Artificial intelligence is everywhere you look in 2023, with 37% of businesses already using AI to gain a 40% boost in productivity.
Social media sites are exploding with impressive AI-generated content from programs like ChatGPT and DALL-E. One user even got ChatGPT to write a 30-page children’s eBook that he self-published through Amazon.
All this buzz has people asking an important and rather scary question – will AI writers make human writers obsolete?
After all, AI writing assistants never get tired or experience writer’s block, meaning they can produce content far faster than humans. Combine that with advanced deep-learning language models like GPT-3, and it’s easy to see why many content writers are concerned.
Yet, that’s not to say that AI writing tools are perfect, as they still have a long way to go in terms of accuracy, plagiarism, and creativity.
Even still, short of complete sentience, it’s near-impossible for AI systems & algorithms to comprehend human emotions, which is a major aspect of great writing. That means there’s still a place for human writing, especially when a human touch is necessary.
In short, there are things that AI writers do best and others that human writers excel at – so you’ll need to know when to use both in your content marketing & copywriting.
Stay tuned to learn more about the difference between AI and human writers to inform your SEO & content creation strategies.
Understanding AI Writing
AI writing involves using machine learning algorithms & language models to automatically generate text like blog posts, poems, essays, creative writing, and more.
Services like Copymatic allow users to generate AI content, and companies like Forbes have long used AI writing assistants to write their earning reports. Tools like Grammarly have long used AI algorithms for proofreading
Yet, the concept of AI writing really took off in November 2022 when OpenAI released ChatGPT to the public. They released it as open source, so anyone was free to start chatting with it, and its popularity soon exploded – showing up in countless social media posts & mainstream news sites.
The chatbot can answer user questions, write lines of code, solve problems, and generate essays, blogs, poems, and more.
While ChatGPT is definitely impressive, it’s not without its issues. Nearly straight away, users began to notice the chatbot making up facts, hallucinating, and producing robotic-sounding nonsense. It’s also exhibited racist & sexist tendencies, likely from inappropriate user interactions.
Some issues are expected since we’re still in the early stages of the technology, but it still raises some concerns.
For one, hackers can use programs like ChatGPT to write malware & phishing emails that are nearly impossible to detect. It’s also possible to use the chatbot to produce unethical or inappropriate content, which is a real problem.
While AI writing is by no means perfect, it can still be incredibly useful to companies and digital marketing agencies, especially when used in tandem with human writers.
How does AI writing work?
It’s critical to understand how these AI writing tools work if you want to use them properly. While it may seem like magic, there’s a very real process behind what AI text generators do, so let’s take a look.
AI writing uses a combination of natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning to generate relevant, natural-sounding text.
Natural language processing allows AI to comprehend, interpret, and write human language. Lots of AI tools use NLP, from proofreading apps like Grammarly to data analytics processors like IBM Watson.
However, NLP is only half the equation for AI writers like Jasper and ChatGPT.
Deep learning neural networks comprise the other half, and they attempt to mimic the structure of the human brain to learn from large amounts of data. These neural networks need a large volume of training data to learn by example.
Deep learning enables AI to replicate various writing styles & dialects so long as they have the appropriate training data.
AI chatbot ChatGPT was trained on a massive amount of data, roughly 570 GB of data sets that include books, Wikipedia articles, web pages, research articles, and many other sources. In total, approximately 300 billion words went into its database.
That massive volume of reference data is why the chatbot can answer so many questions and write in so many styles.
However, ChatGPT’s current iteration only has training for online data up to 2021, meaning it has no knowledge of current events – which is a drawback for now.
Areas Where AI Needs Some Work
AI writing tools are still in their infancy, and they certainly have some things that could be improved when it comes to writing original content.
While AI writers excel at summarizing topics, analyzing data, and presenting numbers and statistics, they need help with creativity and emotion.
Understanding human emotions
A considerable advantage human writers have over AI tools is the ability to form a personal connection with readers.
A human writer can engage the audience through relatable stories, personal experiences, and analogies – something AI isn’t capable of yet. Also, AI has no way of distinguishing an emotionally powerful phrase from a mundane one.
This lack of nuance means the writing AI tools often lack the ‘human touch,’ causing the writing to come across as very stiff and robotic.
The human touch is crucial because emotional connection and customer purchase rates have a direct correlation. The more connected customers feel to a brand, the more they’re willing to spend.
Why is that?
It’s because people often make decisions based on impulses, desires, emotions, and morals – all of which have little to do with logic and analytics.
Human writers can use these emotions and desires in order to market products and services. For example, to market a shirt, a writer might say, “This shirt isn’t just something to wear; it’s your ticket to gaining the confidence you’ve always wanted.”
That type of emotion-based copywriting appeals to people who want to transform their looks due to a lack of confidence, and it can have a very powerful effect.
