Will artificial intelligence replace human content writers?

As a species we’ve made a mess of a fair few things but we’ve proved ourselves to be adept in the field of invention. We invented wheels to stop ourselves walking, we invented steam engines to put ourselves out of work and now we have invented artificial intelligence to help us avoid the strain of thinking. As I type I’m aware that there is a high possibility my content writing will be the tool that eventually puts me out of a job. To explain I examine the question of whether or not AI will ever replace human content writing.

Computer generated content writing is already with us

Almost all blog content you currently read on the web is human written but once technology perfects the art of rewriting existing articles, this will change. At present it is likely that if you read sports or financial reports, at least some of these will have been written by computer. You won’t be able to tell because these formulaic snippets of text don’t require much variety of language.

If you think about it, machine written content could even be better than human written. Computers have far quicker access to existing information than humans and can assimilate it in a fraction of the time. Computers now also have the ability to judge their audience and write accordingly. Something many of us content writers would love to get right every time!

Computers are learning how to write

Today the Internet has an estimated (nobody actually knows) 50 billion web pages. This number will have grown by tomorrow, and the next day… This represents an awful lot of writing and all of this writing is already used by programmes like Google’s search algorithms and Siri’s language generation to conduct machine learning into language patterns, styles and responses, all of which will lead to more ‘human’ computer generated language. This is known as Natural Language Generation and is progressing fast.

Should we be worried?

Well if you are a content writer like me then the answer to this is ‘yes’. Pundits predict that by 2018 20% of web content will be computer written. If you are planning to retire next year then fine, otherwise you might want to start learning a few alternative skills. There are questions too of course about the impact of machine writing on the quality and innovation of language, vocabulary and style, and computers have already been proven to ‘learn’ bias such as gender stereotypes from existing web content. The debate is interesting and one I shall certainly be watching.

For now though, quality human written content remains the best way in which to reach your web audience, build a relationship with them and promote your products or services. For a friendly and experienced chat about web content development for your project please feel free to get in touch with us at Fi Darby Freelance.

We don’t bite, we write!

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