Decoding AI-Driven Content: The Pros and Cons of Artificial Intelligence

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    AI is more mainstream than we might think.   For many, artificial intelligence (AI) may feel like something right out of science fiction. But the truth is, AI has been in our lives for much longer than many realize.  AI has come a long way since its inception and now plays an increasingly important role in our daily lives. You probably interact with artificial intelligence on a regular basis.   Think about the digital voice assistant on your Alexa device or when you use facial recognition to unlock your phone. Netflix, Spotify and social media companies use AI algorithms to suggest what to watch and listen to next and to personalize what you see on your feeds. And the best example of AI at work may be Google’s search engine. It searches the entire internet to find the best answers to your queries.   So, it’s not surprising that AI moved into content creation. Now you might wonder what it means for your business.  As a content firm and a team of writers, we are also curious.   Content marketing agencies are increasingly using artificial intelligence in their operations to create more engaging content that is relevant to their target audience. AI-powered tools like the Hemingway App and Grammarly have been used in content marketing for some time to help even the most seasoned writers improve the quality and clarity of their work by pointing out lengthy, hard-to-read sentences and grammatical errors. Tools like SEMrush, Moz and Google Search Console help marketers analyze data, identify trends and generate content ideas that content teams and marketers can use to create effective campaigns. 
    AI-driven tools have been helping automate content tasks such as: 
    • Keyword research 
    • SEO optimization  
    • Content distribution across channels  
    These writing and production assistants allow us to focus on the creative aspects of our job such as creating compelling stories, visuals, videos and other forms of content.  By leveraging the power of AI, content marketing agencies can produce high-quality content at scale and stay ahead of the competition in an ever-changing digital landscape.  But all this hype of AI being a replacement for writers? Surely, I had to see it in action. So, I plugged this search term into an AI writing tool, “What are the implications of using AI to generate content?”  It generated this blog intro:

    “The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate content has become increasingly popular in recent years. AI can be used to produce content that is more accurate, efficient and cost-effective than traditional methods. However, the implications of using AI for content writing are still largely unknown. 

    In this article, we will explore the potential implications of using AI for content writing. We will look at how it could affect the job market for copywriters and content writers, as well as the ethical considerations that come with using AI to generate content. We will also discuss some of the potential use cases for AI in this area, such as automated summarization and natural language processing. Finally, we will examine how these implications could shape the future of copywriting and content writing.”

    What did you think of the output? Was it clear and concise? Did you think it was engaging?  

    If you’re like me, you may have mixed views. Certainly, it provided a baseline response, maybe even a good introduction, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty, all I see are 130 words that don’t really say much at all. 

    It lacks depth. It didn’t hold my attention. It’s missing the human element, the “why should I care and what’s in it for me” quotient.  

    However, I am intrigued. I can see there is potential for value despite the undoubted skepticism surrounding the topic of AI and its use in content marketing. I believe in constant improvement, and I am always looking for tools that help me do my job better.  

    That’s why I decided to keep an open mind before drawing my trusty quill and readying for battle against the onslaught of copywriting robots said to be coming for my job. 

    So, I dove into this new and evolving world to uncover the pros and cons of artificial intelligence in content marketing.  

    Here’s what I discovered:  

    Table of Contents

    What are the Pros and Cons of Using AI Tools in Content Creation? 

    Content experts have long debated the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in content writing. Some believe it can be used to automate and streamline the process, while others are concerned about its potential impact on quality. 

    Despite these fears, AI is beginning to make its mark in the industry by providing content writers with tools to help them create better and more engaging content.  

    When used properly, some AI-powered tools can: 

    • Analyze data and generate insights to improve a writer’s work.  
    • Employ AI-driven algorithms that account for user preferences when creating content. 
    • Provide a more personalized experience for the audience.
    • Brainstorm new pieces of content based on existing work. 

    However, when used improperly, AI-powered tools produce low-quality content:  

    • Lacking empathy, emotion and the human touch readers crave. 
    • That’s tone-deaf or even offensive. 
    • With inaccurate and potentially dangerous elements. 

    So, while content experts agree that artificial intelligence can be a powerful tool for improving the quality of content writing, they also caution against relying too heavily on this technology. Ultimately, it’s up to human writers to ensure their work is engaging, accurate and relevant to their target audience. 

    It’s true. These tools can produce positive results for content producers and their clients, but we must not turn a blind eye to the potential downfalls of using AI. 

    AI-Driven Content: The Buzz of the Social Media World 

    AI has been a hot topic in the content world for some time. Our social media feeds are abuzz with industry experts sharing their take on the latest tools to hit the scene. ChatGPT and other AI tools for content writing are among the top-trending topics. 

    I’ve experimented with some of the most popular AI tools, such as Rytr and Jasper. I’ll admit that I see some potential benefits, particularly in topic and keyword research, article outlines and content optimization. After all, there’s nothing wrong with using tools to flesh out existing content or brainstorm potential topic ideas.  

    Each time I attempted to use AI to inspire content, I had to spend a considerable amount of time editing it to something I would be willing to turn into my editor. The generated results often resembled a high school research report rather than an engaging read.  

