From OpenAI’s initial launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 to the integration of large language models (LLMs) into writing products like Grammarly, ongoing AI advancements have taken the world by storm. This rapid shift of constant innovation has given rise to a new era of AI-assisted content production, which has inevitably entered the workplace.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of workers fear AI will make their jobs obsolete, a fear that doubles (51%) for individuals working in advertising and marketing, according to CNBC-SurveyMonkey research published in May 2023. The uneasiness is understandable, as the immediate buzz ChatGPT generated was quickly followed by a wave of AI-powered writing tools—commonly described as AI writers—that can create content quickly with just a text prompt. However, despite these tools’ capabilities, business leaders should not view them as replacements for human workers but as a way to strategically implement AI to help teams streamline written output.
AI Writers: Understanding their Strengths and Weaknesses
Interest and capital investments in AI tools show no signs of slowing, with 73% of companies prioritizing AI over all other digital investments, according to Accenture research. However, like other workplace technologies, these tools bring a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Leaders must understand where AI can enhance output and where it should be avoided during the content production process. While these tools can be surprisingly cost-effective, it’s important to know how and where to apply them.
One of the biggest opportunities and strengths of embracing AI writers is the ability to utilize AI to develop content more rapidly, expediting the work to generate a first draft or outline, making it possible to produce content in a shorter period of time. Additionally, AI writers can easily maintain tone and style across a wide range of content, and that consistency is a critical element for brand strategy. While most AI writing tools are paid, many offer trials and tiered plans at a reduced cost relative to standard content-production or agency fees. Instead of placing resources behind building a content asset from the ground up, organizations can allocate budget to enable teams to focus more time and resources on content strategy.
On the other hand, an ongoing obstacle that generative AI tools face is the ability to encounter and store flawed information. Because the tech can’t decipher inaccuracies in data, it can result in “hallucinations,” or outputs that are confidently produced by AI but in fact, are false or inaccurate. Human intervention is necessary to ensure the accuracy of content produced by these tools. Further, when AI writers produce a first draft, humans must add additional details and edit the draft for accuracy. Unable to empathize or identify with readers, AI writers seem to struggle with producing the tone and voice that capture a reader’s attention. All of this can negatively, impact reader engagement and search engine optimization (SEO).
Elevating Content Production with AI: Five Steps to Success
One of the biggest advantages of using AI content tools will come to those that view AI as an asset to supplement human work and take a strategic approach that considers who will be using the technology and how they see it fitting into their daily operations. The following steps can help guide a successful journey in evolving content production processes with AI:
- Assess organizational needs upfront: Before adding AI tools, evaluate the status of current content processes and identify any productivity blockers. Understanding current needs are will help determine if AI is the right solution for your team.
- Introduce change over time: Measuring progress is crucial in assessing AI’s effectiveness and in not overwhelming teams. Before abruptly upending existing content production processes, consider low-risk areas where you can test AI introductions, such as creating social media posts or FAQs. Be sure to use a plagiarism checker on AI-generated content, as Google will penalize your search-engine results for duplicate content.
- Encourage testing the waters: In the future, and even today, workers in roles that require them to produce lots of content will be actively working alongside AI writers. Be sure to encourage teams to test out a range of AI-assisted products to identify their preferred tools or to see if some tasks require different tools for the best outcomes.
- Keep the process human: AI-assistive tools should complement the work of employees, and over time, they should expedite the content production process and increase productivity—rather than aim to remove human talent.
- Prepare to evolve alongside the tech: Today’s AI landscape is constantly changing and as AI writers continue to transform, it’s imperative to reassess and adapt your strategy every six to eight months.
Businesses Need a Human-Centered Approach to AI
As businesses continue to consider where to invest in AI technology to assist workers and their operations, it’s important to consider that despite their promising potential, tools like AI writers still require a safeguard in the workplace. Leaders must prioritize developing a human-centered approach that uses AI to empower employees in their roles by boosting productivity and encouraging experimentation, while also considering drawbacks and negative outcomes that come with each technology. AI writers offer a great starting place for teams looking to apply AI in their content production process, and they can be an excellent tool for teams that want to publish educational and informative content with minimal effort.