One of the biggest tech stories unfolding right now is the rise of AI. Lots of people are excited over the way artificial intelligence can quickly generate all types of content, saving users loads of time.
Plenty of people are, rightly, worried about legal and ethical implications. And of course, some worst-case-scenario types are scared that the robot overlords are about to enslave humanity.
This article is a primer for those wondering what AI-generated content is all about. We’ll keep covering this topic in more depth as AI gains popularity. For now, we’ll answer your questions about getting started with AI, the pros and cons of AI, and more.
Check out our podcast episode discussing our own opinions on the subject, and read on to get acquainted with artificial intelligence.
What Is AI-Assisted Writing?
AI-assisted writing is a form of technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in the writing process. AI-assisted writing has become increasingly popular in fields such as journalism, publishing, and marketing, as it can quickly help human writers generate content such as blog posts, articles, social media posts, and loads more writing applications.
It uses a range of digital tools to streamline the content creation process, from natural language processing (NLP) for suggestions on word choice to machine learning algorithms that can quickly identify errors or inconsistencies in the text.
Users simply type a prompt, something like “create a blog post about ai assisted writing,” and the software spits out coherent text at an astonishing rate. Users then edit the text as they see fit before publishing.
As this article will get into, an AI writing app is best used to generate content ideas and build a solid starting point rather than relying on it to serve up a final product. Still, it’s a powerful tool that’s worth exploring.
Benefits of AI-Assisted Writing Tools
The primary benefit of AI writing assistants is time savings. Generating content in just a few seconds, AI software can streamline the content creation and editing processes, leaving time for other creative work. AI systems can quickly identify errors or inconsistencies in a text, as well as suggest alternative word choices, making it easier to produce high-quality content with less time spent on proofreading and revising.
Also, AI writing can provide insights into how readers might interpret a given piece of content. This allows writers to make more informed decisions about which topics are resonating with audiences and what techniques could be used to increase engagement levels.
AI-assisted writing can even help reduce bias when it comes to presenting complex topics or stories from multiple perspectives in an equitable manner. By analyzing language patterns across different demographics or contexts, AI systems can identify areas where an author’s own preconceived notions might allow bias to creep in unintentionally. Authors can then adjust accordingly to ensure inclusion and representation in their writing.
Examples of AI-Assisted Writing in Action
One example of AI-assisted writing in action is using a natural language generation (NLG) system to create a news story. NLG systems are AI-powered tools that analyze data and convert it into more easily readable text. For example, an NLG system could generate a news article about a local sports team based on the scores from their latest game.
Another example of AI-assisted writing is AI-based grammar-checking, a tool to help writers proofread and correct their work. These tools rely on complex algorithms that can help identify mistakes such as incorrect spelling or punctuation. By analyzing the context and structure of sentences, these tools can suggest corrections without ever needing manual input from a human editor.
Marketers can also use AI for their copywriting or SEO optimization. Software like Surfer SEO can analyze existing copy and optimize it for search engine visibility by incorporating relevant keywords into strategic locations within the text. They can also use AI software to craft targeted messages for potential customers, creating personalized content based on individual interests or demographics.
AI content generation is progressing rapidly, and we’ve barely begun to see its potential. Ethics and regulations tend to lag way behind emerging technology, so it’s up to all of us to take responsibility for using these programs in ways that benefit rather than exploit others.
How Is the Quality of AI-Generated Content?
When generating content with AI, don’t think you can just click a few buttons and have something ready to post. Just because the sentences are coherent doesn’t mean the writing style makes for good reading.
AI-assisted writing programs can spit out grammatically correct writing at an incredible pace—in just a few seconds. But, the writing style is often boring and sterile. This is sure to improve, but for now, it’s crucial to edit your content. As with any writing, ask yourself if this is something you would enjoy reading. If it bores you, why would anyone else want to read it?
