The dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is near. Industry 4.0, a fitting name for the revolution, will have companies automating their processes using digital solutions including Artificial Intelligence (AI). This will replace most of the manufacturing and manual labor. It has been tested and implemented. Not surprisingly, it works and it works very well. But is AI intelligent enough to be creative?
Turns out, it is.
Heliograf, the Washington Post’s “in-house automated storytelling technology”, did just that, which is 85% more prolific than its human peers. And Heliograf did that during its first year. Talk about efficiency. But the elephant that is silently growing in the room is, can AI replace creative work?
Eventually, but not yet.
AI for content creation was not created to replace creative jobs (take that AI, I can make puns!). It was made for integration. To make those jobs faster, more efficient and more accurate. But AI cannot do these things on its own. It still requires human programming and back end maintenance.
The main purpose of AI and machine learning
The main purpose of AI and Machine Learning is bulk processing. They are capable of collecting, analyzing and organizing huge amounts of data. This work is a direct parallel to one aspect of content creation: article writing.
Writing articles require research and resources. Collecting information from multiple sources, fact-checking those collected sources, analyzing information from those sources that is relevant to the article and organizing that information into an article. Really similar to the AI’s MO.
Gathering information, fact checking and analyzing the data are the processes that takes a sizeable chunk of the time from a writer. To stay pertinent and within the bounds of ethics, the writer really needs to spend time in research so that the content produced will be accurate and relevant. It takes hours for an average writer to do that.
With the help of AI, the information needed can be ready in minutes. The writer can then focus on, well, writing. AI can also help journalists cover more from an event and pump out more news in real-time.
It’s crazy to think that basically, AI and machine learning technology are still in its infancy. When it matures, the more smarter and more independent it gets.
Content creation possibilities for AI
There are other multiple use cases for AI in content creation. Time intensive tasks such as video and audio transcription can be processed in minutes using machine learning. Speech-to-text programs require so much voice data to be processed to have higher accuracy. AI and machine learning makes the speech recognition process exponentially faster which it can simultaneously process into written data.
Half man, half machine, all content
(I can also make obscure references too.)
Relevancy is a very slippery slope nowadays. One day, you are at the top page. The next day, you may not even be recognized. It is a constant struggle to be seen. The internet never forgets, that’s what they say. But the internet is also constantly distracted.
In order for us content creators to stay relevant, we need to push out content as much as we can, all day everyday. We need to remind our audiences of our presence, lest we be replaced by our competitors.
AI and machine learning are the newest tools in our arsenal to help us keep up with the ever hungry and ever picky eyes of our audiences.
Even though AI tech is very fast at processing information, it still needs human guidance. In order for a content to have context, it should fit on a target audience. The only way for a content to truly connect to an intended individual, a content creator needs to appeal to their emotions.
AI: 0 | Humans: 2 HUMANS WIN! (for now)
AI can defeat people at chess and Jeopardy , but it cannot win debates yet. IBM’s “Miss Debater” has facts, arguments and rebuttals on point during “her” debate with Harish Natarajan. However, manipulation of pitch and words to invoke emotions is still the advantage of any human against machine in a debate.
Same goes for content. The more human the content is, the more it connects to the target audience. AI is just a very helpful technology to help content creators do their jobs easier, more accurate and much more efficiently. It is not just the future of content creation, it will become a necessary tool in a content creator’s toolbox.
Everything will be fine and dandy as long as our “tools” don’t learn to become employees and replace our jobs. Maybe in the near future, a Turing test would be required on a job application.