Will Algorithms Eventually Replace Human Writers?

October 03, 2016



One thing that most people seem to love about robots and artificial intelligence, in general, is the convenience. Smartphones, meters, thermostats, cars, televisions, and music all make less work for the humans, leaving us more time for the important things (insert eye roll here). However, we tend to get a little prickly when it comes to the idea of software, algorithms and AI replacing us for the jobs that provide us a steady paycheck.

Examples of this are easy to find in all sectors of society, but now these stinking robots are messing with one of the most “human” of human professions, the writer. Yes, there is a revolution underway that may result in robots providing some, most or even all online content, removing the human writer from the equation. Impossible, you say? It’s already happening…right under your nose 

Starting Off with the Basics

If you are a regular reader of various forms of online content, there is a decent chance you’ve already read something that was created by an algorithm. Sports and weather articles or posts can easily be written by a robot, without us being the wiser. Since these are more fact-based pieces where the algorithm can organize and produce data that’s been entered, the element of human opinion or emotion isn’t required. And that means you can read about a violent thunderstorm or close football game without even knowing a human didn’t write it.

The “I” Part of AI

Of course, the “intelligence” part of artificial intelligence is becoming more sophisticated, and it shouldn’t be too long before they are adding some alternative thoughts or angles that human writers may have overlooked. Humans may be necessary behind the scenes to load data and create templates, but that doesn’t really help out the freelance writer trying to make a living, does it?

Many experts believe that just like algorithms can compile information about individuals and show relevant ads, they will also be able to produce more detailed online content, customized just for you. And all this without a human writing a word.

Algorithms for Social Media

Social media is a great place for content algorithms to gain some footing. Twitter plans to unveil a feature called “Moments” that will take mounds of data from millions of users and create content around real events and news stories. On a toned down level, company updates and announcements would certainly make sense as part of an algorithm, where the robot took pieces of data and crafted a useful status update for the company’s followers.

The Human Part of Human Writers

While all this AI writer stuff seems interesting, and even plausible in many instances, they won’t be able to offer the worldview from an emotional level that humans can. At the root of it all, we are emotional beings, and our ability to perceive the world around us using all five senses is something that an algorithm may not be able to match.

There will always be a limit to what they can offer because they can only work with the raw data that’s been provided to them. They lack the ability to “see” beyond the data they’ve been given, and with the human emotion factor missing, will be missing a key element that’s required to connect with us on a deeper level. Imagine if all the content surrounding 9/11 was created by an algorithm…it would have been factual and comprehensive, but would never have been able to reach everyone on that emotional level, which is exactly what we needed at the time.

There’s no telling just how far this phenomenon will go, or if the human writers will rise up and retake what is rightfully theirs. But as long as it is cost-effective and gets the results they need, more and more news agencies and marketing firms will be exploring the likelihood of adding some algorithmic writers to their roster.

Choosing a high-quality content provider can be challenging. And with this new robotic wrinkle, you may be wondering just what you’re supposed to do to get consistent content that speaks to your readers. If you need some high-quality human writing that will reach your clients and customers on that emotional level, give The Content Company a call today at 888.221.504.




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