I asked an artificial intelligence to write an article. It wasn’t very good, but it wasn’t completely awful, either. If you’re a writer, machines are nipping at your heels; it’s time to work on your creativity.
Machines have been writing articles for years — but only in formulaic settings. For example, you won’t be shocked to know that a machine wrote this:
Forrester Research (FORR) Q4 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates
Forrester Research came out with quarterly earnings of $0.52 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.51 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.32 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.
This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 1.96%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this technology research company would post earnings of $0.29 per share when it actually produced earnings of $0.33, delivering a surprise of 13.79%.
Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates three times.
That’s obvious generated by a formula. But can a machine write a “creative” article?
AI-Writer writes nearly passable prose by cribbing from the Web
I recently reviewed AI-writer.com, a site that does Web research and writes an article for you. It does what you’d do, if you were a lazy writer: do some Web research and create a pastiche of the result.
To evaluate its writing skill, I turned it loose on a topic I’ve been hearing a lot about recently: networking for introverts. Here’s the result:
Networking for introverts
It’s easy to say, “Just go out there!” for anyone who wants to start making real connections, but networking can cause anxiety for many people, including introverts, who don’t really care about attending big business events or multi – day conferences.
Here are some tips for nervous introverts on how to improve their network experience – while still finding the joy of meeting new people.
Most introverts have a superpower to give them a strong network advantage : great listening skills.
And while introverts often like to meet new people, the experience can be extremely tiring, especially in large doses such as events.
But really, if you’re looking to grow your business ( which isn’t ), your best bet would be to attend networking events where you can mix and meet potential customers, for example, a networking event for ecommerce entrepreneurs or the like.
Extroverts, with their love for talking and meeting people, are likely to leave an event with a much larger number of business cards and contacts than you could be an introvert.
Introverts can get stuck in a place where you think, before and after a networking event.
Think about how your energy levels rise and fall all day long, and just choose the networking events that coincide when you feel best.
Introverted people are energized to be alone, so they may feel exhausted in larger network events.
Networking is not only about participating in networking events with others in your industry, but also about strangers.
Hosting your own network event can be an incredible opportunity, not only for you, but for others.
You can help build relationships and create opportunities for people already in your network.
Yes, extraverted people can have an advantage over Introverts when it comes to contacting people, but networking is not just a numerical game.
Often, introvert jobseekers can focus their efforts on avoiding endless networking events and informative interviews.
If Introverts balance their networking efforts with downtime that recharges their energy and spirit, they will be able to make the most of the opportunities they encounter.
There are many tips to help extroverts get the most out of business and social events.
You can also start your conversation around your goal, such as : “I ‘m trying to hire 25 new vendors.
By knowing your strengths and planning your attack, even the most reserved introverts can conquer business networks.
Networking for Introverts : How to Make Connections that Count Without Rob Brown’s Sleazy – like edition.
How to Network and make connections that count without being sleazy is a networking guide for people who hate networking.
Networking for Introverts : How to Make Connections that Count Without Being Sleazy by Rob Brown takes the mystery out of authentic communication with others.
Many introverted people are tempted to take a sigh of relief and spend a week in a room alone after a big networking event.
True networking, or deep connection with other professionals, is a central force for many introverts.
To get the most out of the network, start by choosing the right events.
Beth runs a company called “Introvert Entrepreneur” and offers a range of professional services and resources for anyone who identifies himself as an Introvert
It is something that some people find easier than others, but the most important thing is that people find ways to work for them and that the paths look different for introverts than extroverts.
It is only spam e – mails in human form and so it is very important when people, thinking about networking or building networks, they approach it in a way that leads to meaningful relationships that add value to the career or idea or social good initiative they are taking.
Introverted people often shine when they talk and learn about things they are passionate about, so professional lectures are a great opportunity to be their best and make others look at them in the best possible light
Maybe it’s just finding other intelligent people who have interesting conversations with them, or it’s just building their friendship base, people who have similar interests and who they want to know outside of professional thinking.
Build on this relationship and the people you see again, who may not be so important to your strategic goals, you can say “hello” and “How do you do it “, and then go ahead and don’t spend your energy having social interactions that are not your goal for the conference.
All right, so have career goals and know that there are some people with whom you want to connect for career or job search.
While introverts are rightly opposed to being kept to a bad standard, today’s professionals need to find a way to gather energy and courage to network and build a strong support community.
Instead, introverts can play to their strengths by inviting people for 1 – 1 coffee, organizing small dinners or even “networking” online by writing blog posts and engaging others.
There are a lot of new and interesting people who already have some connection with you, so ask your friends and co – workers for suggestions about who they know you should connect with.
There are a few things wrong with this, some of which are immediately visible, and some which aren’t.
Obviously, some of the sentences don’t make sense.
More to the point, there is not much of a story here. There’s no central point, and the sentences don’t actually tie together into a thread. Poorly organized and thoughtless writers write this way — they just put thoughts together without any real organization. (If you’re a writer like that, this machine is ready to take your job. But we really aren’t enjoying reading your meandering prose anyway.)
