Ah, the dreaded question for any writer: will content become automated in the future?
We’ve already seen AI replace many human jobs and perform many human tasks. From driving our cars to scanning our shopping, humans are building their own worst nightmare.
For the online content creator, that self-steering ship seems to be coming a little too close to port.
Why do we create content anyway?
Commercially speaking, content is created to build brand awareness. It’s a way of creating some ‘noise on the web’ so that when people are looking for something within a business’s ballpark, a business producing relevant content will likely get noticed, gain some intrigue and maybe make a sale.
I take a commercial standpoint on this, because that’s what I do for a living and it’s where the idea of automated content comes into full debate.
For search engines — who operate using algorithms — good content isn’t in the writing as much as it is in the marketing around it. It’s about putting keywords in the right place, building SEO and using things like meta descriptions and tags to help a search engine understand what the content means and how well sourced it is, and thus, where it should be ranked on a search engine.
Commercial content, then, is in danger of becoming automated. If content can be templated and AI can accurately fill in the blanks, a human is not required to optimise that piece for search engines. Technology can do so.
A change in branding
But, with all that said, branding itself is changing. It’s becoming human again. Content on tube advertisements is now witty and well-crafted, and it holds a level of human emotion that only a human could ever write.
Also, because of the noise on the web (and the impact of technology on our attention spans), only the most interesting, thought provoking and intelligent pieces of content will be heard and listened, because why bother with anything else?
This, then, puts templated content to bed, right here. Sure, AI and technology helps get content out there, but it now requires a level of human creativity to produce something that stands out from the rest.
Creative writers: fear not
Creativity is a human trait. Until robots develop a sense of emotional intelligence, automated content will continue to be bland, boring and generic.
Great for reporting sports scores and news articles, because this requires nothing but the facts. With that said, perhaps there’s a threat to journalism. I’m not sure.
For novelists, short story writers and those with any sort of creative bone in their body, humans will continue onwards as writers.
As put by Paulo Coelho,
Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things — thoughts, ideas, opinions.