For many years the debate on auto-generated content or human-written copy has been positioned as machine vs human; the ultimate showdown. Where we are led us to believe there can only be one winner. Will AI take the job of a copywriter or will copywriters prevail and make the need for AI generated copy obsolete?
The good news is that a much brighter future for both is just around the corner. We are moving into a period of positive collaboration, where human + machine can coexist in perfect harmony, leveraging each other’s strengths and collaborating to achieve productivity gains that have previously not been possible.
The journey between man and machine
The human + machine journey started many years ago. In the 1900s we saw standardised processes, solely led by human input. Think of a Ford assembly line where each individual had their own task that worked in line with a wider set of standards to complete an overall task.
Then in the 1970s-90s we saw the introduction of automated processes, where machines were used to automate specific workflow processes beginning to replace the need for human input. This, combined with the rise of more advanced IT offerings and the introduction of an ‘automated back office’, revolutionised many companies. For example, it took UPS from a humble package delivery business to a global logistics company.
Following this came a new wave of adaptive processes, where we moved beyond rigid assembly lines toward the integration of organic teams that partner humans with advanced AI systems.
It’s a common misconception that machines are here to replace us. This has been amplified throughout popular culture for many years; whether it’s Will Smith’s iRobot or Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, the narrative around AI and deep tech impacting our society negatively has been widespread for a while.
However, these third-wave adaptive processes optimise clever technology, with humans in the loop, forming a partnership between man + machine. AI isn’t replacing the need for humans; instead, it’s doing the tedious grunt work, collecting data and doing preliminary analysis, freeing humans to focus on more complex issues.
Human-machine collaboration in action
This hybrid approach, when humans + machines work together, is already quite prevalent across many industries. Waze, the navigation software captures human-machine collaboration brilliantly by crowdsourcing user data on traffic jams and diversions to offer a much more granular and dynamic experience. While we are also seeing the hybrid approach in fashion with pioneers, Stitch Fix, who use advanced recommendation algorithms and data science to capture measurements, brand preferences and consumer insights leaving creative stylists to look at imagery and adding finishing touches based on customer notes.
In the current era of business transformation, AI systems are not wholesale replacing us; rather, they are amplifying our skills and collaborating with us to achieve productivity gains that have previously not been possible. Machines are able to magnify our cognitive strengths and extend our physical capabilities.
The content process and rise of AI tools
Similar to the assembly line, the content creation process is complex. Technology and basic tooling alone doesn’t offer adequate enough results to solely replace the need for human writers. However, with all the elements that go into creating good content, humans certainly cannot do it all themselves – especially not at the scale needed to stand out in today’s digital landscape.
In the last few years, the market has been flooded with AI copywriting tools, all claiming to be better than the one before them. Although using AI and machine learning to generate copy seems exciting and innovative at surface level, and appealing due to the lower cost when compared to a human copywriter, once you dive deeper you’ll quickly discover that what you get is what you pay for – not very good copy. AI tools may save you money, but they will cost you time. On the other hand, copywriters may save you time, but will cost you money.
Further, according to Search Engine Journal, Google says “AI-Generated Content is against webmaster guidelines” and “if you use machine-learning tools to automatically generate content then it will be considered as webspam”.
So in a world where AI both helps and – it would seem – hinders the content creation process, where do we go from here?
A hybrid future for content creation
Taking a hybrid approach, one where copywriters can leverage the best of AI and their own artistry in one workflow, is the future of effective content creation.
As mentioned, AI can amplify our cognitive strengths and extend our physical capabilities. When creating content technology can be great for certain tasks: keyword research, title recommendations, processing large amounts of data, analysing key search terms, optimising for SEO and assessing for originality. But what AI can’t do, is what good copywriters do best: adding creative flair, personality and tone of voice.
Any previous attempt to find an equilibrium between auto-generated content and human-written copy has meant forever flicking between various tabs, websites and Google Docs. This overhauls all potential productivity increases of utilising AI and in turn impedes on the creative workflow.
To solve this problem, to allow writers to avoid the tedious work so they can focus on writing, inflo.AI have worked to be the first to fully productise human-machine collaborations during the content creation process. They have bridged the gap between the unbeatable creative flair of an experienced copywriter and the indisputable productivity gains of using AI and machine learning.
The inflo.AI technology provides users with bespoke Content Briefs that equate to 70% of a completed post. Generated by advanced AI, the Content Brief comes complete with title recommendations, meta descriptions, primary copy suggestions, based on keyword research and SEO optimisation.
Each Content Brief is quality assured by a vetted and talented freelancer and writing community before being passed on to the end user who can then flesh out the Content Brief with their greatest asset: a human touch. inflo.AI users can make use of sophisticated tooling to scan for originality, publish their piece and track key metrics too.
This is a massive step forward in our need for centralised hybrid content creation. And a very exciting phase one; never before have human + machine been able to work collaboratively to research, write, optimise, publish and track content, in one platform.
The results of implementing Hybrid Content Creation speak for themselves. Many users have experienced radical decreases in the time needed to create content, while also experiencing sustainable gains in the scalability of their content and in turn their organic search traffic. Alongside enjoying unbeatable increases to the amount of generated leads and revenue attributed to organic search.
We’ve had an ongoing love/hate relationship with advanced technology for many decades, but now we are seeing a clear opportunity to use AI and machine learning to enhance our workflows, help us meet our target KPIs and give us copywriters more time to do what we love: writing great content.