We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the use of artificial intelligence in everything from Google’s search algorithm to predictive text. Now, there are AI writing tools that can help produce content. Help is the operative word, however, as these are writing tools that can aid a writer. They’re not a replacement for a real, human writer.
What Are AI Writing Tools and What Can They Do?
If you use Gmail or Google Docs, you may have already seen some AI writing tools without realizing it. The predictive text features and even the spell checker are all forms of artificial intelligence. There are much more advanced AI writing tools available now, which use real-world data to produce written content.
What Are the Limitations of AI Writing Tools?
We’re not yet to the point where AI resembles C-3PO from Star Wars. AI at this point in human technological development is a tool, rather than a replacement for writers. AI writing tools need input from writers in order to generate any sort of content at all and also need a human writer to review and adapt the content.
Will AI Ever Replace Human Writers?
Consider C-3PO again. He’s an artificial intelligence designed to understand and communicate with humans. He’s a protocol droid whose primary purpose is human/cyborg relations. Yet he spends all nine Star Wars films bumbling around and generally annoying every human he comes across. He’s repeatedly told to shut up or is outright deactivated by fed-up human characters.
No matter how good AI gets at parsing existing content and using that to generate new content of its own, there will always be parts of the human experience that AI won’t be able to understand. There are parts of the human experience that humans misunderstand. It’s therefore difficult to imagine AI writing being anything other than a tool that a human must provide input for and must adapt in order to produce high-quality content.
Is AI-Generated Content High-Quality?
Quality of writing is one of the biggest differences between AI writing and human writing. If you take the content generated by an AI writing tool and then don’t change it at all, you’ll end up with content that uses the keywords you’re trying to rank for in SEO. However, you’ll also end up with content that doesn’t meet Google’s EAT standards. AI-generated writing is excellent if the only thing you want to do is use keywords, but Google hasn’t used only keywords for ranking content in decades.
Does Google Devalue AI-Generated Content?
In general, yes, Google doesn’t rank AI-generated content as high as it does human-written content. This is because, like C-3PO, AI doesn’t really understand the humans for whom that content is written. An AI writing tool can create sub-headers, insert keywords, and more, but it can’t comprehend what users are looking for when they search.
Google’s latest guidelines say that the best writing is human-written, for humans. If you’re writing with search engines in mind over your human audience, then your content isn’t what Google is looking to promote. AI-written content is for search engines because that’s what AI understands.
How Can You Tell if Writing Is AI-Generated?
AI-generated writing is typically less creative, less trustworthy, less of an authority, and less of an expert. It also doesn’t use a wide range of vocabulary. If you read content that’s just a regurgitation of something else and uses the same words over and over again, that’s a sign that it was written in its entirety by AI without the intervention of a human writer.
Mistakes with the more difficult-to-understand parts of language, like slang, are also signs of an AI. For the same reasons that Google Translate isn’t always reliable for a perfect translation, AI doesn’t always understand nuance in word meaning and grammar.