    However, I’m on the fence (and probably a bit biased) so I looked to other content leaders and to learn what they had to say: 

    • Neil Patel, Co-Founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics says: “ChatGPT and other AI tools are great for helping you write content faster. But it still is not great for email marketing. Email marketing is most effective when you segment your list and send people SPECIFIC CONTENT for what they are looking for. Email copy needs to be CUSTOMIZED. AI copy is rarely ready to go without adjustments to fit your purposes. You might get open rates up, but you’re unlikely to generate sales or conversions if you take AI content as is for your email marketing. This is something my company NP Digital has tested out with over 50 million emails. In almost all cases, the human-tweaked copy beat out ChatGPT without customization.” (LinkedIn) 
    • Robert Rose, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory says: “AI has no wisdom. Wisdom is the very human quality of having the experience, knowledge, emotional intelligence and sound judgment to help with decisions. Unfortunately, AI can’t currently combine these things. Therefore, it can’t judge the wisdom of or originate your next differentiated white paper or e-book. It won’t create the most original idea for how you should approach your new podcast. It won’t write the next visionary business book. But it can produce something that fits the model of each of those.” (Content Marketing Institute)
    • Janssen Manno, Director of SEO at CadenceSEO says: “As consumers and major marketing channels adapt to the [AI] phenomenon, there will be an increased demand for truly unique and interesting creative content, as well as for ‘AI content marketers’ who know how to leverage AI to create quality content at scale and in the appropriate context.” (LinkedIn) 

    What’s All the Fuss about ChatGPT?  

    Have you heard about ChatGPT yet?  

    You may have noticed on your social feeds that ChatGPT is all the rage right now, and I am excited to use it myself. 

    Touted as the most powerful AI tool in the world (according to my LinkedIn feed), ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI, a research lab based in San Francisco, California. GPT stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer” and is an up-and-coming solution using machine learning to generate human-like conversations.  

    Needless to say, I had to see what all the fuss was about. So, my curiosity led me on a research expedition where I quickly uncovered an article on The Verge, a technology news website operated by Vox Media.  

    Here, they discussed the accuracy issues experts have discovered with the technology:  

    “Stack Overflow, the go-to question-and-answer site for coders and programmers, has temporarily banned users from sharing responses generated by AI chatbot, ChatGPT. ChatGPT simply makes it too easy for users to generate responses and flood the site with answers that seem correct at first glance but are often wrong on close examination.”  

    A moderator for Stack Overflow reported, ““The primary problem is that while the answers which ChatGPT produces have a high rate of being incorrect, they typically look like they might be good and the answers are very easy to produce. So, for now, the use of ChatGPT to create posts here on Stack Overflow is not permitted. If a user is believed to have used ChatGPT after this temporary policy is posted, sanctions will be imposed to prevent users from continuing to post such content, even if the posts would otherwise be acceptable.” Read the full article here. 

    To this point, here is a snapshot of the ChatGPT homepage:  

    So, what does this mean for your business? Below, I explore the benefits and drawbacks of using AI to generate content for distributors. 

    How Distributors Can Use Artificial intelligence for Content Creation 

    What is the Future of AI-driven Content in Distribution? 

    AI and machine learning are already revolutionizing the distribution industry by automating and optimizing processes. AI-driven technologies provide companies with tools that can help them identify customer trends, recommend products, automate order fulfillment and delivery, and more.  

    AI is also helping companies better understand their customers’ needs and preferences to provide a personalized customer experience.  

    With AI in distribution, businesses can make decisions quickly and accurately while reducing costs associated with manual labor. This will ultimately lead to improved efficiency and increased profits in the long run. 

    It’s clear, artificial intelligence is hard at work improving operations in the distribution industry.  

    But what about its use in content and copywriting for distribution businesses?  

    I see the benefit of implementing AI into a business’s content strategy. AI can help distributors analyze customer data to better understand their target audience and develop personas. Marketers can use this information to brainstorm emails, social media and other content that may resonate with the customer base.  

    Distributors can use AI to gather insights from the following sales and business processes to develop content targeted to their buyers: 

    1. Order automation data
    2. Remote inventory tracking
    3. Product recommendations
    4. Sales team performance
    5. Customer behavior data
    6. Lost sales data 

    However, some drawbacks are associated with using AI strictly for content creation. AI may not always be able to generate relevant or accurate content for certain applications or products requiring specialized knowledge and expertise. And it certainly doesn’t reflect your company’s values.  

    Current AI tools can’t perform original research or subject matter expert interviews.  Nor will an AI tool speak to sales reps and customers to learn more about the relationship dynamics that are the cornerstone of distribution. They can’t tap into a person’s well of occupational expertise, gather their unique point of view and create an external presence, thus turning seasoned professionals into respected industry thought leaders.  

