What You Can Expect From AI Content in 2023
AI-generated content is hands-down the most discussed digital marketing trend of 2023, creating huge ripples in the marketing industry and generating a lot of controversy. On one hand, there are potential concerns over Google’s official stance (whether or not it will ultimately regard AI generated content as spam), as well as AI hallucinations, accuracy and redundancy. On the other hand, there is irrefutable evidence of it making information more easily accessible, it’s ability to generate original ideas and present them clearly, and eliminate the mundane writing tasks of yesteryear. We are on the brink of a potentially large shift when it comes to the use of technology. So what exactly does this shift look like and what limitations or benefits might it present?
We’ll share the details here, so get ready for a quick, immersive jump into the land of AI-generated content.
How Cutting-Edge AI Content Generators Work
Technology has advanced rapidly in the last 50 years, and it is truly incredible that AI has so many abilities. A computer program that can generate human-like content in minutes feels like something straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The ability for computers to compile and create large amounts of data is no longer science fiction, so let’s talk about how top-notch AI content generators like chatGPT work.
AI generates text through natural language processing (NLP), the same programming used by virtual assistants, spellcheck, and chatbots. NLP analyzes sentence structure and word meanings, then uses algorithms to make sense of human language and recreate it.
Talkative Bots Meet Extensive Knowledge
Some artificial intelligence uses the Large Learning Model. In this model, AI generators use massive datasets to train themselves on a variety of topics, studying the vocabulary within the databases they search. With this training and NLP, these systems can generate multiple paragraphs about a chosen topic.
The content derived from some AI content generators can be detected as non-human because of the simplicity, repetition, and word usage/sentence structure of the writing. However, with enough training from these large datasets, AI can recreate content that can closely mimic the writing within a specific industry or topic.
How ChatGPT Is Trained
ChatGPT uses a model called InstructGPT, which incorporates human directions and feedback to create complex answers. Having the ability to take both human directions and feedback allows ChatGPT to pull data from its training and create content within the restraints of human prompts and word count.
The Benefits of AI- Generated Content
2023 appears to show that AI content can be fast, automated, and succinct. You don’t have to worry about writer’s block, and you can potentially the bulk of your content faster, and more efficiently. This brings a lot of potential benefits with it, such as:
Better Writing (At least for some!)
This one should be a no-brainer, but if you aren’t currently a writer and don’t have access to one, AI-content generation tools can help you do something you didn’t currently have the skills to do before. Even something as simple as writing an email can be done with ChatGPT, eliminating embarrassing typos you may have had if you’d done it yourself. Be aware that you still have to write the prompts to get the content you want, so try to at least spellcheck those! 😉
For small teams that want to be able to do it all, AI-content generators essentially become a second teammate for language-related tasks. Ask it to summarize a piece of content, write an email, give you a template for your next eBook and more. Get more projects off the ground by eliminating the little things that you didn’t have time to do yourself anyway.
While there is some irony in labeling a computer program as creative, it’s undeniable. Ask ChatGPT to give you a list of the 10 best band names for a Ska band based in the Arctic and it’ll do it. The use cases for this are endless. For marketers and salespeople looking for ways to spice up their messaging, this is an absolute game-changer.
The Current Limits of AI Content
AI content is fast, and some bots like ChatGPT are very good at writing paragraphs, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect (yet). To truly get the scope of AI content capabilities, we had one of our very own expert editors, Amber Morris, scout out the best bots.
ChatGPT is currently the best artificial intelligence chatbot to ever be released, so our managing editor did her sleuthing there. She asked ChatGPT to write and talk about gluten-free content. Here is what the chatbot gave her:
This contains helpful information; however, note there are some repeated paragraphs in the next section.
In this exchange, there is a lot of decent content here. It’s written well, nearly grammatically perfect, and stays on topic. As far as criticism goes, there are a few paragraphs that are nearly the same in both queries, and the gluten-specific information is relatively simple.
Amber reports: “This is interesting because the AI tool seems to pull from fundamental concepts only. Yes, people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid gluten, but the only known treatment for EOE (an esophageal inflammatory disorder) is avoiding gluten. In people with Hashimoto’s (a thyroid disease), gluten can trigger inflammation.”
Essentially, the bot gives good general information, and presents it confidently (and somewhat redundantly), but may miss some key information that you’d only know was missing if you already knew something about the subject matter. For those creating content for clients (like digital marketing agencies), there would be some level of human review needed to make sure clients feel like you can represent them accurately in writing.
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Potential for Hallucinations in AI-Generated Content
While the nuts and bolts of content generation with AI seem to be mostly there, there are still some bugs having to do with a term called “AI Hallucination”, where the bot can seemingly insert untrue information stated as fact. Bertalan Meskó, Director of the Medical Futurist Institute, wrote on LinkedIn:
Before you quickly lay off all your writers, let me show through a few examples of why trusting A.I. with content is dangerous as of now. TLDR spoiler: it is lying. All right, confabulating. Using alternative facts.
We tested the most popular AI text generator tools, choosing a medical topic, where it is clear how these fabricated “facts” can be extremely dangerous. The topic pick was a recent breakthrough, where the number of publications is yet limited, so it is relatively easy to fact-check the AI-generated outputs.
The results included false claims, untrue connections to doctors and research, incorrect dates, and fabricated results.
So why does AI sometimes lie? There isn’t any inherent malice behind it – AI doesn’t secretly want to take over the world; rather, the truth is that it is currently limited in its ability to recreate completely human expertise and creativity. These generators use large databases to spin words and facts around in a way that doesn’t plagiarize existing sources and makes logical sense.