There’s a flaw in this prose that you can’t immediately see: it’s heavily cribbed from Web sources. In particular, this “prose” leans heavily on articles from Jopwell, Foundr.com, Money Crashers, 16 Personalities, Insperity, and Top Resume. How heavily? Well, here’s part of the same article with the lifted content highlighted. (The footnotes refer to sources, which are listed in AI-writer’s interface.)
Is this plagiarism? It’s right at the edge. The content is rewritten enough to avoid being actionable. (I plugged it into an online plagiarism checker — machines checking machines! — and it rated the article as 4% plagiarized and 96% unique prose.)
It’s sleazy and unoriginal, for sure. For example, here’s the passage from Foundr that’s cribbed in the sentence about meeting new people:
Online networking is great, and it may get you the results you seek. However, as any experienced entrepreneur will tell you, no matter how powerful your online skills may be, nothing truly beats the in-person experience. And although introverts often enjoy meeting new people, the experience can be extremely draining, especially in large doses like events.
That’s uncomfortably close to what AI-writer “wrote.” In fact, you can post any prose you want into AI-writer and it will spit it back out slightly rewritten — probably enough to avoid a lawsuit. Does this sound familiar?
More to the point, there’s not much of a story here. There is no central point, and the sentences do not really bind to a thread. Poorly organized and unwise writers write it – they simply put their thoughts together without any real organization ( If you’re such a writer, the machine is ready to take your work ). But we really don’t like to read your meandering prose.
I feel very queasy reading this — it’s my own words, chewed up, regurgitated, spit back out, and made a bit worse. Yuck.
AI is coming. Here’s how to stay ahead of it.
Here’s the lesson of all this: bad and lazy writing can now be automated.
There’s no point in complaining about AI-writer — it exists, and its imitators are certainly coming. In fact, I think it could be useful for locating sources and identifying content that could be useful for your writing.
But real writers have one thing that artificial intelligence doesn’t yet have, and probably never will: a soul.
A soul is what allows you to come up with an original idea or an original spin on a topic.
A soul is what energizes your writing, generating turns of phrase that entertain readers.
Writing with a soul has a beginning, middle, and end. It takes the reader on a journey.
It has stylistic variation. It’s quiet, explanatory, overwrought, or sarcastic depending on what’s called for in a given passage. It has short sentences and long ones. It is interesting to read, because the writer intentionally made it interesting to read.
If your job is soulless writer, please quit. Either that, or get better.
But if you enjoy taking readers on a journey with every piece you write, then you’ll always have a job. AI-writer is no threat to you.
Keep working on writing things that make a difference. We need that.
Yours truly, Captain Dunsel.
8 responses to “Can AI write good articles?”
AI-Writer won’t ever be capable of those deft Star Trek references, either.
Until they can code “Deus ex Machina” we scriveners may be safe. One wonders what Oscar Wilde would have to say. Perhaps “If you cannot write well you cannot think well.”, for writing is nothing but thinking out loud.
Artificial intelligence is more precisely called Machine Learning. Machines as of yet cannot think. Therefore they cannot write well beyond the formulaic “fill-in-the-blanks” example you cite early in your article.
These days content is all the rage. machine writing could more apply be labeled dis-content. It is “check the box” marcomm, commoditizing writing to cut costs and yielding writing that will deservedly be unread.
Money spent for valueless deliverables is money wasted. Better to procure one good essay than a thousand bad ones.
It reminds me of Google translations (although Google Translate is getting better) or many (mis)translated things I see here in Germany, especially on “English” menus (but, of course, it’s my own fault for relying on English menus rather than learning German better. 😉
Perhaps this is the difference between innovator and entrepreneur. This Einstein, greatest mind but not Rich. Guido van Rossum creator of python is probably not as famous as the language itself. Brendan Eich inventor of Javscript not the richest guy, infact was fired from Mozila for making a $1000 donation, recently. Steve Wozniak the brains behind first Macintosh didn’t become Steve Jobs. Entrepreneur take and idea and monetise while innovators love to innovate for life. Siraj you are great ! Keep making those lovely videos.
Perhaps this is the difference between innovator and entrepreneur. This Einstein, greatest mind but not Rich. Guido van Rossum creator of python is probably not as famous as the language itself. Brendan Eich inventor of Javscript not the richest guy, infact was fired from Mozila for making a $1000 donation, recently. Steve Wozniak the brains behind first Macintosh didn’t become Steve Jobs. Entrepreneur take and idea and monetise while innovators love to innovate for life.you are great ! Keep making those lovely videos.
I recently attended a large trade show in New York City with the prior knowledge that I’d be writing an article on the topic of networking—more specifically, networking as an introvert.
The concluding sentence should sum up what you’ve discussed in the paragraph. The second body paragraph will follow the same format as the first body paragraph