Every day, humans produce hundreds of millions of pieces of content — countless pictures, comments, blog posts, videos, new social media channels, every second of every day. It’s a never-ending process fueled by algorithms and human interaction, and the Internet is only getting more saturated.
This has led many content creators to begin asking themselves: should they use artificial intelligence to create content for them?
How can they possibly keep up and compete with the flood of new, interesting, SEO-optimized content their audience sees every time they open their phone? Wouldn’t it be better for a publisher’s site to use the infinite scaling of AI instead of the publisher’s own finite time and energy? Creating great content is exhausting, and artificial intelligence doesn’t need to sleep.
There are several obvious advantages to using AI to create content. According to ThemeIsle: “The greatest advantage of using an AI content writer tool is that it provides the ability to produce and publish more content in less time. This can be an excellent way for marketers to increase their content output without having to spend hours researching and crafting blog posts.”
Artificial intelligence can research, type, process, and publish faster than you. It can analyze your entire backlog of content — and your competitor’s — and determine in seconds which types of content are projected to perform best. It’s fast, inexpensive, and saves you enormous time from constantly trying to create new content.
But there are some serious drawbacks to using AI for content. In the words of Tyler Bishop, Ezoic’s CMO: “The question isn’t whether or not AI can write content. It can…but the difference between serviceable content and great content is human editing.” Without the human touch, some types of content are just plain bad that drive users away (imagine a robot trying to explain how to get through a breakup or have “the talk” with your teenager).
Robots trying to write like humans usually doesn’t go well. There are some cases where artificial intelligence simply cannot compete with human intelligence, empathy, and understanding.
In a recent viral article, software engineer Dmitri Brereton argued that “Most of the web has become too inauthentic to trust…we resort to using Google, and appending the word ‘reddit’ to the end of our queries.” Humans are already recognizing when content sounds like it’s written more for search engines than actual people, and are thus resorting to seeking out forums and discussions by actual communities to find answers.
Should you use artificial intelligence to write content for you? Or will you lose users and audiences tired of reading content written by robots?
AI-Created Content Produces Slightly Worse Content Than Humans…Far Faster Than Humans
Not every piece of content needs to be based on deeply human insights or a full range of emotion. News articles, financial reports, weather updates, and promotional social media reminders can all be easily written by content AI without much drawback or decrease in quality.
According to Forbes, “Many financial institutions are churning out 10- to 15-page financial reports in an instant by using Narrative Science’s NLG platform Quill.” Forbes goes on to say that “Artificial intelligence helps create text summarizations, short and coherent versions of longer documents… The Associated Press is using AI to write thousands of sports reports…The Washington Post uses its in-house NLG tool to create news articles and social media posts.”
Artificial intelligence excels in writing certain types of content, usually content that doesn’t need human insights, opinions, or editorial flare. Data, metrics, reports, and factual updates might take a human hours to write, where an AI could probably compile and publish the data in seconds. AI can help you reach more people and grow your audience with useful content.
AI excels with completing mechanical, logistical, busywork-type tasks. “AI can do a slightly worse job than a human, but can do it at scale in a way that would take humans exponentially longer,” explained Ezoic’s CMO Tyler Bishop. For instance, a single computer programmer might take all day to optimize and edit large swaths of data on pages, but website AI can probably do it in mere moments. AI can still be an extremely useful tool for your content, if you know when to use it.
As a content creator, you can wisely use artificial intelligence to create certain types of content or conduct specific editing tasks that don’t require your unique voice or style. Learning how to outsource tasks is a critical skill for any successful content creator. As we mentioned in our recent blog post, “The more you can delegate difficult tasks to experts, the more time you’ll have to run your business.” These “experts” can be an overseas freelancer, or an AI software.
If you plan on using AI to help you create content, spend time analyzing what types of content that don’t need you to be written. Remember: always think through the lens of your users. Will they care if an AI writes your content? Will they be able to notice? Will they leave your site for a human-centric discussion or forum instead?
It may be far faster to produce AI-written content, but it may drive away enormous traffic if the content isn’t written well.
How to Use AI to Optimize Your Site and Activities
Imagine you’re a new parent. It’s 4:00 am. You haven’t slept in 22 hours. Your baby simply, inexplicably, maddeningly won’t stop crying.
You whip out your phone and desperately Google the phrase, “how do I get my baby to stop crying.”
What piece of content sounds more appealing:
- A text-centric eBook on infant discomfort studies compiled with data from the past five years
- A personal blog entry written by a parent of four young children with pictures, videos, and encouragement from someone who’s been there
Robots can help report on specific data trends in cryptocurrency or the latest hurricane warning…they probably can’t help a new parent learn how to remain patient after their fifth diaper change in two hours.
If you’re writing to an audience that relies on deeply personal and “human-centric” discourse, using artificial intelligence to create content for you will probably hurt far more than it would help. Googling the phrase “best ways to find a soulmate” might display 10,000,000+ search results. But upon closer inspection the vast majority of those sites might be SEO-optimized filler jargon replete with popular search-terms and optimal keyword placement, reading more like an instruction manual (that actually hurts more than helps) than an enlightening breakdown of human romance.
Still, AI shouldn’t be overlooked for other ways to optimize your site, and it can be a massive help when used correctly. You may be the engine of your site through your unique style and brand messaging that’s only found in your content, but there are plenty of other tasks you can delegate to AI.
One of the easiest tasks to give to artificial intelligence is your advertising, using tools like Ezoic to make lightning-fast decisions on what ads to show and where to show them, computing countless advertising decisions that maximize your revenue to the fullest extent. You can also use content AI to optimize your posts, retaining the human element while also using savvy SEO strategies to help the article speak to both search engines and your human audience. You can even implement an AI chatbot to help sort user queries, taking away massive busywork from you and your team and outsourcing to a computer program that can help users find what they’re looking for in the blink of an eye.
Using artificial intelligence to help with your content will always have its pros and cons. Delegate busywork and factual reporting to AI, and save the human element for yourself and your unique voice. Implement AI to increase your revenue and traffic through better ads and content optimization, but above all, make sure you’re always writing for the people reading, too.