And while AI writing software tools typically produce few spelling or grammar mistakes, it’s always worth double checking or running through a service like Grammarly. Ai writing is usually great at avoiding obvious errors but tends to miss things like active vs. passive voice. Putting a little extra care into picking up on those things will make sure you’re putting out high quality content in your final product.
Besides, if you’re attaching your name to a piece of writing, you’ve got to put your own voice into it. AI can help you get started with ideas and structure, but you’ve got to take it further. Put redundant text on the chopping block. Add your own knowledge or opinions. Reword things to read like something you’d actually write.
Is AI-Assisted Writing Accurate?
In addition to rewriting, make sure you’re fact-checking too. When automated article writing software is pulling information from the Internet is bound to come across misinformation and may be unable to discern its accuracy.
Don’t assume that everything AI writing delivers is factual. Take the time to cross-check information. That way, you’ll know where certain details are coming from and evaluate whether those details were pulled from reliable sources.
Remember: It’s your name on the piece, so ensuring accuracy is your responsibility. Once you hit publish, you can’t blame an AI writer.
Earlier, we noted that AI might help users see when unintended bias creeps into their writing. Well, that doesn’t mean AI is free from the potential for algorithmic bias. This software compiles information written by humans, so we can’t expect perfection.
If the system isn’t adequately trained or relies on personal information collected without users’ consent, that will come through in the writing. A biased AI system can lead to a skewed representation of a given topic or story, so proofread and fact-check carefully.
Another major ethical concern related to ai assisted writing is copyright infringement. AI systems are capable of accessing existing texts and drawing upon them to form conclusions and generate new content, which could easily result in plagiarism if not carefully monitored. Make sure you’re plugging your drafts into a plagiarism checker like Grammarly’s before publishing.
Ensuring accuracy is your responsibility. Once you hit publish, you can’t blame an AI writer.
Finally, AI-assisted writing has implications for freedom of expression. For example, an AI tool used by a media company could contain parameters limiting topics or specific words so as not to offend certain audiences or advertisers or violate any regulations. Keep this in mind while writing so that you can evaluate whether generated content is leaving out certain information or voices.
Tips for Getting Started with AI
First and foremost, identify your project goals and determine which type of AI-assisted writing best suits those goals. Sign up for free trials of several programs to see what best suits your needs.
Chat GPT is a popular, free tool, so that’s a good one for just dipping your toes into AI. If your budget allows, you might find that subscribing to a service like Anyword or Copysmith is worth the increased efficiency in your workflow.
We wrote this article with assistance from Jasper AI and then signed up for a subscription. After trying multiple services, we found Jasper to be the most robust (read our review here). Users can generate and edit text with an interface that feels very similar to Google Docs. It also can be integrated with other platforms such as Surfer SEO, which we’d already been using to better optimize our articles for search engines.
While considering software, think about how best to use it within your existing workflow to maximize effectiveness. Businesses should consider how AI-assisted writing can be integrated into their larger data analysis strategy. After all, this is supposed to streamline your workflow, not add to it.
Before diving in, organizations should also put in place ethical safeguards for AI-assisted writing projects. This includes ensuring that user privacy rights are respected and that any content generated adheres to copyright law or other applicable regulations.
Finally, measure the results of your AI-assisted writing initiatives using pre-determined metrics. These metrics will provide valuable feedback and insights into what works best and what may need improvement.
Future Implications of AI-Assisted Writing Technology
We’ve barely scratched the surface of the AI content generation topic; we didn’t even get into AI-generated art or how this might affect search engines like Google. And with the speed at which this technology is evolving, there’s going to be a lot more to discuss in the coming years.
For now, our advice is not to fear this new technology. Sure, there are ethical considerations, and it’s certain that lawmakers will be figuring out ways to regulate this tech as problems arise. But we encourage you to embrace it.
Rather than worry about AI writing tools taking your job, start thinking about how they can enhance your content creation work. If you approach it with curiosity and creativity, AI can be a valuable tool that frees up time to use your talents to their fullest potential.
This article was written with AI assistance from Jasper. Try it for free.