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  • Writer's pictureIan Lavis

Human vs bot

Updated: Jan 25

Can you rely on a chatbot for your content?


The use of advanced chatbots like ChatGPT is making it more difficult to tell who, or what, created the content you are reading.


Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) are getting better all the time at mimicking human conversation and writing styles.


ChatGPT, developed by U.S. research lab OpenAI, has the ability to interact in a conversational way, answer follow-up questions, generate content, admit mistakes and challenge incorrect premises. Available for free, ChatGPT is estimated to have over one million users.



A robot awaiting instructions
Can you trust this robot with your content?

Now OpenAI have gone one step further with the release of the paid-for language model GPT-4, which they claim can generate, edit, and iterate with users on a variety of creative and technical writing tasks, such as composing songs, writing screenplays, or learning a user’s writing style.


Advanced chatbots such as GPT, Bing and Jasper provide a tempting alternative for anyone in need of digital content.


However, while AI chatbot developers have made great strides, there are accuracy and quality issues you should consider before using chatbots to produce your content.


Capabilities

The ability of today’s chatbots to write content is impressive. In a recent experiment by Content Design London, a blog was written by a GPT-4 chatbot and the results show a remarkable similarity to that of a blog written by a human writer.


The chatbot needed a clear brief and guidance on style to produce something the Content Design London team could work with. The draft wasn’t perfect. It required editing prior to publication.


In this respect, if managed well, you could argue there is little difference between a chatbot and traditional writer. But the technology falls down when it comes to accuracy and high-level content.


Pitfalls

Relying on a chatbot to produce your content can be a risky strategy.


While bots can write to a brief and respond to questions, they cannot discuss the brief in great detail and agree how to approach a piece of content to achieve the best results.


There is a limit to how much chatbots can think independently, investigate and discuss different ways to convey information to different target audiences. There are also issues concerning rehashed content and creating or duplicating information that may be false.


In an article published by Mailchimp, the marketing, automation and email platform, a writer (possibly human), says: “At the end of the day, AI blog writers will not be able to write in the same capacity that human writers can. There's also a risk of plagiarism with AI content writing because some AI tools take existing content online and reword it.”


Already, we are seeing potential lawsuits relating to content produced by chatbots. A report by Reuters published on April 5 claims an Australian mayor may sue OpenAI for defamation “if it does not correct ChatGPT's false claims that he had served time in prison for bribery”.


Your choice of content writer

The limitations of even the most advanced chatbots suggest AI-powered technologies should only be considered for simple, high-volume content, to avoid costly or embarrassing errors. Things like emails and product or service descriptions, or to help carry out research.


In all cases, caution is advised if you opt for a chatbot to write your content. With any form of content writing, you need to make sure you have people in place to check the accuracy of the text and make any necessary edits prior to publication.


Where more nuance, creativity and depth are required, such as emotive marketing content and thought-provoking articles, you would be better off relying on a human with the skills and experience to research the subject and write to brief in a way that resonates with your audiences.


Good content requires an ability to talk directly to the reader and give them the information they need in a clear, engaging way. While bots can do this to some extent, they often fall short when it comes to accuracy, originality and style. An example is a thought leadership piece containing unique insight gleaned form interviews with subject experts. This type of content is far more powerful than an article generated simply by re-hashing information already in the public realm.


The way forward

As AI becomes more sophisticated, it may be worth considering combining the qualities of chatbots and humans to save time and money while also ensuring accuracy and readability.


Writers themselves are already beginning to do this – using bots to try out ideas and compare different ways of presenting information.


ChatGPT and other AI-based technologies can improve efficiencies but just like humans, they need careful management.


If you do decide to decide to go down the AI route, think of your bot as a new recruit; give it a clearly defined role, carefully integrate it into the team, and consistently monitor its performance.


There is a role for chatbots in content creation, and that role is likely to increase as AI becomes more intuitive, but tread carefully and don’t overlook the unique skills a human content writer can bring to the table.


You may find that a human content writer, and indeed a human editor, will save you time and money in the long-term and help you develop a stronger voice and closer bond with your audiences.


Trust

Generating good content boils down to trust. You need to trust your writer to convey your messages in an accurate and compelling way. And you need to provide the support they need to do the job effectively.


You can probably tell this article isn’t written by a bot because of the way it's written and my choice of sources. At least, I hope you can!


If you’d like further proof, or you’d like to discuss your own content needs, contact me today and let’s have a chat, human to human.

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