There are equal parts excitement and anxiety as we approach an era of near hyper-automation. Eliminating redundancies and optimising output is a dream scenario for any business owner, but it strikes fear in the hearts of employees. AI is approaching an almost surreal application level, and writing tools are becoming scarily good at creating original content.
This begs the question: Do we sheepishly get in the bubble and chuck our proverbial quills, or do we put on tinfoil hats and throw holy water at our laptops? The answer, not surprisingly, lies somewhere in between. But as any good (human) writer would, we need to dissect the subject.
It’s realllllly scary
I’ve actually lost count of how many links my peers and random people have sent me about AI writing tools. But being the curious person that I am, I investigated all of them, with a mental eye-roll, of course.
Playing around with these tools has been one of the most sobering experiences of my career. Sure, not all writing AI is created equal, but just the fact that a bot could write content that makes sense out of a basic instruction really scared me. This made me try to simplify and understand how this hocus pocus works, and for that, we have to take a trip down memory lane.
MS Word is the OG of writing AI
Remember MS Word? Those red and blue squiggly lines under misspelt words and dodgy grammar are the origin of grammar-checking tools. A machine programmed to detect any language usage or spelling that doesn’t fall within a set parameter. We’re obviously lightyears ahead of that, but using automation to make writing more efficient is not a new concept.
What is AI writing and what does it do?
AI writing tools use natural language processing to give writers access to fast research capabilities that provide them with accurate information in no time. This frees up more time for creative thinking rather than slaving over keyword searches, finding content ideas and new angles. And grammar checkers powered by smart algorithms not only make sure your content is error-free but also give insights into the readability of your piece so you can be sure it will truly hit home when shared with an audience.
Input is EVERYTHING
I tried numerous AI writing tools (that didn't require my precious credit card details to trial). And even though the level of writing and creative output differed between them, one thing was the same across the tools: The quality that goes in is directly related to the quality that comes out.
It's safe to say that without some decent writing skills, you're not getting a Pulitzer-winning piece from your AI bot. But you’d get unstuck from a bout of writer’s block and automate some of the most monotonous parts of the copywriting job. Metadescriptions. Search Ads. Yuck.
Quality, Quality, Quality
There's nothing more cringe than bad writing. As Tom Waits aptly says: "The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering." So let's not let the robots steal our martyr souls.
As I’ve mentioned, AI writing tools are great for sparking ideas and taking over tedious parts of our jobs, but it’s not perfect (just yet). Even when I get a decent piece of copy generated by AI, I have to fact-check, run it through a Grammarly spell and plagiarism check, AND then have a fellow writer recheck it before sending it to the client for review.
The Human Element
Sure, AI may be able to calculate faster than we can. But when it comes to creativity and problem-solving? We’re all over that. There's something special about human emotions, behaviour and socialising that no machine will ever match. A little reminder: even though machines are becoming more advanced by the day – humans still have an irreplaceable role in developing new technology (and controlling it).
The debate about whether or not artificial intelligence should be used in content writing has been raging for what seems like forever – but here's the good news: it's not about robots replacing humans, but rather about how we can work together to create accurate content that resonates with audiences.
We all know that change is inevitable, and those who can adapt will have the upper hand. But content writers have an even better opportunity – instead of just writing and editing your text, why not take the time to learn a few tech skills? That way, you'll be able to bridge the gap between people and technology and make sure you don't become irrelevant in the digital age.
We’re all about embracing technology at League, and we’re continuously looking for ways to make work more efficient and accurate. And, yes, that means our content marketing too. We use AI for content marketing alongside highly-skilled copywriters to provide crucial context, nuance, strategy and quality output. Chat to us about how we can use our next-level content creation capabilities to help grow your brand.
PS No jobs were jeopardised in the creation of this blog; it was written in happy harmony between humans and AI.