ScottAmbler.com – Great Ideas about Information Technology

Robot writing an article

AI-Assisted Writing is Here

Professional writers are now using artificial intelligence (AI) in practice, and we can't tell the difference.

It was recently reported by Futurism that since November CNET has been quietly posting articles written in part by artificial intelligence (AI) technology.  I say “written in part by AIs”, rather than than the more inflammatory “written by AIs”, because of the process being followed. In this case human writers were posing questions to an AI writing platform, such as ChatGPT, and to get foundational text written in a few seconds.  They then took this text, verified the information that was provided and modified it to be in their own voice, and published the resulting article. This is a classic example of applying AI to augment human workers.

This is yet another proof-point that AI-based technologies can be successfully applied to professional writing. In this case, CNET was able to:

  • Speed up their writing process, potentially increasing their overall output per human writer.
  • Produce quality work co-written by an AI that wasn’t detected by a tech-savvy readership.
  • Prove the viability of new tooling.

Implications

There are several interesting implications of this:

  • People are using AI to augment their productivity.  This has always been a key promise of AI.
  • AI can be applied to produce viable copy. CNET showed that it’s possible within their domain, writing technical articles. It is clear that this is also possible in other domains, such as writing marketing copy for press releases, writing copy for corporate websites describing your offerings, writing copy for project status reports, writing essays in educational settings, and many more scenarios. 
  • People not using this technology run the risk of falling behind. This is true of any new tool.  Yes, there will be hold outs just like there were people who stuck with typewriters for years rather than adopt word processor technology. But within a short time I believe that it will become the norm for writers to use AI-based tooling as a regular part of their job.
  • It’s only a matter of time before AI-assisted writing is a common feature in our writing tools. In short, I expect companies like Microsoft and Google to build AI-assisted writing into Word and Google Docs products respectively.

We live in interesting times.

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