Technology is moving at a rapid pace. And there’s no doubt that the advancements we've seen so far have opened up some great opportunities. We now have 3D TV's, wearable fitness trackers and self-driving cars.
But, is technology also making us lazy?
I no longer need to use my phone to check the weather or to set an alarm - I just ask Alexa to do it. When I run out of washing tablets, I can press a button under my sink and have a new box appear at my door the very next day - thanks to Amazon Dash. And the missing TV remote conundrum is no longer an issue in my house. I just tell the TV to turn on and what channel to flick to.
Admitting to all this makes me feel very lazy indeed...
But when it comes to my job as a content writer, there isn’t really room to be lazy. Creating content that resonates with our target audience involves first understanding what our buyer personas are looking for, and then conveying that information in a way that is helpful, compelling and personable.
Yet according to this HubSpot article, The Press Association are trialling ‘computer-generated-data-driven content.’
It’s a mouthful, but essentially, it means robot-generated content.
Funded by Google (are you surprised?), the plan is to create 30,000 localised stories a month from data. The trial started in November 2017, so these robot-generated articles are already sitting amongst the mix.
Personally, I find it all a scary thought. What about all the things that make writing human? Emotion, humour, context. Can a robot really mimic this?
As it turns out, it’s not as bewildering as it might first sound. As Ellie Roddy explains in the article, reporters are still at the core of the stories. The computer simply gathers data and facts. The journalists turn these bare bones into something more suitable for publication.
When it comes to creating content that will resonate with and sway the decisions of our buyer personas, the human element is essential. It’s for this reason that we can never underestimate the importance of a human writing content. After all, the content we create is how we connect and build trust with our customers and prospects. Taking the human side away simply isn’t an option.
But allowing a robot to gather information that will assist us in creating content can be a good thing. There’s only so much research you can do before writing a blog post, for instance. And if a computer can help us to capture the most relevant and interesting data quickly, surely that’s no bad thing? It then comes down to our ability to analyse, interpret and package this data into an effective and compelling piece of content that will attract the attention of our audience.
Thankfully, it doesn't look like the content writing community will be taken over by robots any time soon. But maybe there are ways we can utilise artificial intelligence to make creating content more efficient.
Perhaps there's another use here for my clever pal Alexa...
Everyone thinks they can write. Even, it would seem, robots. But do these automated writers really have the ability to produce content to rival the work produced by those of us who write for a living? Should we see them as a threat? Likewise, whether you are a brand manager within retail, travel, finance or any other industry, will this affect you and what, if anything, do you need to be thinking about now? Could you actually consider using robots instead of humans to get your content written? Well, it’s time to see what they’ve got to offer as, in what is believed to be a world-first for journalism, robot-generated stories have been produced by The Press Association.