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AI Generated Content – Freaky or Fascinating?

Wednesday 18th April

I swear, the words ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) are probably the top buzz words these days. Part of the population is excited about it; the other part is scared, and the rest have no clue what those words even mean.

We could talk for hours about how good or bad AI is: how it could replace us at work, how it could take over the world and, in the end, create a meme about it featuring the Terminator (because there are not enough of those on the Internet). Even though I would love to see another awesome meme, this article is about AI and content generation.

‘Content marketing’, ‘content creation’ and ‘quality content matters’ used to be buzz words too. Now they are common knowledge, like the importance of eating a healthy breakfast: everyone knows about it but let’s face it, nobody starts every single morning with a grapefruit.

On this note, let’s see how Artificial Intelligence could help businesses with an important part of marketing called content generation. Search Engine Journal (SEJ) said ‘now we have access to an AI tool that allows users to input data and output content’.[1] This doesn’t just have the potential to save time, but it is also beneficial for businesses with tight budgets.

The AI tool is called Natural Language Generation (NLG) engine and it is capable of producing logical, coherent text.

It’s clever, but unlike a human, the NLG can’t produce prose on its own. The format must be templated, and it needs access to a structured data set. The technology industry has already produced many different NLG platforms that suit the needs of different businesses.

Does this kind of content have a ‘personality’? I doubt it, but not every piece of content needs to have one.

Machine or a human?

The Content Marketing Institute shared two sports pieces; one was written by a human and the other by a machine:

‘Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.’

‘The University of Michigan baseball team used a four-run fifth inning to salvage the final game in its three-game weekend series with Iowa, winning 7-5 on Saturday afternoon (April 24) at the Wilpon Baseball Complex, home of historic Ray Fisher Stadium.[2]

Can you tell which is which?

If you can’t, you are not alone, but for the record the second one was written by a human. So far, computers haven’t been able to look at any piece of information with a critical eye, and thus, haven’t been able to create an emotional vibe or understand the nuances of language such as slang, for example.

Is it possible, though, that it will be able to do that one day? Maybe in a couple of years I will write about AI that has a personality and is capable of writing emotionally gripping texts that make me cry. Perhaps… For now, however, let’s work with what we have.

Present Day Artificial Intelligence

Today, AI is advanced enough to help marketers provide the best experience to clients.[3] Content personalization is a prime example. Every user wants content that is tailored to their needs and interests, so AI can assist marketers by personalizing content automatically and, thus, help control the individual experience of every customer.[4]

As Robert Allen wrote in Smart Insights:

This technique is most commonly found in the ‘customers who bought X also bought Y’ section in e-commerce sites but can also be applied to blog content and personalizing site messaging more widely. It’s also a great technique for subscription businesses, where the more someone uses the service, the more data the machine learning algorithm has to use and the better the recommendations of content become.[5]

Think of the Netflix recommendation system’s ability to consistently recommend shows you would be interested in.

Artificial Intelligence is here to stay, but it doesn’t mean it will replace us, the emotionally literate homo sapiens. Therefore, we should stop wasting time worrying about it, continue making memes about Skynet (some of them are hilarious) and learn to work with it by using it to our advantage.

The moral of the story is that AI shouldn’t freak you out (until it becomes self-aware) because, being an extension of the human mind, it can make us better if we just learn to work together.

[1] https://www.searchenginejournal.com/artificial-intelligence-marketing/200852/

[2] http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/03/artificial-intelligence-manual-creation

[3] https://www.totalmedia.co.uk/insights/ai-personalisation-marketers-dream/

[4]  https://www.totalmedia.co.uk/insights/wiggle-uses-emotional-intelligence-software-to-optimise-content/  

[5] https://www.smartinsights.com/managing-digital-marketing/marketing-innovation/15-applications-artificial-intelligence-marketing/

Article Written by

Viktorija Vysockaja

Digital Acquisition Executive, Total Media Labs

Vicky's childhood dream was to become a professional tree climber. She recently had a change of heart and instead joined our Tallinn office, working in the Organic team as a Digital Acquisition Executive.

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