Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), with the release of ChatGPT in late November 2022, has turned every industry on its head. Overnight, we’ve seen all kinds of AI-related content, tips for crafting the best prompts, and promises of how AI will revolutionise the way business owners strategise and create content.
These promises hold some weight. The large language models (LLMs) that drive GenAI tools are sophisticated, well-trained and fed a huge amount of material to optimise their outputs. But that doesn’t mean they’re foolproof.
Here are three benefits and three drawbacks you should consider before you incorporate AI into your content strategy. Let’s start with the upsides:
A worthy sparring partner for brainstorming content
What do you do when you’ve got a brilliant idea for a blog but it’s 8pm and everyone’s logged off or left the office? We all know that these bursts of inspiration leave our heads as quickly as they enter. You could write it down, of course. But typing your idea into a GenAI tool and asking for more input can help you find other angles that you might never have discovered had your thoughts not left your trusty notebook. And that can happen in a matter of seconds – without worrying about someone vetoing the idea.
Shortcut the timeline from ideation to creation
The speed at which GenAI can provide an answer to your prompts is a massive advantage. Within seconds, you can churn out a blog outline, an answer to a quandary and even full-length content (though we wouldn’t advise that, as you will discover below). This fast-tracks the time it takes to get to a finished piece of content, driving efficiency and increasing productivity when used carefully.
Get answers that Google can’t give
Sometimes you search for something online and the list of results is close but not quite what you’re looking for. You might have to trawl multiple pages or rephrase your query. With AI tools, you can ask a very specific question without worrying about whether SEO algorithms will bring forth answers you’re not looking for.
AI-generated output lacks originality
Because LLMs are essentially rehashing content that is already available online to create your outputs, you’re not going to get any original ideas this way – and originality is what makes good content stand out. GenAI can lead to a lot of copycat content, loaded with SEO keywords, that doesn’t offer new insights. For people doing research online, this can dilute the value of searching for specific, up-to-date content.
GenAI tools hallucinate
A new phrase in the tech lexicon – AI hallucination – describes what happens when an AI tool makes its best guess at providing an answer but presents an incorrect conclusion as a fact. AI-generated output must be fact-checked, because it can be impossible to distinguish fact from fiction in answers to prompts at first glance. With this in mind, if you bypass Google, as suggested in point three of this post, take your results with a pinch of salt.
Careful: Copyright risks come with the territory
Because we know that AI tools are ingesting current online content to create outputs, you never know how much of it is regurgitated word for word from someone else’s work – or worse, from a competitor’s content. Approach AI-generated content with caution. We would never advise you to publish a draft created solely by GenAI for this reason. Keep a human in the loop and, better still, use AI to inform your content creation process, not to bypass it.
While there are downsides to using GenAI for your content, we recognise that agencies and content creators that use AI in certain ways will unlock efficiencies and drive innovation in ways that those who overlook it won’t. In our most recent podcast episode, we grappled with this idea – as well as how clients should discuss AI with agencies and freelancers and how we can all stay on top of developments in AI.
Listen to The Collective Content Podcast Episode 2: AI, or read the transcript, to get our thoughts and recommendations.