ai writing

What You Need To Know About AI Writing

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

Artificial intelligence continues to grow by leaps and bounds. From smart home speakers to recommendations from your favorite streaming services, AI is becoming more integrated into our everyday lives. With sophisticated processes for understanding and generating language, artificial intelligence is embarking on a new frontier: content creation. This brief guide explains what you need to know about AI writing: its technology, uses, and limitations.

What Is AI Writing?

what is ai writing

AI writing is what it says on the tin: content composed by artificial intelligence. It uses machine learning to create words, phrases, and sentences. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains that machine learning is a subset of AI, allowing computers to learn how to think and do some things like human beings. Think of how often you let predictive text finish your words and send an SMS message. That’s an everyday example of machine learning.

AI content generators are used to write a wide range of materials: social media posts, website landing pages, product descriptions, email messages, e-books, and blog posts. Major news outlets are even employing AI to create news stories — hence the rise of robot reporters like the one used by the Washington Post.

Why Do People Use AI To Write Content?

why use AI writing

People use artificial intelligence writing software to create content in an attempt to save time and effort. Sometimes, their goal is to reduce workloads. With so much demand for new content, keeping up can feel challenging. Content is king, after all. Yet that content must capture its audience’s attention, deliver the intended message, and be relevant enough for the audience to care and take action.

At other times, people struggle to generate unique content without accidentally plagiarizing themselves. Repetition is a good thing when increasing brand recognition and familiarity. However, repeatedly recycling the same content can bore one’s audience and drive them away.

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How Does an AI Produce Written Material?

AI writing software uses natural language processing to create content based on how humans write. IBM blogger Eda Kavlakoglu explains how NLP works. NLP combines several areas of knowledge — linguistics, data science, computer science and artificial intelligence.

Derived from computational linguistics, NLP seeks to understand human language structure and meaning. Based on this accumulated knowledge, an AI can perform functions such as autocorrecting text, powering virtual assistants, operating chatbots, and organizing email using filters. NLP involves two components: natural language understanding and natural language generation.

Natural Language Understanding

how AI writes

NLU involves analyzing both semantics and syntax in any given text. Semantics focuses on meaning and interpretation, while syntax refers to grammar and word arrangement. Semantics can incorporate denotations, which are the standard definitions of words. Yet it also includes connotations, the interpretations of those words. Syntax varies by language and dialect.

NLU is the first critical step in AI content generation. Before you can have output, you must have input. That means gathering data — in this case, previously written content. Depending on the AI, this data mining process may include everything from Wired blog posts about virtual assistants to detailed research reports about AI in medical imaging technologies.

AI must be sophisticated enough to understand how human language varies in expressing ideas. For instance, it would need to know that “I done told you before” in Southern American English means the same as “I have told you before” in other forms of American English.

Natural Language Generation

AI language generation

Once you have enough input from natural language understanding, you can finally have some output. Natural language generation creates said output using the data gathered and processed during NLU. Using the semantics, syntax, lexicons, and word relationships it’s learned, AI writing software uses NLG to choose words, construct phrases, and put together sentences.

Each artificial intelligence writing software works differently. That said, most follow a similar process or algorithm. TechTarget breaks down the six stages used by AI content generation programs:

  • Content analysis: Filtering data to determine output content
  • Data analysis: Decoding data, understanding its context, and finding patterns
  • Document structuring: Creating a document plan and a narrative structure
  • Sentence creation: Generating phrases and sentences to convey the desired information and message
  • Grammar structuring: Analyzing sentences and rewriting them in correct grammar and natural-sounding language
  • Content output: Final content output in the desired format

What Are the Advantages of AI Content Writing?

advantages of AI writing

For humans, the writing process involves several steps: thinking about a topic, choosing key points to express, and then transforming those ideas into text. We may also research to find facts that back up our claims. Some of us create document outlines to help with structure, then write content following those outlines. Before publication, we revise and edit to improve the quality of our written work.

Computers and artificial intelligence can perform many tasks faster than humans, including generating text. Natural language processing has made this possible. Depending on the type of content needed, AI writers can create large volumes of it within a short time. An AI-assisted writer can usefully convey or summarize existing information.

What Are the Limitations of AI Writing?

An AI-assisted writer can outperform human writers in several aspects. Let’s assume the software has learned from content that already follows grammar, syntax, semantics, and spelling conventions. Within these parameters, AI writing software produces error-free text. However, that content is only as good as the data models used by the AI. With this in mind, let’s look at other notable limitations of AI-generated content.

It Still Needs the Human Touch

human touch in writing

AI-written text can look completely flawless on the surface. Yet many human elements could still be missing. AIs aren’t humans, so you may not find vital details that make human language what it is: metaphors, analogies, cultural context, humor, empathy, and emotional richness. Humans must still review and revise any AI-generated text to incorporate such details.

Its Applications Are Limited

While AI writing software capabilities are incredible, you can’t use it for everything. AI does best at generating short text pieces — about 200 words or less. Beyond that limit, AI-written text can contain errors or unintelligible content. It can also become repetitive or monotonous. There’s also the risk that ideas won’t flow clearly from one section to the next. You may need to tweak the final text or rewrite portions of it before publication.

It Lacks Human Knowledge and Expertise

Artificial intelligence can learn faster and assimilate more information than a human being. While that’s astounding and useful in many situations, it doesn’t automatically make an AI content writer better than a human one. If you need material such as technical manuals or research reports, an AI probably won’t be up to the task. Again, you have potential issues with the logical flow of ideas and the risk of low-quality content.

AI May Struggle With Content for Niche Audiences

Ai writing disadvantages

Human writers can do another thing AI writers can’t: change their style and tone to suit the audience. AI-generated writing may sound formal or even a bit stiff at times. If you host a blog with a niche audience — for example, PvP gamers — you want content that draws them in. When done right, slang and dialect help you better connect with your audience. Can an AI content writer produce such content? Likely not.

Content Quality May Be Inconsistent

Sometimes, experimenting with an AI’s writing capabilities can produce fun or unexpected results. One example is “Sunspring,” a short science fiction film written by an artificial intelligence named Benjamin. Ars Technica debuted the film, shot from a script that included strange stage directions such as “stand in the stars and sit on the floor.” Text like this is uniquely poetic language in one context but downright confusing in others. With more development and refinement needed in the mechanics behind AI language generation, it’s far from ready to produce specialized content.

The Question of Authenticity

ai and authenticity

With digital technologies expanding every year, new ethical questions arise. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have made content like deepfakes possible. These have prompted concerns about privacy, journalistic integrity, and impacts on democratic societies.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have tested methods for detecting AI-written text. Meanwhile, debates continue about the nature of this content. Does it result from acts of creation, or is it the product of sophisticated mimicry? Such questions tap into major issues about sentience and personhood. Meanwhile, your content must build trust with your audience. Only human writers can create blog posts, product descriptions, articles, and other types of content that accomplish this goal.

The Final Verdict

Artificial intelligence has developed significantly within the last decade. The mechanics of AI are undoubtedly sophisticated and powerful. However, human writers have many strengths that AI-assisted writers still lack: creativity, understanding, command of language, and the ability to convey meaning, feeling, and impact.

Emotion, empathy, the interpersonal dimension, and expertise are vital to forging a connection with your audience. Ultimately, AI writing cannot duplicate these qualities. They are all critical in creating content that captures people’s attention, moves them emotionally, and encourages engagement. By partnering with BKA Content, you benefit from skilled writers who create high-quality content every day. Discover how BKA Content’s blog writing services can help your business reach its goals.

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