AI Tools Save Time — But Have Shortcomings

In the last year or so, artificial intelligence (AI) content generation tools have been all over the news, from articles about the dangers of AI content farms to Hollywood screenwriters who worry AI will take their jobs. Who can forget the infamous AI-generated legal brief that included non-existent legal cases? However, that doesn’t change the fact that content creators are under pressure to create high-quality content at a fast rate, and ranking high on Google is a huge challenge that is even more difficult for new businesses that lack authority.

As a writer, I admit that I was (and still am) leery of such tools. Sure, I use Grammarly to help maintain proper and high-quality writing, but the idea of allowing software to write for me goes against everything in my Skynet-fearing Gen X brain. So, I looked for advice regarding AI-generated content and found several benefits and challenges to using such tools. Understanding how best to use (and not use) AI tools is helping me make peace with AI while using it responsibly. After all, AI is ubiquitous, and I do not want to become a dinosaur.

Close up of text on a computer screen.

What is AI-generated content?

AI tools pull information from search engines to create content from search queries. One of the most popular and well-known tools is ChatGPT, but there are others: Chatsonic, Bard AI, and Socratic to name a few. Writers are using these tools to create content faster, and some businesses are nearly exclusively depending on AI-generated content for blogs and other marketing materials.

Human hand and robot hand touch over computer keyboard.

Benefits of using AI to generate content

AI writing tools definitely have their place, particularly in the early stages of content creation.

Increase productivity

AI provides nearly immediate results – under a minute – even for complicated topics, while humans often take hours to create quality content. Some AI software allows for unlimited content creation, helping marketers keep up with their marketing plans and content calendars. AI also helps generate topics for webinars and webpages, write Python scripts, summarize meeting notes, and more. Using AI for content generation saves time in the research phase of writing if you double-check the information before publishing.

Save money

AI software creates content at a fraction of the cost of a human writer, and AI subscriptions usually cost less than $100 per year. While work done by a person is worth the investment for well-researched quality content, a small business or startup can use AI to develop a plethora of content for relatively little money.

Improve SEO

One of the biggest selling points of AI-generated content is its SEO capabilities. AI finds popular and SEO-optimized information, allowing bloggers to become more familiar with SEO by viewing examples of optimized keyword clusters and formatting.

Avoid writer’s block

Developing new ideas is hard enough, but it’s even more difficult under tight deadlines. Using AI-generated content helps writers avoid burnout or falling behind on deadlines, as AI can generate multiple ideas from just one query. Some software helps writers generate outlines so they can skip the planning and get straight to the writing. Many modern writers only use AI to help brainstorm content topics and where to find information, which is a huge timesaver.

Write in multiple languages

AI content creation tools can be trained to write in multiple languages, a huge asset for businesses that operate globally. Depending on your chosen tool, AI can provide accurate translations and grammar correction while suggesting improvements for vocabulary and sentence structure. However, someone with knowledge of the language should still proofread and edit the content for cultural nuances, syntax errors, and context.

Picture of Lincoln saying, "The problem with quotes found on the internet is that they are often not true."

Challenges of using AI to generate content

As you can see, AI has its uses in creating content and can help writers more quickly ideate topics and save time on research. However, it’s wise to not rely on it completely.

Plagiarism and accuracy

While AI pulls information from multiple sources, it does not provide citations. That can be tricky when it comes to publishing content, as an author or artist can sue for plagiarism if the generated content is too similar. Another potential problem is reliable sourcing. As we all know, just because we find “facts” on the internet doesn’t mean they are accurate. AI doesn’t discern between reliable and questionable sources. Google may also penalize you if it finds plagiarized content on your site.

Solution: After using AI to create content, use reverse image searches to ensure what you found is legal to use. Also, fact-check the content. Remember the court case from earlier? Don’t let that be you!

Google may devalue AI-generated content

According to Statista, Google’s share of all online searches between January 2015 and July 2023 was 83.49 percent, making Google rankings extremely important for visibility. Google’s EEAT formula (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) determines what tops their rankings. Unedited content generated by AI may not fit the EEAT criteria, particularly “trust.”

Solution: Use AI wisely, and not just to generate a large quantity of content that is not necessarily high quality. Use AI to help with grammar checks, short-form content, outlines, and content ideation.

Inconsistent results

When first starting to use AI tools, you may find that quality varies greatly. It all depends on how much content about your topic exists on the internet. Such tools are only as good as the algorithms and data they’re based on. Any errors in the data or flaws in the algorithms may result in inaccurate information or impractical advice.

Solution: Practice using AI software to better understand its quirks and the detailed queries you need to make to find what you need. As with most anything related to data, it’s a matter of “garbage in, garbage out.” Make your queries as specific as possible, including any particular styles, reading levels, or experts you want to mimic. This will increase your odds of generating more consistent results.

Requires human review

Proofreading and editing any AI-generated content is a must! AI tools are great at creating data-based content, but not so great with creative ideas, thus limiting the scope of its created content. It has no understanding of potentially offensive terms, oddly worded phrasing, or out-of-date information. AI cannot duplicate human emotion: “Original insights that come from reasoning, storytelling, and personal experience are the secret sauce that has consistently ranked higher. What is hard to present when writing is not ‘data’ but the human emotional connection that readers gravitate to, and personalization, which AI cannot duplicate.” (Brian David Crane, Spread Great Ideas)

Solution: Use content created by AI for ideas and the basic outline of your writing, not for writing it all. Use your results to create content that is uniquely your own by adding your own experiences, finding examples, or adding insights that AI cannot mimic.

Robot dressed in brown suite and cape, walking with a walking stick.

Final thoughts

You probably noticed that the solutions to the challenges of using AI boil down to:

  • Don’t use AI to generate all content
  • Editing and proofreading are crucial
  • AI is a timesaver when used to create outlines, help with grammar, and other writing needs
  • AI can help generate a plethora of topics to help get started more quickly
  • Content generated by AI alone is not trustworthy and may get you into legal trouble

Kelly Richardson of Infobrandz says it best: “The motto is ‘AI-assisted, not AI-generated.’” Language tools are neither intelligent nor dumb, they are tools. As you use them more and train them, they will give you better content faster. However, they simply cannot recreate human creativity, empathy, and emotion, all essential to creating effective and engaging content.

Need writers and designers who understand the usefulness of AI but don’t rely on it to write documents and create trainings? You want to contact us today!

Related Blogs

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“14 Benefits and Drawbacks of Using AI Tools to Write Business Content.” Forbes. 5/30/23. Accessed 10/18/23.

“Breaking Down Barriers: Top AI Writing Tools for Multilingual Writers.” AIContentfy. 7/5/23. Accessed 10/18/23.

“Market share of leading desktop search engines worldwide from January 2015 to July 2023. Statista. August 2023. Accessed 10/18/23.

“Our latest update to the quality rater guidelines: EAT gets and extra E for Experience.” Google Search Central Blog. 12/15/22. Accessed 10/18/23.

Taylor, Tristen. “The Pros and Cons of AI-Generated Content.” HubSpot. 5/11/23. Accessed 10/18/23.


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