Machine code representing generating AI generated content
AI is getting better, but still requires that human touch.

AI generated content: Writers and editors still needed

AI generated content promises to be a boon for many industries, including – perhaps especially for – marketing. There are a lot of writers and editors out there right now wringing their hands, worried the technology is going to take their jobs.

Equally, there are a lot of business owners and accountants salivating at the thought of replacing at least some of their creatives with AI. Not having to pay those salaries and benefits will certainly boost the bottom line.

Both camps might want to whoa-up and consider a few things.

While AI is something that’s definitely prominent on my radar, I’m not getting out my “The end is nigh” sandwich board just yet. Here’s why: AI-generated text needs a lot of human help to make it useful to a particular company or brand.

Editors and writers are still necessary to ensure that the content is accurate, coherent, and appropriate for the intended audience. They’re also needed to make the content engaging.

Perhaps the most important reason they’re needed, though, is to get the AI platform to do its job. Without people who can actually translate an idea to, say, ChatGPT,  it will become a waste of time to use it. To borrow a phrase, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

Here are five reasons why editors are still essential:

  1. Context: AI language models generate text based on data they’ve been trained on. They may not be able to understand its context, the intended audience, or the proper tone.
  2. Style: AI language models can generate grammatically correct text, but it may not match the style of the publication or brand.
  3. Quality control: AI language models can make mistakes, just like people. Fact-checking AI generated copy is a particular area that requires human intervention.
  4. Creativity: While AI can generate text, it typically takes the straightest line between two points. It doesn’t do well thinking inside the box, much less out of it.
  5. Human touch: AI-produced text lacks “feel.” Editors can tailor the content to the audience and make sure that it resonates with the readers.

The latter two points are emphasized in this piece by industry leader Hubspot.

My advice? If you’re a creative, get your arms around AI. Play with it. See how it can make you more productive. It can, and you’ll find the ways.

As for companies looking to cut their human capital? Don’t. You’re going to find your writers, editors, and others doing work you never imagined possible thanks to AI. That’s really going to boost your bottom line.