“Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.” – John McCarthy
Over 60 years after John McCarthy made his then-controversial statement about artificial intelligence (a term he coined himself), a look around us is enough to tell us that his words are very close to coming true. Many types of human work can be performed more than adequately by machines. Think modern household appliances, auto-pilot transport systems, military simulations … the list is endless.
With this in mind, the idea of robots writing articles shouldn’t be too far-fetched to believe. This reality, it seems, could be closer than we’d like to think; a team of AI experts has even named a D-day when our mortal copywriters’ work will be replaced. It predicts that, in merely a few decades, AI content writing could even outperform human writing entirely.
What is AI content writing?
Online marketing is an essential strategy for e-commerce owners and businessmen alike. SEO content writing is an important part of online marketing and hence the search for good content writers is perennial. If you are just starting out, or if your business has expanded enough not to need to prioritize personalisation, however, you might feel the need to look into auto-generated content.
Auto-generated content is a fast, inexpensive way of recycling, re-writing or translating previously written content automatically and subsequently publishing it on the web. Dozens of apps can help you do this. They range from simple ‘web spinners’ that rewrite selected text, to more intelligent versions that use ‘scraped’ content (ie. snippets you have found and marked yourself). These apps come up with entirely new articles, blog posts, and anything else you might need for your webpage.
The main issue with auto-generated content is that it often adds little value to your webpage. In fact, in 2013, Google identified auto-generated pages as a spam tactic that violates its user guidelines.
Modern AI content writing, however, is a far cry from the tacky web spinners that generate cheap recycled content. The software it uses, known as natural language generation (NLG), is much more sophisticated than your average Alexa. Through NLG technology, machines can use their experience to ‘learn’ human behaviour and predict possible user outcomes. Thus, it may even be possible for artificial intelligence to branch into creative writing. Proof of this arrived in 2016 when a computer-generated Japanese book entitled The Day a Computer Writes a Novel almost won a literary award for its uncanny ability to mimic human novel-writing (source).
An uncertain future?
Yet, despite all this, we still think it’s a tad early for us human content writers to pack up our laptops. No matter how intelligent, AI content writing still has a long way to go before it can successfully duplicate emotive content produced by humans. The complexities of language and its ability to trigger emotion are still beyond the reach of technology – and that’s where we think it will stay.
At Topcontent we definitely don’t employ any robots! We also strongly believe that content produced and proofread by real humans is the way to go to make any website or online shop successful.