Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t a new idea. We’ve been talking about the potential for computers to think and respond like human beings since way back in the 1950s. But AI has evolved a great deal in recent years, becoming a ubiquitous technology that’s available to almost all of us, in one way or another.
AI is used in many of our smartphone apps, helping to make things faster, smarter and more convenient. Businesses are using AI to automate repetitive tasks and create voice-activated AI assistants. And artists are using AI algorithms to create never-before-seen artworks that are generated at the press of a button by creative AI tools.
There are even AI content writing tools, like Ryter and Jasper, now on the market. And this emergence of ‘AI writing assistants’ is probably something you’ll be concerned about if you’re a professional writer, content creator or copywriter.
So, is AI going to replace us as content writers?
Complementing, not killing, your content writing
The short answer is…no! AI writing tools are not here to replace you as a writer. If you’re already an experienced writer with plenty of clients under your belt, your role is not suddenly going to disappear. At present, us squidgy brain monkeys still have the upper hand over an AI.
As a human writer, you have:
- A unique style and tone that’s (at present) very difficult for an AI to replicate effectively and convincingly.
- Oodles of empathy and emotional intelligence, something that separates you from an algorithm that thinks purely in terms of logic.
- An ability to spot text that doesn’t flow, doesn’t grab your attention or that simply doesn’t feel ‘right’ to a human reader.
- A feel for slang, humour and puns that’s tricky for a piece of software to generate – at least in a way that doesn’t come out sounding like a terrible dad joke.
So, as a seasoned human writer, you aren’t redundant just yet. But is there a way that AI could actually help you become a more effective writer?
The chances are, yes, it can.
Complementing, not killing, your content writing
You have skills (both learned and innate) that an AI can’t compete with. But that’s not to say that an AI writing tool isn’t incredibly useful. And here’s why.
AI writing tools exist to complement your abilities as a human writer. In essence, using an AI writing assistant is like hiring a content apprentice. You tell your assistant what to do, and it will generate text and bring a new perspective to your writing.
Just like an apprentice, your AI is not going to churn out work that surpasses the skill of the master. But what it DOES do is give you a draft, a rough idea or a structure that’s then a starting point for you to put your human skills to work.
OK, that all sounds great in principle. But what’s it like actually using AI to write content?
Using Rytr to create AI-generated content
I’ve been testing out Rytr, a free AI writing tool, over the past couple of weeks. I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness (and usability) of the content that’s been generated. I was ready to be disappointed and to scoff at how AI wasn’t up to the job. But a few days of getting familiar with an AI content writing tool has dispelled my worries.
With Ryter, you can:
- Choose from a list of use cases that include blog posts, landing pages, emails and many other more specific writing formats.
- Tell the AI your title and key words and ask it to generate an outline, or a structure, or even full paragraphs of text around this topic.
- Edit and amend the output text, run multiple different variants of the content and then export your completed text as the end format of your choice.
It’s simple and easy to use, and the output appears after just a few seconds of the app chugging away to create your copy.
The free version has a limit of 10,000 characters per month, so if you’re a serious pro writer then you’ll probably need to splash the cash on a paid subscription. But, given the added efficiency of having your ‘apprentice AI writer’ on the team, I think that’s money well spent.
Writer and AI, working in harmony
So, would I send the initial, unedited AI article to one of my clients? Absolutely not, in the same way I wouldn’t send my apprentice’s first draft to the client.
Any draft is going to need a read-through and some careful editing to make it sound acceptable. But, for me, coming up with that initial first draft can sometimes be the most DIFFICULT part of being a content writer. With AI helping you create that initial draft – and doing it WAY quicker than you’d ever do it on your own – you can overcome the writer’s block, create fresh content and take on more work.
Seems like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it? There’s certainly plenty to love about an AI tool that can reduce your workload and challenge your accepted writing formulas.
We do need to keep a close eye on the development of AI. What you don’t want is tech developers sticking AI into products just for the sake of it. But, to me, there are definite bonuses of having an AI apprentice to help me out – especially for freelance writers who don’t have any employees to delegate these tasks to.
It may be that, over time, AI tools make it more difficult for novice writers to get the experience they need to get a foot in the industry door. But if we all embrace AI and see it for what it is – a useful weapon to have in our writer’s armoury – then solid experience of artificial intelligence may become a foundational skill for any self-respecting writer.
How To Write Killer Content
Looking to improve your content writing skills? My book, ‘How To Write Killer Content For Your Startup’, is your 101 guide to understanding brand value, improving your core writing skills and getting your head around content marketing.
It’s available on Amazon in print, Kindle and Audible versions now.