Editors might be eager to publish articles about AI, but they don't want bots to be the sole authors. That's critical to keep in mind if you're considering outsourcing your upcoming thought leadership content to generative AI software.
However, the advantages of human intelligence when writing content can't be replicated by even the smartest algorithms. In a battle between artificial intelligence versus human intelligence, the latter will always win the hearts and minds of publication editors and readers alike.
But you don't have to take my word for it. My company took the time to survey some publication professionals on their thoughts regarding AI-generated content.
Gini Dietrich, founder of Spin Sucks, admitted that AI-generated content can sometimes be fairly good but said it is usually "missing personality, context, and storytelling—the creative part of writing."
Noobpreneur.com owner Ivan Widjaya noted that articles written by AI show a "lack of flair and originality." Widjaya went on to add, "Creative writing is possible using AI tools, but some content creators either just don't want to learn about effective prompting for results that are at least 90% close to their/readers' expectations, or they just want to create content fast and move on to the next projects."
And according to Richard Larsson, SVP of digital content at Advertising Week, "AI-generated content lacks humor, personality, and color—basically everything that makes for a compelling read. So far, AI-generated content is very disappointing given the hype around it."
Publication editors want to publish high-quality, unique, and insightful content that their audiences will read, share, and enjoy.
Fully AI-generated content can't serve that up. Instead, what it serves up is a host of problems.
Risks of AI-Generated Content
Most publications like to make sure everything they publish includes factual information. However, ChatGPT acknowledges that its training data only goes up to September 2021. And even if an AI-written article cites a source, the information might be inaccurate.
Worse yet, ChatGPT doesn't verify facts independently or check itself. If its model constructs nonsensical (or just plain wrong) data, its algorithms are programmed to treat those mistakes as fact and use them again and again and again and... you get the picture.
By contrast, human writers and editors can apply sound judgment and expertise to ensure the quality and accuracy of content. A human can say, "This just doesn't make sense to me based on my experiences, so I'm going to triple-check it." A bot can't do that.
2. Lack of Originality and Authenticity
Although some people have raved about generative AI's mimicry abilities, it's hardly anything to use as a publication pitch. Most AI content is relatively stale in its personality. Editors aren't fooled when they receive AI-generated submissions. Many even make the process of turning down AI pitches simpler.by relying on tools that help identify AI-generated content.
Humans can connect with humans in a way that machinery can't. Even if the machinery has been programmed to be grammatically correct, it frequently lacks vibrance. It's been trained on a massive data set that dilutes one-of-a-kind characteristics.
When you're reading fully AI-generated content, you get the feeling that you're not learning from another person. On the other hand, when an actual expert writes a piece of content, it can shine because of the author's distinctive (and maybe even quirky) charisma and personality.
3. Ethical Concerns
ChatGPT has been known to plagiarize, but that isn't even the worst of its downsides.
AI algorithms have long been known for unwittingly showing bias. They're not discerning about their data. A biased data set is no different to a generative AI system than an unbiased data set. The result can be anything from misinformation, at best, to discrimination, at worst.
Sean Strain, VP of Entrepreneur Books at Entrepreneur Press told us he's always on the lookout for red flags, such as "false statements, repetitive language, and misattributed facts or information."
Human writers can make mistakes, of course, but they tend to review their work to avoid missteps, especially if they're trying to build their thought leadership and reputations as industry experts. A bot is hardly as careful about protecting its reputation—or the reputation of the publications for which it writes.
Using Generative AI as a Practical Resource
All that isn't to suggest that you need to turn away from AI solutions altogether. They can be tremendous assets, particularly if you're trying to create a lot of content at once.
For instance, one of AI's most valuable applications is as a brainstorming assistant. ChatGPT can deliver a wealth of topic ideas at breakneck speed.
Another place AI shines is as an outline generator. You aren't beholden to follow it line for line, but it can still prove useful as a generic framework and jumping-off point for your content.
Still tempted to ask AI to write the next piece you intend to send to a professional publisher? Remember the advice of Trade Show News Network's managing editor, Lisa Plummer Savas, when she was asked what she wants to see from contributed content that's often missing from AI-generated content: "a personal, conversational voice" and an "understanding of current, cutting-edge trends via interviews with experts in the field versus utilization of old information already published online."
None of what she asks for can be fully met by any AI product currently available. Only you can deliver content that provides a vantage point and shines a light on your industry or area of expertise based on lived experiences.
The whole point of publishing on top-tier media sites is to stand out, not just regurgitate things that have already been written about a million times.
If you have something to say, you say it. Even if it's not perfect—and perhaps because of those imperfections—editors will know that your pitch wasn't woven from a cold algorithm but from your vastly more interesting thoughts and experiences.
More Resources on AI-Generated Content
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