The fear of AI and its place in content creation – by Viola’s Chris Moran

By Chris Moran, head of content, Viola Communications

I’d like to believe that human writers will always have a place in content creation. But how does the new Open AI, and its numerous derivatives, really fit into writing, whether creative, artistic, or a social media entry somewhere on the web that maybe only a handful of people follow or read?

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In recent months, the world’s social media accounts have been set ablaze by ‘influencers’ promoting so-called AI sites (here are 5 websites I bet you didn’t know about etc.) offering to produce your press releases, thesis, or film script, turn the text into speech, put the words into the mouths of digital avatars, add copyright-free music, green-screen your avatar onto a royalty-free video background, and then automatically upload it to YouTube so you can make money from a side-hustle…

Honestly, I am a little worried.

So, in an effort to understand how it may affect me, I visited some of the recommended sites. After disregarding those that required registration or (expensive) subscription, and deleting ones that produced obviously sub-standard content, I learned that at the moment, all these features can only be achieved by visiting a chain of up to 6 sites and progressing one step at a time, at which point many users will give up, due to an inherent lack of patience and the demonstrably human trait of laziness. But when (not if, when) a multi-national tech company with a bottomless pit of dollars buys into the concept and brings it all together, most likely behind a paywall (yes Microsoft, I’m looking at you with your $10 bn investment in CHAT GPT), things will certainly change. Time does not appear to be on our side.

So it’s hardly surprising that there has been a rapidly growing anxiety about artificial intelligence and its impact on the future of content creation. People that make a living from their lexical skills fear that artificial intelligence will lead to a decrease in jobs associated with content creation and production created by humans. On the other hand, it is also true that some people believe that AI can provide many benefits to the process, such as improved access to more resources, improved data-driven insights and potentially faster output.

AI is already being incorporated into content creation by providing automated solutions which help in creating, editing and visualising content. This technology can be used for activities such as data mining for identifying trends, content curation or the creation of visuals. AI can detect emerging developments in content to aid the creative process, from text analysis to video and audio editing.

The capability of AI to create art has been seen in different forms, from digital music compositions to the visual arts. In many cases, AI-generated art has been able to fool a portion of the public thanks to a resemblance to real art created by humans, but this is now opening the doors to a complex process of litigation by originators who feel they are being plagiarised or pirated.

So, for me, at present, although the fear of AI replacing traditional content production process is understandable, it is important to know that it is not always the best way forward. AI can be used as a complement or enhancement when creating content, but is not a replacement for the human element, which requires a subtle touch, nuance and a wealth of experience. AI might not know the difference between the words maize and corn, but a client in the cooking oil or popcorn business certainly will. AI is best used to automate parts of the process which can be tedious and time consuming, such as data collection and analysis, allowing the time saved to let us creators focus on the many imaginative and perhaps inspirational aspects of the content creation process.

So for the time being, fear of AI and its use in content creation is natural, but it should not be a guiding factor when making decisions about the who/what/when/where/why and how of creating content. AI should be used to make the content creation process more efficient and allow more time for creativity, but should not be the final part of the process, which thankfully still requires intuitive human intervention. But make no mistake, there can be no doubt that AI and the machine-learning processes are going to get better, more impressive and more user-friendly in the future…

Just not yet please.

*Full disclosure – some of this article was generated by one of the ubiquitous ‘AI’ applications available for free on the internet. It was, however, edited, enhanced, nuanced and had some glitter added by a human.