Artificial Intelligence (AI) has generated a lot of excitement recently, but this disruptive technology is also causing considerable controversy. The launch of ChatGPT in late 2022 and the other generative tools that subsequently followed (Google’s Bard https://bard.google.com/ and Bing https://www.bing.com/new ) have brought a raft of new ways of using digital information but also concerns that thousands of jobs will be lost to AI.
We are already seeing a wealth of free or inexpensive AI tools being developed that tap into the Large Learning Platforms and provide new tools for automating tasks and boosting productivity. Whether that is analysing data, identifying trends, building marketing strategies, or getting ideas for content and social media. And as we saw in the BH&HPA Journal Article Issue 207.2023.2, AI is also being used more to automate parts of the engagement journey with customers. AI is now extensively used in chatbot technology and can respond to customer interactions, provide round the clock availability, and reduce response times – without the need for additional resources.
But AI has also become a hot topic for content creators over the last few months. We’ve heard of students using ChatGPT to write school projects, (and some educational institutions subsequently banning the use of ChatGPT in exams), and even one young lady who used ChatGPT to write a letter to her local council who incorrectly issued her with a parking fine – the letter worked by the way, and she had her fine quashed!
So, in this article we look at how the AI tools work but also question whether you should you be relying on them to support your content marketing efforts.
Based on an Original BH&HPA Article Creating content with artificial intelligence
AI Writing Tools
ChatGPT on its own is great for getting ideas for content and social media. But new AI tools have come onto the market with the aim of making the lives of content creators so much easier. There are AI tools to run spelling and grammar checks, such as Grammarly https://www.grammarly.com/p , there are others that will create responses to online reviews, and AI tools for image creation. Microsoft have said it will be embedding AI into its Office Suite of products very soon – so starting a PowerPoint presentation with a blank slide could soon be a thing of the past. Tools such as Photoshop and Canva now have AI elements that can take simple descriptions and create images or social media posts on the fly in a matter of minutes.
Over the last few months, I have heard of many more people turning to AI writing tools to support their content writing. Clearly, the prospect of creating content and articles automatically can seem impressive – but are they really that good, and should you be using them in your own content writing?
Simple AI writing tools are available for spelling and grammar checks, while more advanced tools provide copywriting and content generation with the click of a few buttons.
are a couple of the most popular tools that have sprung up since ChatGPT launched.
How does AI content generation work?
When you use ChatGPT or one of the many AI article writers that are available, you are essentially leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to string together thousands of words into an article, based on data it has found online. It uses natural language processing (NLP) to learn from those questions being asked and natural language generation (NLG) to generate sentences from the data it has found. On the face of it, the content that is created can appear quite human-like. ChatGPT has several other layers of complexity, for example where you can ask content to be created according to role, task and format.
Create content based on a particular role or style – ask Chat-GPT a request in the style of a particular job role, and then get it to format it in a friendlier, easier to read format
Perform a task with a particular output. E.g. you can ask Chat-GPT to output the data as a press release, image, CSV file or ready to open in Excel
Display the content in a particular format. E.g. display the content in a 100 word summary or display the key points in a bullet point list, then expand each topic into specific paragraphs with its own headings or exclude specific things.
Once the tool has finished writing your content, you can even give it feedback, refine your questions, or select the style that you like, so over time these tools will learn how to better produce the content that meets your needs.
A word (or two) of warning though
However, before you go full tilt into replacing your content team with AI, there are several things to consider. One of the major flaws in using ChatGPT and the current AI models is that their tools are based on historical data that has been scraped from the Internet – the current version of Chat-GPT uses a dataset that is up to 2021. Until Chat-GPT includes a connection to live Internet data you will still be using a pool of data that is at least two or three years old.
Once you try Chat-GPT AI on a topic that you know inside out, you will quickly realise that the output isn’t always accurate, and often the content is repetitive. The key learning point here is don’t rely on it – always fact-check the output before you use it.
And because these tools are learning from the input it receives – the classic “garbage in, garbage out” concept applies. In other words, if you feed a system bad or incomplete data, the output will be similarly poor.
While ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for generating human-like responses to text-based inputs, it’s important to remember that it’s only as accurate as the data you feed it.
All the data that is uploaded into these tools is logged and used for learning purposes, so be careful what you input! Don’t upload sensitive data and check the individual privacy policies of each tool before you upload anything. Remember that any content or images you upload into ChatGPT and other AI tools could become public.
What are the benefits of using AI for generating content?
There are clearly some advantages to using AI for writing:
- Can help reduce writers block – AI tools can be a handy way to get started writing a piece of content and create an outline structure
- Can help with new content ideas – use AI to come up with new ideas or frame things in a different way;
- Can be used for a variety of content – there are lots of tools and browser plugins that are being developed that use AI and create all sorts of different content. Whether that is travel planning, summarising the content of a web page or proofing a set of meta descriptions;
- Can be used to create a first draft of an article for you to edit and then expand on – again, ideal for writer’s block or when you’re short on time.
What are the downsides of using AI for generating content?
While using AI to generate content can seem attractive, there are many disadvantages:-
- AI relies on existing content and algorithms for the development of “new” content. So, it is obvious that its creativity is limited and the nuances of writing content by a human are going to be missed – emotions and tone simply cannot be replicated. Because AI does not have emotional intelligence, quality human content should always outperform AI content.
- AI tools are prone to making mistakes – the generated content may not read well and even share wrong information that will need someone to proof. Not all AI tools are up to date – for example, Open AI GPT-3 – that powers Jasper was last ‘trained’ in 2019, meaning that it’s currently unable to write about events after this time. Consider the potential reputational damage to your park if factual errors or basic mistakes in content were to go live on your website. Having played with Chat-GPT over the last few months, it is clear that content is often inaccurate can feel machine-manufactured i.e. monotonous and repetitive.
- There is a risk of Google devaluing or penalising your content. Many AI tools scrape pieces of content from other websites and then re-word them, which is against Google’s general guidelines.Google’s helpful content updateclearly states that the search engine prefers human-written content – “help people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”
- Similarly, the last thing you would want is your content to be flagged by the search engines as plagiarising other content.
Ethical questions to consider when using AI to generate content
As Chat-GPT becomes more popular and embedded in our everyday lives several questions are raised regarding the ethics of using AI to write content for individuals or businesses.
As AI is creating content based on vast amounts of scraped data, this can easily lead to plagiarism or misattribution. Can AI generated content truly be classed as authentic?
Given that AI generated content doesn’t have a human author – where does one attribute credit? And if your new AI output is based on a data pool of existing Internet content – who knows what other articles you might be copying.
The AI algorithms that are used in tools such as Chat-GPT learn for large data pools of text, that may contain biases or discriminatory language. Consequently, the content that is generated by AI might unintentionally introduce those biases.
If you choose to use these tools, then surely it is essential to give proper credit to the AI tool that has been used to create the content. This not only promotes transparency but also ensures that intellectual property is respected.
Tools for spotting AI Generated content
As the use of Chat-GPT has exploded, so have the number of tools to check for to see whether a piece of content is more likely to have been AI generated.
· Winston AI – https://gowinston.ai/
· Copy Leaks – https://copyleaks.com/ai-content-detector
· ZeroGPT – https://www.zerogpt.com/
We are seeing AI being used in lots of different ways, and clearly it is beneficial in some areas. However, when it comes to content it is important to remember that AI is just a tool and is not a substitute for human expertise and input.
In my opinion, content should never be created for the sake of it. Every page of your park website should have a clear objective and deliver something of unique value.
The skill of a writer is the ability to craft a piece of content that will communicate the value of your park to a specific audience at a specific time. They capture your tone of voice and adjust it for various situations – and add real value. They make it engaging and shareable.
AI may be able to do some of these elements with a degree of success but will never be able to fully replicate the quality of a human writer. As AI becomes more prominent in our lives, it will therefore become essential for businesses to ensure the authentic, human aspect is front-and-centre of their service delivery. After all, that is what customers value.