Artificial intelligence: Should we allow AI to write for us?

Artificial intelligence: Should we allow AI to write for us?

If you think that AI isn’t already being used to create content in official publications, think again. Such notable sources as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, The Associated Press, and Yahoo! Sports are already generating content with AI. Granted, these stories are mostly the who, what, when, and where variety, like sports shorts that focus on successes, scores, and statistics.

But AI isn’t limited to such cut-and-dried writing. Even today, scientists and writers are pushing the boundaries of what AI can do. Chinese sci-fi writer Stanley Chen Qiufan used AI in his novels to generate some of the character dialogue. The AI programming had to be adjusted several times to get the best outcome, but Chen remains excited with the prospect. “We need something fresh to stimulate people’s thoughts and feelings,” he said.

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The start of AI writers

AI writing programs have been in development since the 1960s. Back then, computers were able to understand language enough to solve algebra word problems correctly. In 1965, Joseph Weizenbaum (MIT) introduced ELIZA, a program that simulated a psychiatrist’s dialogue.

But practical uses for AI writing didn’t really kick off until around 2015, with the creation of Quill, a program that compiles large amounts of data “and then completely mimics the steps an analyst would take to write a report,” according to its distributor. Or simply put, it’s “from spreadsheets to blog posts.”

In 2016, The Washington Post developed their in-house AI, Heilograf, to help them cover the 2016 Olympics. Their bot-generated short but swift reports that updated medal awards and game outcomes.

AI is even storming the realms of poetry and fiction. Here’s an online test to see if you can distinguish if a poem is written by a human or an algorithm. You may be surprised by the results. Most of us only guessed half of them right.

Can you make sense of this?

AI Writer claims to be able to “create unique content with our automatic website content generator.” Submit your topic or headline, let the AI do its job, and in a few minutes, you’ll receive a working draft. They say AI Writer is not “as perfect as you are,” and you’ll need to work on improving the results. But you “save around 33% of the time needed” to write.

There is a free test available on the website, so we tried to see what AI could do.

Our title/topic was “Businesses should get zero trust security.” The result was an article 983 words long. We cleaned the first two paragraphs of unnecessary punctuations and spaces, but the words are exactly as the AI had written them:

“When implemented correctly, Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) brings together many of the defining elements of Zero Trust security. Not only is it easier to implement, but it also offers a more secure and transparent user experience. Compared to the complexity and shortcomings of legacy approaches, SDP offers an excellent solution to make the principles of Zero Trust security a reality for businesses operating in the cloud. As a result, they are able to accelerate new business models and introduce new customer experiences with a greater sense of assurance and success.

“With zero trust, you can minimize the attack surface, improve auditing and compliance visibility, and reduce complexity and cost. Zero trust is truly the definitive approach to security for the modern hybrid enterprise.”

Needs work, doesn’t it? For AI Writer’s best examples of raw, no-post-processing articles, check out “Best definition for content marketing” and “Content marketing will replace traditional advertising.”

How AI writers can help you...

The consensus is that AI can take over tedious repetitive writing tasks, like reports or sports news results. For copy that’s straightforward and matter-of-fact, AI writing will suffice.

However, experts agree that Ai is still lacks the human touch. The two examples of AI Writer are so matter-of-fact, they sound soulless. They’re informative but not engaging. AI still lacks the storytelling ability, a very human strength.

But who knows? Maybe in a few years, we’ll be able to create a self-learning AI like Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

...and why they shouldn’t

With Gmail’s Smart Reply and Smart Compose, you have options on how to reply or finish your sentence. But if everyone uses them, every email will sound dull.

Ultimately, the main reason why we should not pass our writing tasks to AI is because writing is a component of literacy, which includes reading, thinking, and writing. We think, then we write. We read, realize our mistakes, and rewrite. We revise until we are able to accurately, fully, and effectively express ourselves. This back-and-forth exercise trains our minds and is crucial to our ability to analyze, create, decide, and progress. Writing makes us think clearly.

The ability to write is something we need to use always, otherwise, we slowly lose that ability. We need to write to sharpen our thoughts and our writing.

The danger with AI is not that machines will get smarter; they certainly will. The danger is that we humans will get dumber.

AI can still be a useful writing tool, if it helps us in research, proofreading, and eliminating needless words. Most importantly, AI can free us of tedious, repetitive writing so we can focus more on raising the bar and come up with unique, intelligent, quality writing.

Online Computers provide excellent managed services that can free you of your IT concerns so you can focus on your core tasks and improve your business skills. Whether you need AI services for your repetitive tasks, or you need reliable IT solutions for your company in Hanover, Morristown, or Madison, contact us today. We’ll be happy to help you!

P.S. — This article was not written by a bot.


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