In just a short amount of time, we have gone from the groundbreaking release of generative AI being released to the general public to whole industries being built around the capabilities of AI to improve their workflows and processes. There is an intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression that should be worth taking a look at. For content creators, bloggers, and even creative writers, leveraging AI writing tools can be an excellent way to enhance their craft. Through smaller benefits like refining word choice, inspiring ideas, and accelerating the writing process to playing more critical roles in a writer’s editing ability, preserving their unique voice, and finding ways to navigate the AI landscape for their own career benefit. While there are still potential setbacks and challenges that have yet to see a resolution, the current business environment has welcomed generative AI technologies as tools that workers can use to enhance their performance, not to be replaced.
In just a couple years, AI has found its way into various facets of our lives, and writing is no exception. AI writing tools leverage natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to assist writers in crafting compelling content. These tools aim to be a writer’s sidekick, providing valuable insights and suggestions to enhance the quality of their work.
IMPROVE WORD CHOICE AND PHRASING
One of the most significant advantages of AI writing tools is their ability to enhance word choice and phrasing. The thesaurus was (and still is) a powerful resource to find more nuanced words to convey meaning and information. A writer could also combine use of a thesaurus with a dictionary to ensure the meaning of an alternate word did not fundamentally change the intent of a sentence. Now, with advanced large language models, learning the nuances of language and suggesting alternatives that can significantly enhance word choice and phrasing can take place in a matter of seconds. These tools analyze context, tone, and intent, offering alternatives that align closely with the writer’s vision with more variety to choose from. By leveraging these suggestions, writers can elevate their prose, ensuring clarity and resonance with their audience.
This can be particularly helpful in helping writers steer clear of clichés and overused phrases, injecting freshness into their content. One of the easiest ways for readers to check out of a blog or piece of writing is the blandness of the prose. Even the free version of Chat GPT can improve the readability of the text while helping the author add a layer of sophistication to their voice.
INSPIRE IDEAS & OVERCOME WRITER’S BLOCK
Writer’s block is a myth. It comes from an unholy combination of partially created inspiration (“oh, this incident would make a great story”), lack of planning (a thorough outline), and inability to connect the dots (character choices based on their motivation or drawing a conclusion based on well researched evidence). But just because writer’s block isn’t real does not mean that many writers don’t stare at a blank screen for hours, grasping for an idea.
AI writing tools, equipped with vast datasets and language models, can serve as a wellspring of inspiration. Collaborating with an AI source, as weird as that sounds, can prove to be beneficial for generating ideas or having a brainstorming “companion.” By providing relevant information, generating creative prompts, and suggesting alternative perspectives, AI becomes a valuable collaborator in the process of ideas. This collaborative effort often results in a whole new approach to a writer’s original idea.
It’s even possible, the more you give the generative AI detailed prompts, that the technology can start analyzing your writing prompts, understanding your style, and thereby suggest creative directions for your content. This not only saves time but also opens up new avenues for exploration, pushing the boundaries of your creativity.
SPEED UP THE WRITING PROCESS
There are countless stories of interns or staff writers who have been given a last minute project from their team leader to complete with a ridiculously unrealistic deadline. Even more so are instances where new writing projects suddenly end up on a schedule, other writing projects get abruptly cancelled, or even times where major changes must occur in between drafts. Writers in the field, particularly when writing for a marketing, advertising, or media firm will often feel crunched for time. It is a precious commodity for them, and AI writing tools excel in optimizing this aspect of the creative process. Instead of spending hours pondering sentence structure or searching for that elusive word, writers can harness the power of AI to streamline their workflow.
By offering real-time suggestions, corrections, and improvements, these tools transform the writing experience from a laborious task in the face of deadlines into a more fluid and dynamic process. The result is not only a time-efficient approach to writing but also a reduction in the mental strain associated with the creative process. Much of this can be done with a simple changing of the prompt, and then a rigorous editing session.
UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF EDITING
While AI tools offer valuable insights, it’s essential for writers to approach them as aids rather than replacements. Understanding the suggestions requires a keen editorial eye. Writers must evaluate each recommendation in the context of their unique voice and style. This process involves discerning between automated suggestions and personal preferences to maintain the authenticity of the writing.