That’s bad news for AI writers, as it’s practically impossible for them to relate to customers on a personal level.
Providing original insights
Another drawback facing AI writers is a lack of original insights. That’s because an AI writer can’t form its own thoughts on a subject; it can only summarize and reiterate existing content from its database.
That’s why search engines often flag AI-generated content as plagiarism since it can contain unaltered pieces of the original text.
If you want to achieve thought leader status in your field, AI writers won’t be enough to make the cut. Instead, you’ll need plenty of original insights and opinions on the most important topics in your industry, which are currently out of AI’s grasp.
That’s not to say that AI writing tools aren’t helpful, as they’re great for getting the ball rolling for human writers.
AI vs. Human Writers: A Head-to-Head Comparison
Since you know more about AI writing and how it works, it’s time to pit AI vs. human writers to see which is best.
That way, you’ll know where to focus the majority of your resources for content creation without sacrificing quality or productivity.
The Pros and Cons of Human Writers
First, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of hiring human writers. A reliable human writer that understands your content needs is extremely valuable and difficult to replace.
That’s because humans can relate to audiences and appeal to their emotions, morals, and desires. As stated previously, people make decisions based on emotions and impulses more often than strict logic and analysis.
As such, human writers that understand psychology are often the most powerful. A great content writer commands the reader’s attention, engages them, and then informs them what to do next through a compelling call to action.
Human writers can help you achieve thought leader status in your niche by influencing how your audience thinks and acts. Through well-written, relatable content produced by humans, you can form loyal brand advocates that will sing your praises to their friends & family.
That all sounds great, right?
Well, it is when everything goes smoothly and you find a reliable writer. Not all human writers are of equal talent, and it may take a lot of searching until you find a suitable one for your needs.
Beyond that, human writers can get sick, misinterpret topics, and fall behind deadlines. It also takes a bit of time for humans to research and write on a topic, which can sometimes slow down content creation.
Human writers are also expensive, as the most talented & in-demand writers will demand higher rates than subpar writers, which is a downside for smaller companies without large content creation budgets.
- Understands emotions and can form personal connections with readers
- Can produce original insights and form opinions on topics
- Has an authentic touch that’s difficult to reproduce
- The storytelling capabilities of humans far exceed those of AI writers
- It takes quite a bit of time for humans to research and write articles
- The best writers are expensive
- Writer’s block is a real concern
- It can be difficult to find a reliable writer that understands your needs
- Humans can get sick and fall behind on their work
The Pros and Cons of AI Writers
An AI writer never sleeps, never gets sick, and can generate entire articles in seconds or minutes instead of several hours.
For this reason, AI writing can drastically boost productivity, enabling you to create twice or even three times as much content as you would with human writers. Writer’s block is never an issue for AI tools, either, which is a huge plus.
AI writing tools can handle everything from brainstorming topics to generating entire articles with minimal input required on your part. Most of the time, all you need is an article title or a few subheadings for an AI writer to generate content.
AI writers can also generate content on just about any topic, whereas human writers will only have a limited amount of knowledge. As such, it can be easier to use AI writers on highly technical topics that few humans can write about intelligently.
If you primarily release short-form posts covering data analysis (similar to the Forbes earning reports), then AI writers are the way to go.
Yet, if you need top-tier marketing content that connects with and relates to audiences, your best bet is to use a human.
Another advantage of using AI writers is how cost-effective they are to use. Instead of paying a writer each time they create a piece of content, AI writing tools typically involve affordable monthly subscription fees.
For this reason, many startups and smaller companies like to use AI writers because they’re an inexpensive option for content creation.
- Generates content extremely fast for boosted productivity
- Never runs out of ideas or gets writer’s block
- Cost-effective for smaller companies that can’t afford high-quality writers
- Is available to generate content 24/7
- Can write about any topic
- Can’t understand human emotions
- Has no sense of morals or ethics
- Can’t produce original insights
- Limited creativity
- Inaccurate facts
- Possible plagiarism
What’s the Best Way to Use AI Writers?
By now, it should be clear there are noticeable pros and cons for both human writers and AI writers. If you want your organization to consistently produce the highest quality content, you should opt for a combination of both.
For instance, if your best human writer is experiencing writer’s block, having an AI tool write the intro is a great way to remedy the issue. From there, the human writer can fill in the gaps left by the AI (as well as add human touches throughout).
If you produce a lot of shorter articles summarizing topics and statistics, you shouldn’t have a problem fully automating those – which will boost your productivity.
However, you should let your human writers tackle marketing content meant to connect to readers on a personal level, only using AI to speed things up here and there (and for things like proofreading).
By utilizing the powerful one-two punch of AI and human writers, your organization will enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Verdict: AI vs. Human Writers
Instead of viewing AI vs. human writers as a competition, it’s best to view it as a collaboration. That’s because it will always depend on your organization’s needs whether you use an AI writer or a human writer.
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