Could this change? ChatGPT has many benefits for marketers, pulling a bunch of information quickly about a subject like your very own personal Jarvis. At the moment, there is no guaranteed way for AI bots to detect the truth. They take from databases, but they can’t differentiate between what is false and what is true. Strung-together sentences may be eloquent and impressive, but if they are not accurate, they become misinformation that can lead to serious harm. This is where it becomes extremely important to have a review process in place when using AI tools. In the end, they are just that – tools. Humans use them, and humans have the ability to review them for accuracy. Done correctly, you can minimize the risks of any inaccuracies and potentially still allow the tool to do some of the heavy lifting of writing.
AIs can always improve. According to the newest update, the InstructGPT Language Model is “less inclined to produce misinformation,” yet there is still currently a margin for error. What’s clear is that if you do choose to produce AI content, it still needs a human touch, so be sure to have someone on hand to audit the information and edit accordingly.
Is Google Shutting Down AI Content?
As the leading search engine in the world, Google is very strict on spam policies and content guidelines when ranking content. This is what allows users to get the most relevant content on the first page and why marketers are scrambling every year to keep up with Google’s guidelines. So if AI writers are getting docked, you should know that before implementing them in your content marketing strategy.
Search Engine Journal wrote an article previously on John Mueller’s response to AI-generated content. As Google’s Search Advocate, Mueller helps to put together the Google Webmaster Guidelines. He stated:
For us these would, essentially, still fall into the category of automatically generated content which is something we’ve had in the Webmaster Guidelines since almost the beginning.
And people have been automatically generating content in lots of different ways. And for us, if you’re using machine learning tools to generate your content, it’s essentially the same as if you’re just shuffling words around, or looking up synonyms, or doing the translation tricks that people used to do. Those kind of things.
My suspicion is maybe the quality of content is a little bit better than the really old school tools, but for us it’s still automatically generated content, and that means for us it’s still against the Webmaster Guidelines. So we would consider that to be spam.
It’s important to mention, however, that AI-generated content (as it stands today) may not actually be considered spam by Google. Danny Sullivan, current public liason for Google Search, tweeted about AI content in November 2022:
In essence, if content follows Google guidelines and is focused on content written primarily for humans, it’s doing its job according to Google. ChatGPT (paired with human strategy/review) has the potential to do that.
Neil Patel, another industry expert, did his own experiment using AI blogs to see if they rank on the SERPS after Google’s latest spam update. He reported data on 100 AI-driven sites that receive at least 3,000 visitors a month. He concluded:
From what we are seeing, the majority of this update focused on content, meta tags, and keyword stuffing. It doesn’t mean Google didn’t look at other factors such as links or duplicative content, but we saw the biggest patterns related to the factors I mentioned above and AI-generated content.
If you want to do well in the long run focus on the user, it really is the way to win. In the short run, you may not come ahead but in the long run, you will.
So as it stands today, Google has no official position on the content produced by current AI-generators. This could be because they are waiting to fully embrace it until their own Large Language Model (Bard) is ready to be pitched as a true competitor to ChatGPT, or it may be because they can’t accurately detect AI content generators yet, but are currently testing to do so. Either way, the technology is moving so fast that the use-cases are growing exponentially, so it’s important to stay updated on how it can be used in the content creation process so as to not be left behind.
What Are the Current Use-Cases for AI-Generated Content?
Quick caveat: this list will change! As AI technology advances, it may be able to do more and more of the heavy lifting of content writing in different shapes and forms. As it stands today, though, there are both times to use it and times NOT to use it. Even Sam Altman of OpenAI (creator of ChatGPT) has said to not use its products where the stakes are more serious, like for offering health or legal advice.
So the question really comes down to what content your business has that you consider to have “higher stakes”. For instance, what content represents your brand in an authoritative way where accuracy and messaging matter the most? What content is infused with SEO-optimization in a specific way to try and win high-value keywords that needs the artistic SEO touch? Basically, what content has the potential to do the most good for, or harm to, your business?
On the other end, what is considered “low stakes” content? From our own experience, short-form content, marketing copy, original renditions of existing copy, and general descriptions/information (not needing to be optimized for SEO) are perfect use-cases for Chat-GPT, because they don’t make or break our business. The ability to use a tool like ChatGPT to create the shorter, mundane copy that previously took a lot of time out of the day has been a gamechanger. This list of content types where AI content generation can help do the heavy lifting will continue to grow as the technology advances, and we’ll be trying them all to stay at the forefront of the conversation.
Here at BKA Content, we’ve kept high stakes content close to the vest, and written it using our own vetted writers (that we know will check for accuracy and are paid to write high-quality, informative, engaging copy). It then goes through a round of edits from professional editors to be doubly safe. But, the case could already be made that a mixture of both AI-tech and the human touch may be the best of both worlds.
Ultimately, It’s Up To Us (and Google)
As the popularity of AI bots grows, it’s important to keep in mind current trends and potential trajectories. More than anything else, the content you provide for readers should be accurate, comprehensive, and trustworthy. From an online marketing standpoint, this content also needs to be surrounded with great keyword strategy, topic ideation and optimization (no matter how it’s created). This combination of quality, readability and strategy requires human touch in some form (whether written/optimized and edited completely by humans, or a human-crafted piece of content using AI prompts and after-the-fact reviewing/optimization), and we are the experts at that.
Whether you’re looking to create content exclusively by humans, or you’d like to infuse new technology into your content creation process, BKA Content is a company that offers affordable, quality organic SEO services where our ultimate goal is to create content that ranks.
As you develop your content strategy this year, get excited about the new technology being created! But also be aware of current limitations and the best content use-cases for the technology in its current capacity. If you have additional use cases for AI-content generation or tips on things to look out for, leave them in the comments below!
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