For example, if a writer prompts the AI to give them a list of article titles, it will submit a long list of really good suggestions. However, only the writer can discern which title suggestion applies to their piece of work, and their choice comes from their style and their perspective.
As mentioned earlier, many AI writing tools allow for customization to align more closely with individual writing styles. By providing feedback and corrections, writers can train the AI to better understand their preferences. This iterative feedback loop fosters a symbiotic relationship where the AI adapts to the writer’s voice, ultimately becoming a more effective assistant in the creative process.
AI can automate repetitive tasks, allowing writers to focus on the creative aspects of their work. However, striking a balance is crucial. Over-reliance on AI may risk diluting the personal touch in writing. Writers must use AI as a supplement rather than a crutch, ensuring that their unique perspective remains at the forefront of their work.
For example, MGG Digital Consulting has been an early adopter of using AI to create content. However, it has never been accepted that a prompt and paste approach is adequate. Content writers for MGG are selected based on their writing ability absent of AI. Taking a first draft, whether that first draft was assisted or unassisted by AI, and thoroughly turning it into a finished piece, has, is, and will always be a talent that cannot be replaced by machine technology. As the “father of modern linguistics” Noam Chomsky said of AI earlier this year, “Their deepest flaw is the absence of the most critical capacity of any intelligence.” Large language models can find complex patterns in between words, but they do not have the human capacity to reason, which is where our content creators excel.
While AI writing tools can be powerful allies, they are not infallible. The essence of a writer’s voice lies in the nuances, quirks, and unique style embedded in their work. It is crucial for writers to understand that AI is a tool, not a replacement for their editing prowess. Editing goes beyond correcting grammar and syntax; it involves refining the narrative, preserving the writer’s voice, and ensuring coherence throughout the piece. Writers must use AI suggestions judiciously, filtering them through their own creative lens to maintain the authenticity of their voice.
NAVIGATE SETBACKS & CHALLENGES
As with any technology, AI writing tools come with their own set of challenges. One prominent concern is the potential for unintentional plagiarism. Since these tools analyze vast datasets, there is a risk of generating content similar to existing works. To mitigate this risk, writers must be vigilant and cross-reference AI-generated content with their own knowledge and experiences. Utilizing plagiarism-checking tools and maintaining a strong ethical compass are essential steps to ensure that the work remains authentically yours.
While the risk of plagiarism is a valid concern, it is important to note that AI tools are tools, not rogue agents seeking to compromise the integrity of your work. Writers can take proactive measures to overcome plagiarism concerns by:
1. Citing Sources: If the AI suggests content that closely resembles existing works, it is prudent to acknowledge the source through proper citations. This not only safeguards against plagiarism but also adds credibility to your work.
2. Manually Reviewing Content: Rather than blindly accepting AI-generated content, writers should carefully review and edit suggestions to ensure they align with their intended message. This hands-on approach not only minimizes the risk of plagiarism but also enhances the writer’s control over the narrative.
3. Customizing Suggestions: AI writing tools often allow customization based on writing style and preferences. By fine-tuning these settings, writers can tailor the tool to better reflect their unique voice, reducing the likelihood of unintentional plagiarism.
Ethical considerations are paramount in the utilization of AI writing tools. Writers should be mindful of the impact of their work on the digital landscape and adhere to ethical guidelines. This includes respecting copyright laws, acknowledging sources, and ensuring that the use of AI aligns with ethical writing practices.
HARMONIZE HUMAN AND AI CREATIVITY
AI writing tools are emerging as powerful instruments, capable of enhancing the intricacies of human expression. It is essential to recognize the potential for a symbiotic relationship between human ingenuity and artificial intelligence.
By leveraging the benefits of improved word choice, enhanced phrasing, rapid idea generation, and time efficiency, writers can elevate their craft to new heights. However, this journey is not without challenges, and the onus lies on writers to navigate the ethical considerations, uphold the integrity of their voice, and master the art of editing.
As we continue to explore the boundless possibilities that AI brings to the creative landscape, let us embrace this transformative journey with a keen awareness of the responsibilities that accompany the use of these powerful tools. In the end, great writing is great writing, and the emotions that the readers experience from said writing will always be real, whether the words originated from a human, machine, or a little bit of both.