough to figure out.

What’s remarkable about this post is that I didn’t write it.

Instead, it was created by LongShot, an AI-powered software-as-a-service application that generates written content – ​​including long-form articles – entirely from a few keywords. Similar products include Jasper, Kafkai, Copyist, writingsonicand ContentBot.

Using bots to write basic articles and blog posts is nothing new. The Associated Press doing it since 2014. What’s new is that these powerful tools are increasingly available to ordinary people at impulse buy prices. For example, LongShot’s $29.90 monthly plan provides approximately 50,000 words of written copy or the equivalent of a 200-page book.

Machines prove adept both at writing and at reinforcing what we write. The free plug-in Grammar has become one of my most valuable writing tools. I’m a poor proofreader, and Grammarly can spot my omissions, usage errors, and grammatical errors with amazing accuracy. Plus, the paid version suggests ways to clarify, tighten, adjust tone, and choose less overused words.

Paid Marketing

It’s no surprise that marketers are among the most enthusiastic adopters of AI-generated content. persado features a platform that combines machine learning with feedback from a human test panel to help marketers determine the best way to craft a message for a particular audience.

“We’re trying to understand how language influences behavior and what components of language evoke emotion and create action,” said Vipul Vyas, senior vice president of vertical strategy at Persado. “Instead of working from an intuition of what we think works, our technology is about tapping into the experiences of millions of people.”

Persado’s algorithm breaks down copy into formatting, emotional appeal, and call-to-action components. First, it uses a database of words and phrases to generate all possible permutations of the message. Then, based on what it learned from previous campaigns, it narrows millions of options down to just 16, then tests those in email messages to a small group.

“A few tweaked words make a substantial difference,” says Vyas, saying messages generated by his company’s technology perform better than those created by humans 96% of the time.

Pitch automation

Smart Relationships is a spin-off of a PR company applying AI to the PR cover letter. Its technology, which is currently available in early access, uses predictive analytics to monitor media and “make intelligent assumptions about what journalists are going to cover in the future,” says Steve Marcinuk, co-founder and chief operating officer. . “If we see that a journalist has frequently written articles on cybersecurity in the past, we can predict that he is likely to do so in the future.”

Technology creates a personalized subject line and introduction for the reporter, such as “I know you covered learning technologies at the Washington Post and thought we could connect on a few areas of professional overlap.” The message body is written by a human.

In theory, the result should be a net positive for people on both sides of the exchange since the result is fewer irrelevant messages in the reporter’s inbox. And a catchier intro for the PR professional to use to grab the target’s attention (hate to admit it, but flattery works).

A human can also tackle the same process, but the results are inconsistent and people don’t adapt well. “If you search for ‘facial recognition’, you get a mix of local community media and a sports journalist who wrote an article six months ago,” says Marcinuk. “That does not indicate a deep interest.”

No people needed? Not so fast.

This topic raises the question of whether these technologies will eventually render human writers obsolete. Although I have a vested interest in the matter, I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

All of the technologies I’ve discussed here are essentially assistive: they make humans more productive and effective communicators. LongShot, for example, has several features aimed at unblocking a blocked thought process, such as rephrasing text and suggesting alternative titles.

Where machines are more likely to displace human writers is in creating routine reports, memos, and long-form content summaries, tasks I doubt many of us will miss. They will also generate articles and reports on events that otherwise would not have been covered, such as the 4,400 Earning Stories and 5,000 NCAA Basketball Previews the AP publishes annually. This is a positive point for everyone.

Then read this:

Will AI save journalism – or kill it?

AI-generated content: friend or foe of content creators?

Best AI Writer of 2022

Why Brands Should Use AI Content Generation

Advantages and disadvantages of AI-generated content

How to know when AI is the right solution

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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