29.05.2020

Marketing & Growth

Will Content Marketing Writers Be Replaced By AI?

5 min read

Verity

Artificial intelligence has a lot of potential that can be explored in the field of content marketing. AI plays a critical role in taking on tasks such as testing landing pages, planning social media posts, automating content, reviewing analytics, and more. While marketers do the job of further improving the quality of content, machines today have the ability to edit marginal content.

That paragraph is serviceable, isn’t it? 

If you agree, then it may surprise you to know that it was composed entirely by an AI, with help from this source (and a little direction from this writer). Are we as content writers in danger of losing our jobs in the future? The jury’s still out on that one, so while we wait, let’s dive into assisted writing and how it’s changing the landscape of content creation.

Assisted writing is nothing new

From ancient writing implements and the release of the first commercial printers in the 1860s, to early word processors like Xerox Parc’s Bravo in the 70s, humans have always sought ways to make it easier to share the written word. And nothing’s changed. 

To keep up with our digitally driven, fast-paced world, language manipulation technology such as machine learning and natural language processing is becoming increasingly popular. Basically, the way we write and our relationship with the creative process is evolving. But is this a good or bad thing?

Natural language processing

According to this Forbes article, leading media outlets such as The New York Times, Associated Press, and Reuters have all been using artificial intelligence to create content for some time. This type of AI uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand human language and extrapolate key information from data to craft written content. We’re already seeing NLP being successfully deployed in the following ways:

  • Chatbots: The chat boxes that you interact with on the right-hand side of a webpage are actually AIs whose algorithms use NLP to better understand your queries.

  • Google Translate: Machine translation is an offshoot of NLP that converts one language into another. Google Translate, for instance, is used by approximately 500 million people daily.

  • Spelling assistants: From perfecting email communications to getting grammar just right for an important submission, spelling assistants such as Grammarly are becoming commonplace (especially for content creators).

 

What does this technology mean for the writing process?

The above examples rely on algorithms that use predefined labels or designations to make decisions. GPT-2 by OpenAI, on the other hand, is a large-scale unsupervised language model that can write content that is informed by a dataset of 8 million web pages. 

Moreover, GPT-2 has been shown to have close to human comprehension on the Children’s Book Test, as well as being able to craft seemingly authentic articles, headlines, and even creative text such as poetry. All the AI needs to work its magic and generate copy is a word or a line of text. 

This technology has sweeping, exciting implications for the content creation world as a whole. But important questions arise: Where do we as humans fit into the writing process if the click of a button is all it takes to create an article or story?

For now, we’re safe. While GPT-2 is a precursor of bigger things, the AI has been shown to struggle with long-form copy, often meandering off of the topic and losing narrative coherence. It also can’t tell the truth — the quotes and statistics the AI uses for its articles are all fabricated. 

And in the era of fake news, no media outlet or marketer worth their salt wants to wade into that quagmire

The human element

At the moment, technology is only as effective as the people who govern it. We have yet to see an AI that can take quick, decisive action without direction, or create a coherent pillar page that condenses research and strategic insight into an accurate, factually correct piece.

At Huble Digital, we believe the best results are achieved when human skill and ingenuity is paired with the technology that can augment and improve it. For the foreseeable future, at least, new technology will need to be onboarded, aligned and guided to achieve business goals. And that can only be achieved with flesh-and-blood people at the helm.

To grow your business through the combination of marketing technology and the decidedly human skill sets of creativity, strategy, and development, book a meeting with Huble Digital.

Not using HubSpot yet?

Book a demo with our team today.

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