AI has gone from strength to strength since its inception, but how has it evolved to help bloggers and content creators?
Everywhere we turn, we hear more about the rise and rise of the machines, in other words, AI (Artificial Intelligence). It’s shaking up every industry all across the world, but one of the most surprising areas AI is making an impact is the world of content creation. In fact, it is revolutionising the blogging industry as it’s helping bloggers of all shapes and sizes to produce quick, high-quality content. But how has AI evolved over the years, and is it really going to make such an impact in the blogosphere?
The Evolution of AI in Content Creation
To see how far AI has come, we have to go and look at the embryonic stages. The early 1980s is when AI first started. Spell checkers quickly became part of standard PC word processing packages, and many users relied on word processing packages like Microsoft Word to conduct a simple spell check, but it soon evolved beyond word processing packages and became an integrated feature on platforms, starting with the Apple Mac OS.
Up until 2007, the AI needle gradually moved, and then we first saw the publication of the first book written completely by a computer program, The Policeman’s Beard is Half Constructed, which was arguably Year Zero for the world of AI content creation. In 2009, Grammarly entered the scene, and heralded a whole new approach to writing, as it operated as a writing assistant relying on new and exciting technology like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning to read human work, making appropriate improvements, including mistakes, spelling, and also helping to fine-tune the tone of voice.
Grammarly has spawned a number of other AI writing platforms, and we are at the point where the world of AI writing assistants and AI content creation have converged at a point where content creators are using AI as a way to supplement their work, but are also using to create huge swathes of content!
How AI Has Changed How We Consume Content
In order to understand the impacts of AI on how we create content, we have to look at how AI has changed the ways we consume content. Everybody is somewhat aware of the impacts of algorithms, and how search engines like Google provide personalised recommendations based on the content we have viewed or searched for. In terms of our consumption of content, whether it’s video or blogs, AI is making an impact in some of the following ways:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is an essential aspect of the blogging world. Companies that use content creators will need greater recognition on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). In SEO, AI algorithms are used to gain a further understanding of the context of search queries. Search results can be displayed based on specific keywords, but this means that the average blogger cannot just conduct keyword research to find the most relevant search terms for their content and then incorporate them into their blog.
Google algorithms change regularly, for example, its RankBrain updates in 2015 and the Google MUM (Multitask United Model) update in 2021 were both initiated to help Google analyse content on web pages to determine which sites should rank higher. These both incorporated natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to understand context, while also considering other essential factors such as relevance and quality of content.
AI can improve accessibility and inclusion in how we consume content, which includes tools like captions and text-to-speech. With improved accessibility, this means a greater diversity in how we consume content, especially through Artificial Intelligence.
AI can analyse a browsing history to suggest appropriate posts or articles that may be suitable for the individual to improve the user experience and help people discover new content.
How is AI Changing the Ways We Create Content?
Content such as articles and blogs have, up until recently, been considered a creative endeavour. With increasing demands on bloggers to create posts for the ever-growing content mill, AI is changing the face of how we create content. Artificial Intelligence has made an impact in terms of assistive programs like Grammarly, but now we are seeing what AI can really do for bloggers and content creators:
Completely Creating Posts
The sheer volume of AI writing tools that have been unveiled, and continue to be unveiled at the time of writing, is testament to the demand for content. Various AI content creation tools such as Jasper, Copy.ai, WriteSonic, and upcoming tools like Lex AI are all geared towards creating high-quality content, with machine learning at the forefront.
Many AI tools allow you to type in a couple of commands, but the best content tools understand that the more information you feed the machine, the more detailed answers it can provide, creating a better piece of content.
AI Image Creation
As part of creating any form of content, imagery is pivotal, perhaps more so than the written word itself. AI is also having a major impact on the world of image creation, with numerous AI image generators.
AI image generators use Artificial Intelligence algorithms to convert text into images. You can type in a command, for example, an image of a bicycle in a field, and AI image generators use their knowledge of combinations of existing captions and imagery (like illustrations, paintings, and photography) to create a new or unique combination of visual elements.
There are a variety of AI image generators out there, all with their own unique capabilities. The technology behind each platform does vary, but the most recent image generators use Diffusion models, which is known as a generative model, which links to the term “generative AI,” a type of AI focused on generating new content (which we will hear much more about in the near future).
