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Juan Pablo Rubio

24 June 2019

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Some truths about IA for content marketing.

One of the biggest fears surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that it’s going to put us all out of a job. To be fair, that’s partially true. If your job is repetitive and easy to automate – it’s likely you’ll soon be replaced by a robot. Sorry! That’s the reality.

The debate around which jobs are future-proof, and which jobs aren’t, has been going on for a while now – and it’s a little misguided.

Who among us can recall this infamous book on AI published in 2004 which claimed that there would never be a real substitute for human drivers?

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And now, well…

Elon Musk is, of course, the owner of the most well-known automated car company in the world, plus his products are eco-friendly – so he may be a little biased. But not wrong.

However, don’t panic just yet. There’s a common line of work which – at least for the time being – seems safe from the inevitable rise of the mean machines. We’re talking about those jobs that centre around creative thinking.

It was a commonly held belief that machines could never paint a real masterpiece, or write a best-selling novel or compose a symphony. Most humans, it should be noted, can’t do any of these things either – although in the right circumstances, with enough motivation and a little bit of luck, these things are achievable.

No one ever imagined machines could be ‘creative’. However, this misconception stems from a false premise – that the only kind of creativity we need to worry about is creativity that relies on originality, and not repetition.

As Naval Ravikant puts it:

Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG)

From news headlines to Bob Dylan songs, if you’ve ever read anything online the chances are you’ve stumbled over something that was written by a bot. When you think about it, the amount of content we consume has long-since surpassed human capacity to create (although we’re doing our best to keep up!). Attention spans are getting shorter and when it comes to online articles, it takes audiences the same number of characters as a tweet to decide whether or not to keep going (and I’m talking about the good old days of 140-character tweets, not the 280-character essays we’re forced to put up with today).

The formula is simple, Natural Language Processing (NLP) helps bots to learn how words are used and in what context. Once it understands the human language, NLP can be used for a number of different purposes; displaying relevant results (Google), conversation and customer service (chatbots), speech recognition (transcripts and subtitles) or even, with the help of NLG, complete conversations, reviews, stories, articles, poems, songs, social copy, and title generation. AI can do whatever you train it to do.

‘Train’ is the keyword here; we’re talking about automation of repetitive tasks. You want your bot to write Amazon reviews for your product? Well first of all – please don’t. And second of all, you’ll first need to feed your bot as many different reviews as possible so that it can learn by example. The same applies to everything else – even if it’s just a three word title. Of course, you’ll need to feed it good quality content or the output it’ll produce will be subpar. If a machine learns spelling or grammar mistakes, it will repeat those same mistakes. Always keep the Machine Learning mantra in mind: ‘Garbage in, garbage out.’

The possibilities are endless – especially when you combine AI with a wealth of high-quality data. AI can do more than just create a headline for an article, it can create one that is specifically tailored to each audience group who reads your article. You can create Facebook ad copy that changes the word ‘dog’ to ‘cat’ depending on whether the reader is a dog lover or a weirdo. Hyper-personalised newsletters can provide readers with personalised recommendations based on shopping and browser history. We’re entering an age of personalised automation.

AI is not a reason to let go of your creative department – in fact, on the contrary. It’s about letting those beautiful humans do what they do best – what they were born to do; create. As opposed to figuring out different ways to say ‘please buy my product’ – there are many more ways their time can be better spent.

In this article, we’ve focused mainly on the written word – but image recognition and creation is advancing quickly. Design teams – you’re next

*This article was NOT written by a bot or sponsored by the creative department