Until a few short years ago, the methods used for writing remained the same even though the mediums used changed. Blogging and social media have given so many people a voice and a platform to write and share their many thoughts and feelings. Although many people may call themselves writers, professional writing has often been reserved for those with a talent for interpreting information and writing it in a way that makes sense to the reader.
In recent years, programs have surfaced that claim to have this ability. If you are a skeptic like I was, take a look at Yseop and the amazing demo of their platform here. After connecting your LinkedIn account, Yseop instantly writes and speaks your biography with incredible results. Yseop isn’t the only platform with this ability; Narrative Science has also developed an algorithm that mimics human writing. Through the input of data, statistics, and other components, the algorithm is able to produce a piece of content in narrative form. This emerging and growing technology has writers on edge, but could robots really replace us all?
Computers Need Our Input
While these platforms are able to spit out some excellent narrative it’s important to remember that the information that is going in is still provided by humans. As of right now, these platforms are not standalone content engines with the ability to pump out new and innovative content daily, still requiring a lot of work done from the human side.
Valuable and accurate content needs to first be inputted by humans. Humans are still essential in determining what type of content will be created and with what data set. Due to the necessity for human input and the current abilities of such platforms, these programs are excellent for sports information and reporting where statistics is the main content portion. That’s not to say that someday soon more in depth and researched content won’t become available through these platforms, but for now we are still an important piece of the content puzzle.
Computers are People Too
It turns out these robots are pretty good writers, gaining impressive credentials. Narrative Science is a contributor to Forbes.com’s blog with a byline that many writers would envy. These aren’t just tools that the writers are using and then later adapting or adjusting to make their own, these programs are receiving their own credit. If you don’t think a robot can be treated like a person then maybe you haven’t seen Watson in action. He was a real contestant on Jeopardy, beating out some of Jeopardy’s top competitors and proving that computers are able to interpret much more complex data than they used to.
Kris Hammond, one of the founders of Narrative Science, cited a media maven’s prediction that a computer program might win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 20 years and claimed instead that it would happen in 5 years with Narrative Science being the award winner. While this might seem like an outrageous prediction, the growth of ability in artificial intelligence narrative in the past couple of years makes it clear this prediction is no joke.
Computers Can be Our Friends
There are some who question whether these artificial intelligence applications will assist human workers or replace them. If you look back, though, we have a long history of careers and tasks being replaced by machines. In most industries workers have had to adapt by learning new technologies and keeping up with changes. It seems this will be no different for writers.
Just look at this recent Jobocalypse infographic. Take a journey through the data and you will be happy to know that you, the creative content marketer, should be free of worry!
In the past, those who succeeded were the people who learned to work with new technologies, not against them. To ensure that these technologies play a supporting rather than a replacement role it is vital to stay on top of new developments, being careful to fully understand the abilities and limitations of AI products. While these applications will definitely save writer’s time on the data gathering side of content creation, they cannot replace great writing. Turning facts and figures into valuable, effective content requires insightful analysis and a unique style above and beyond what a computer can deliver.
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