Can Content Creators Beat the Bots? We Hope So…

by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

Artificial intelligence (AI) is widely seen as a game changer in how our world operates, both now and especially in the future. With any revolutionary change, there are often both strong advocates and vehement detractors. Much of that polarization comes from the fact that major societal disruptions often have both winners and losers. Take globalization as an example. While an increasingly interconnected global economy with more open trade has meant cheaper prices for consumers in developed nations, it has often also meant that employees in some sectors are displaced as industries move to countries with lower costs of production.

The Yin and Yang of AI

The potential impact of AI is similar in some respects. Technology that can “think” and act intelligently— perhaps even more intelligently than the humans that created it—can mean certain tasks are done more effectively and are made available more cheaply while those humans who used to perform those tasks will be out of a job.

A recent article in CNN business by Rachel Metz titled “This AI is so good at writing that its creators won’t let you use it” illustrates this possibility in the context of content generation—something central to many online marketing strategies. The article focuses on a new text-generating AI system developed by nonprofit AI research company OpenAI. The system is capable of generating page-long responses to prompts, mimicking everything from prose to news stories and academic assignments.”

AI vs. J.R.R. Tolkien

You might not think that AI could be a replacement for a writer like J.R.R. Tolkien. But you might be wrong! When Metz fed OpenAI a Lord-of-the-Rings-themed prompt, some great prose emerged. Here’s the prompt:

Legolas and Gimli advanced on the orcs, raising their weapons with a harrowing war cry.

Here’s what the AI came up with:

The orcs’ response was a deafening onslaught of claws, claws, and claws; even Elrond was forced to retreat. “You are in good hands, dwarf,” said Gimli, who had been among the first to charge at the orcs; it took only two words before their opponents were reduced to a blood-soaked quagmire, and the dwarf took his first kill of the night.

As the title of Metz’s article suggests, OpenAI has decided not to release its latest project to the public, something it typically does. They give as a reason the potential for misuse by people who might use the tools to create fake news or social media bots in an attempt to skew reality. But some argue that the OpenAI tool, while very sophisticated, is merely another iteration of increasingly advanced tools that do the exact same thing. Metz writes that OpenAI even released a technical paper and a smaller AI model doing the same thing, albeit in a less-sophisticated version.

Can We Beat the Bots?

It’s difficult to hold back technology once it’s been developed. The cat is essentially out of the bag, and text-generation software will undoubtedly become increasingly sophisticated in the near future, some of it created by groups that choose to make it publicly or commercially available. For the content-generation industry, this will certainly mean winners and losers. Those seeking to provide content on their sites as part of marketing efforts have a lot to gain, while those humans (like us) who make a living generating that content may soon face increasingly stiff—and inexpensive—competition.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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