    For this reason, businesses that rely on the transfer of accurate and technical knowledge must be cautious of the extent to which they use AI tools currently. We caution AI users to: 

    • Fact check content output 
    • Monitor for plagiarism
    • Never enter confidential information into an AI tool
    • Review for inappropriate content 

    Remember that bot-generated response to the question, “What are the implications of using AI to generate content?”  

    Below, I took a stab at answering that question myself. Through my own research, I found some insights that may be more helpful to you than the bot’s answer.


    What Implications Exist When Using AI to Generate Content in Distribution? 

    If you know 3 Aspens Media, you know writing for distributors, consultants and end-users is our sweet spot. We often base our content strategies around subject matter expert interviews and conversations with company leaders. I’ve spent years talking with executives, leadership teams, sales professionals, delivery drivers, warehouse managers and various trades to learn the intricacies of their businesses, their people and their customers. 

    So, as I write this exposition on AI, I’m not only looking at it through the lens of a content creator, but also at how it can help my distribution clients.  

    What does this mean for distributors? How will AI impact your content needs?  

    For this, I looked to Benj Cohen, Founder of Proton AI, to get his take on the benefits and limitations of ChatGPT and AI for distributors. I came across his article, What Distributors Can Learn from ChatGPT, featured in National Association of Wholesale Distributors.  

    He mentioned the benefits of using ChatGPT for real-time writing assistance in creating responses to customer emails, freeing up customer service and sales reps to perform other job functions. He also discussed how ChatGPT could help distributors in other areas, such as order processing and market research.  

    However, he cautioned distributors to proceed with equal doses of optimism and caution.  

    He wrote, “Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, said, ‘ChatGPT is incredibly limited’ and ‘it would be a mistake to rely on it for anything important right now.’ In its summary of the technology, OpenAI listed its limitations, including:  

    • Writing nonsensical and incorrect answers that may sound accurate when there is no source of truth
    • Generating excessively verbose responses or repeating phrases
    • Biases in training models
    • Instead of asking clarifying questions of the user, the chatbot usually guesses what the user intended
    • Rather than refuse inappropriate requests, it will sometimes respond or exhibit biased behavior 

    Cohen recommends that distributors invest time understanding these technologies and deciding which AI investment will yield the best return for their business but be aware of its limitations.  

    Dirk Beveridge, Founder of UnleashWD and Distribution Consultant, also shared views on ChatGPT and other AI tools as they relate to the rapidly evolving world of distribution.  

    In a recent edition of his weekly newsletter, he says, “ChatGPT is undoubtedly making its mark quickly. It almost seems like the modern-day Gold Rush. There is a rush to try to understand it and its implications. Companies and organizations are, for example, learning how to use ChatGPT for content creation, language translation, Chatbot development, customer service and other applications. This AI tool represents the acceleration of change that is rapidly changing everything.” 

    Was this more informative than the AI-generated content? I’d love to know your thoughts. Reach out at [email protected] 

    Why AI Will Not Replace Content Writers (At least not anytime soon) 

    Does AI have the capability to create content just as well as a human writer?  

    With the emergence of AI content writing capabilities, many people wonder whether this technology will replace human writers. The short answer is no. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a great tool that can augment the quality of content, but it should not be seen as a replacement. Because in its present state, AI cannot provide the creative and emotional aspect of writing that only humans can bring to the table, nor can it capture subtle nuances.  

    Instead, it should be seen as an assistant that helps writers perform functions like topic research and outlines, saving time in the brainstorming process. 

    John Warner, education writer, speaker, consultant and former faculty at the College of Charleston, wrote something that resonated with me. He said, “ChatGPT is not generating meaning. It is arranging word patterns. ChatGPT can’t kill anything worth preserving.”  

    It’s true. In its present form, AI can certainly elevate bad writing, it can even produce writing that can pass as “pretty good.” But connecting human beings through the power of words? We’ll leave that to the professionals. 

    Robert Rose, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory says, “Some people likely will use generative AI technology in a way that harms the creative process and creators. But it’s just as likely that some people will leverage the technology to further the craft of writing – and challenge the rest of us to use the tool to get better at it.” 

    I’m happy to incorporate AI into my content strategy to elevate my clients’ content, and I am not afraid of it replacing writers like myself. Because here’s what artificial intelligence can’t do:  

    • Speak to your people and your customers to learn what makes them tick. 
    • Focus on building and sustaining relationships that are important to you. 
    • Perform routine gut checks on the quality and accuracy of content. 
    • Help business leaders and employees share their stories and experiences. 
    • See the big picture and help you create long-term strategies.  
    • Help you develop your brand voice.  

    The key to brand recognition and market share is to differentiate your business from everyone else. In life and in business, to stand out from the rest, you must tell your story. Why should customers choose you? How are you different? 

    The future is here, and we must adapt to it. Using technology to make our processes more efficient and streamlined — I am all for it and excited to immerse myself in this new world. But make no mistake, the collection of words gathered and assembled by a chatbot will not tell your story. 

    Curious about how we at 3 Aspens Media help B2B businesses tell their stories? Reach out at [email protected], or check out further resources on our blog. 

    Decoding AI-Driven Content: The Pros and Cons of Artificial Intelligence