AI Tools for Grammar and Style
Many writers already use tools like Grammarly, which utilises natural language processing to identify mistakes in grammar and style to improve the quality of the work. The benefit of this tool is that it allows people from all walks of life to effectively become content creators, without necessarily having a degree in English literature or having a strong background in grammar.
How Can You Use AI to Improve Your Blogging Skills?
AI has demanded industries adapt, and as many writers in the world of content creation might very well be concerned that AI is going to put them out to pasture, you can actually use AI as a tool to help you in a number of different ways:
AI-generated content, also known as predictive writing, is still in its infancy, and many would argue that it is taking the personality out of posts. However as AI continues to develop, we will see it adapting to specific content in terms of tone. Many current AI tools allow you to input information and offer signposts to what type of content it should be, whether it’s a blog post, marketing page, etc, as well as the tone, whether it is authoritative, chatty, and so forth.
However, it’s important to recognise that there are challenges predictive writing needs to overcome, especially as the algorithms will need to develop sophistication to the point where it learns to replicate human language. We have recently seen the inception of AI-generated narration, which will mean that AI content creation will soon catch up.
Far from purely being a tool to help you write better, you can use Artificial Intelligence to track so many components to help you recognise what type of content is clicking with the audience. Tools like Google Analytics provide you invaluable insights into what is engaging audiences better on a website. This can help you get better at creating the right type of content to stimulate website traffic.
Using data analysis is part and parcel of what a good marketing company is all about. AI, in terms of content creation, can get the job done quickly, but every member of the public is going to have their own unique insight into whether that content resonates with them. This is why AI is best harnessed in terms of analysing a piece of content’s ability to engage.
Social Media Support
Let’s not forget that content creators will need to market themselves by selling themselves on social media. Social media is still one of the most important methods to deliver content that resonates.
With so many different tools using AI to help people track their social media performance, this provides yet another level of insight into how a blogger can create worthwhile content.
The importance of having personalised recommendations via AI cannot be underestimated. The algorithm that Google provides will always point you towards specific content, and as a blogger, you can use AI to your advantage by using it to locate more information about specific subjects.
If, for example, you are conducting research on a post about cats, you may find that, over time, AI will point you towards additional topics relating to that subject matter, whether it’s cat breeds, cat foods, etc. This can help you to generate fresh content for your blog, and can also help you to curate your content
What Are the Concerns With AI in Blogging?
For many bloggers, the notion of AI-assisted content creation might seem too good to be true. AI has advanced so much that it has outpaced our ability to imagine the risks. However, relying on Artificial Intelligence to create content can bring up a number of positive applications for these tools, but there are also ethical questions that we must bring to the fore:
What is the Quality of This Type of Content?
It is easier than ever to put information on the internet that is a copy of a copy of a copy. AI-generated content must be of the quality as if it was produced by a human writer, and this is something that, no doubt, will be addressed by the Google algorithm as AI improves in quality. However, as it stands, a blogger may use AI to generate content, but use it as a foundation, rather than a crutch.
Responsibility and Accountability
It is important to consider who is physically responsible for this content, for example, whether it’s the writer that generated this content through AI, or the AI system itself. While a plagiarism report will always determine if a piece of work is 100% authentic, that doesn’t necessarily highlight its originality, which brings into play a number of other notions relating to fake news, deepfakes, which, in turn, raises concerns about privacy and consent.
The Potential for Bias
Many AI models have been shown to show bias based on the data sets they are trained in, which can muddy the waters further.
What Will the Future of AI Bring to Blogging?
The world of AI is evolving at such a rapid rate. We’ve seen how many AI content creation tools are out there, and for any blogger reading this thinking that AI tools are the key to getting more done quickly, the most important thing to remember is that while AI writing assistants will get even better, with a wider variety of datasets to draw from, it is an essential component right now to use AI as a foundational tool.
AI is starting to understand context and syntax, but are also working to evoke feelings from the reader, which is something we are all striving for in our content, but while writing assistants can produce constant content, we have to remember that it’s not just about the content itself, but about the results it brings, specifically in relation to Search Engine Optimisation.
There has been a decline in organic search engine results, which has reflected the fact that search engines are being manipulated to present more paid results. Creating content quickly may make life easier for a blogger, but while the current language model used by AI, the GPT 3, is still in circulation, when GPT 4 even builds in a few years’ time, the landscape may have changed completely. For now, AI is evolving at a rapid rate, but don’t let this take over your ability to create original content, but merely use it as an assistive tool and use the other aspects of AI to help curate and create the best type of content for your readers.