In class, I realized the fundamentals of fine writing — preserve it brief, concise, and grammatically right.
By that definition, AI-written content material must be good, proper? But, once I mess around with instruments like ChatGPT, I discover a number of purple flags.
Certain, it is grammatically right, but it surely provides off critical “company converse” vibes. It follows a logical sequence, but it surely typically goes on prolonged tangents. And whereas its responses could also be correct, it typically lacks a singular perspective.
This is not to counsel AI-written content material is inherently unhealthy. However in the event you plan to leverage AI for content material creation, it is essential to know the place it falls brief, and the right way to repair it.
4 Indicators It Was Written by AI
1. It is not skimmable.
As a author, it is good to think about that folks hold on to each phrase I write. The fact, nonetheless, is way completely different.
Gone are the times of leisurely studying the newspaper on the breakfast desk. Within the digital age, folks need info, and so they need it shortly.
However in the event you’ve ever tinkered with an AI-writing instrument, it’s possible you’ll discover it hasn’t mastered the artwork of brevity. For instance, once I ask ChatGPT to jot down an intro for an article on the right way to write higher headlines, it generates the next:
This intro is not essentially unhealthy, but it surely’s a tad wordy and much too lengthy. Now evaluate it to a weblog submit from Neil Patel on the same topic:
See the distinction?
Patel begins with an interesting query, instantly piquing our curiosity. He additionally writes in brief, one or two-sentence paragraphs. Each these methods make content material simpler to skim and take up.
2. It is lacking experience.
Which article would you quite learn: “Find out how to Go Viral on TikTok” or “How To Go Viral on TikTok, From 3 Creators Who’ve Finished It”?
I am prepared to wager the latter. That is the ability of experience — it immediately elevates any piece of content material with real-world expertise.
The issue? AI does not have any expertise.
As Kaitlin Milliken, HubSpot Weblog’s Program Supervisor & Content material Editor, places it, “AI chatbots repackage info that we have heard 1,000,000 occasions earlier than. In case you’re on the lookout for a contemporary perspective, you may wish to attain out to a human knowledgeable.”
She provides, “Specialists have entry to the most recent developments and more moderen knowledge than AI. Plus, they will pull from their real-world expertise. If there is a distinctive technique to resolve an issue or strategy a scenario, nothing compares to listening to from individuals who have lived by it.”
Apart from being an knowledgeable (or consulting one), you possibly can weave experience into your content material in different methods.
As an illustration, right here at HubSpot, a lot of our articles embrace real-world examples, unique knowledge, and “professional ideas.” These parts not solely improve the credibility of our content material but additionally pack extra worth for the reader.
3. It is outdated.
Once I requested ChatGPT to jot down an article about BeReal, a preferred photo-sharing app that launched in late 2021, right here was its response:
This is not only a ChatGPT drawback; all AI chatbots have information cut-offs. In case you use AI to jot down about subjects outdoors its scope, you threat producing outdated or irrelevant content material.
Plus, when you think about that solely 45% of professionals consider they might be capable to inform if ChatGPT gave them improper info, it creates loads of room for error.
For Clint Fontanella, HubSpot Weblog Supervisor, one workaround is to make use of AI to summarize analysis, not search it out.
He instructed me, “Once you need AI to jot down about knowledge that’s outdoors its database, my suggestion is to repeat content material from an current on-line supply and ask it to summarize and rewrite within the model of your selecting.”
As for Milliken, she provides a fact-checking step into her modifying course of. In her personal phrases: “Earlier than you publish something written with AI, fact-checking is crucial. If AI references a sure enterprise or particular person, make sure you double-check and see in the event that they nonetheless exist. ChatGPT can get these particulars improper.”
4. It sounds generic or bland.
“The primary time I ask AI to jot down something for me, it normally provides me essentially the most company, templated response you possibly can consider. One thing that is tremendous impartial and appears like a robotic wrote it,” Fontanella instructed me.
That is relatable for a lot of AI customers, myself included. For instance, once I ask ChatGPT to “sound extra participating,” it typically writes in its signature corporate-y model, however with double the exclamation factors.
For Fontanella, the secret’s tinkering with completely different styling prompts till you land on an output you want (e.g., “Sound extra lighthearted” or “Write within the tone of a HubSpot author”). Nevertheless, as he additionally factors out, this is not all the time an ideal resolution. You continue to have to do some editorial heavy lifting earlier than taking your content material throughout the end line.
This might imply including humor, injecting private anecdotes, referencing popular culture, forming a singular opinion, or adopting a sure perspective. On this manner, you are utilizing AI as a basis to construct upon.
In Fontanella’s personal phrases: “Normally, AI cannot write a bit that is on par with our commonplace of content material. Nevertheless, it might probably positively write a number of good sentences right here and there that may be the muse of your argument or paragraph. I extremely suggest cherry-picking sentences from paragraphs that you just like after which rewriting the paragraph round that sentence.”
Again to You
AI gives a wholly new technique to create content material, but it surely is not with out its limitations. This doesn’t suggest you need to keep clear of those instruments. Nevertheless, it is best to leverage them as writing assistants, not as precise writers.
As a writing assistant, AI can suggest new concepts and angles, gather and summarize info, rephrase content material, and generate primary outlines, which you’ll then elevate together with your creativity, experience, and perspective.