Robots are now able to create original content: Technology revolution or a Threat to humanity

Gabby Nguyen | 2min read

We all know that the word "robots" today does not only refer to big machines working for giant factories. Welcome to the era of humanoid robots, in which robots are able to complete human tasks, look like human and have different characteristics like a human being.

The technological revolution, along with the development of artificial intelligence, has changed our life profoundly.  Are there any areas that robots cannot involve in? The answer is no. In today world, robots do not only assist us in repetitive tasks but they can also get involved in certain jobs that require a higher level of creativity, originality and authenticity. It is not surprising to know that robots today can even write content with extremely high productivity and quality. Many giant media organizations including The New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post, and Yahoo! Sports have already used AI to generate content. The Washington Post’s robotic reporter has published 850 articles in the past year. In the future, these silver machines will also be able to write novels and poems like humans. The question is, with robots’ superpower, what’s left for us in the future?

1. How do we generate content with Artificial Intelligence

The secret is an advanced form of AI  called Natural Language Generation (NLG), which creates a written narrative from given data. The technology has already been applied in various tasks including business intelligence dashboards, business data reports, personalized email, and in-app messaging communication and client financial portfolio updates, etc. According to Forbes, the first step in NLG is to define what format of content is desired. Each content type from social media posts to financial reports to poetry has a unique writing style and structure. 

The narrative design, also known as the template or narrative type, is constructed by the end-user, the NLG solution or by the software provider. With NLG, structured data is fed into the software and is processed through the "conditional logic", which is a part of the narrative design. The goal is for the output to sound like a human-generated each piece of content as much as possible.

2. Authentic and high-quality content written by robots

Content production has never been easier. A complete, well-written can be easily created by NLG technology with a indicated topic and important keywords. For instance, you can now use Quill, Wordsmithor Articoolo to generate  your own articles with a few simple steps: You choose the type of content you want (eg. seo content, article, essay, etc.), give it your topic, and let the miracle happen.

Right now, AI is capable of writing in the style of Harry Potter and 50 Shades of Grey book series. There are over 800,000 books on Amazon right now written by AI, and it has even started to produce autonomous niche news stories for companies like Reuters, USA Today, and the Washington Post. In 2016, the Washington Post developed its first specimen: Heliograf, to help cover stories and news from the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The Washington Post also uses their AI to keep figures updated in their articles. Stories can stay up-to-date with the most recent information if there are new developments, or if the facts change. USA Today uses AI called Wibbitz to create short videos based on news articles and video footage with a synthesized voice-over.​

3. Will Robots Put Human Writers out of Work?

In fact, robots have replaced the important roles of the journalist, content marketers and even writers. Robots are able to produce content consistently without any inspirations; however they  can only work with data and information that people have given. That’s the reason why they have not yet entered the world of creative writing, such as poetry, novels, opinions or music and movie reviews. Moreover, AI is used in media only with the expectation to free up resources for the creation of more in-depth, human-made texts. Content written needs to be injected with empathy, humor and distinctive style of the writer.

In conclusion, you will definitely see more and more news stories written by robots. However, at the end of the day, people still care about others, and their stories. That is why expressive and passionate human writers will always be in demand. Instead of worrying, individuals should embrace the technology that allows us to augment mundane tasks and cover a broader scope of information. And we, as content creators and writers, will have more opportunities and more time to bring creativity in our work and make our work more humane and relevant to audiences.


Reference: Forbes, 6ft9writer, Digiday, Great Content. Staenz



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