As discussed in the first part of our AI series, an AI language model is a form of artificial intelligence that interacts with language in a highly sophisticated way. This has only recently become possible, thanks to the use of advanced algorithms and complex pattern recognition. Because of its proficiency in generating natural-sounding responses, it can be easy to forget that it truly is artificial intelligence—not some new form of consciousness.
Unsurprisingly, this advance in technology has prompted a rise in questions like, “is AI going to take over everything?”, “how can I use AI to make my life easier?”, and “what are the limitations of this new technology?”. While it is still evolving—quite rapidly, at times-–I want to discuss a few of the pros and cons at the top of our minds as we begin to move forward with AI.
If you understand how the technology works and have a clear goal in mind, there are many benefits to be gained from the use of AI language models:
Efficiency & Power
One of the main appeals of any AI language model is the speed and efficiency with which it works. Its output rates far exceed those of any human, especially when you consider the nearly infinite number of subjects that it can write about. When applied to SEO and online content marketing, the value is hard to deny. An AI language model can generate ideas and outlines for content—or write the content itself—in a matter of minutes. AI language models can also help to automate time-consuming tasks by providing excel formulas and writing or checking code.
Not only are AI language models like ChatGPT or Bing Search quick to generate the requested content, but their advanced pattern recognition enables them to respond with a competency that far exceeds that of their predecessors. The resulting text sounds convincingly human, is grammatically correct, and adopts whatever tone is required for the target audience. It is this fluency that enables them to field complex queries or write authoritative-sounding articles, synthesizing text and data from their massive databases. They can even be used as an advanced review tool, checking your work for proper grammar and offering suggestions for readability and tone.
Given their powerful language processing abilities and versatility, the potential applications of AI are virtually unlimited. A language model can analyze onsite content to find opportunities for optimization or rewrite it altogether. It can automate time-consuming tasks like writing meta descriptions and planning content. It also makes for an excellent brainstorming tool and can quickly produce lists of related search topics, keyword clusters, blog post titles, and FAQs. As developers continue to refine their algorithms and protocols, the variety of tasks the tools can perform is bound to increase.
AI language models and their user-friendly search interfaces are changing the world of SEO as we speak. Their speed, competency, and adaptability are quickly becoming indispensable. Nonetheless, there are some weaknesses and pitfalls of this technology that are likely to be a part of the picture going forward.
One of the greatest strengths of an AI language model is also one of its greatest weaknesses: it has access to nearly everything on the internet.[a] This breadth of topics and knowledge is part of what allows it to write so effectively and with such versatility. However, any data synthesizing tool is only as good as the information it’s trained on. Not only can online content contain false or inaccurate content, but it is also subject to the inherent biases of the humans who wrote it. Therefore, it is important to review AI content with these caveats in mind.
[a]Note: ChatGPT does not have a dynamic system; its database stops in 2021
Lack of True Creativity
For all that an AI model like ChatGPT generates content with very natural-sounding language and the appearance of intelligence, expertise, or creativity, it’s important to remember that it does not actually possess any of these qualities. It is very good at predicting which word should come next in a sentence or phrase, but this is based on data and algorithms, not a genuine understanding or analysis of the subject at hand. Language models write confidently, but it’s important to fact-check and engage critically with the content they produce before publishing it.
Ethics, Grey Areas, and Developing Policy
Beyond the practical pitfalls of relying on AI for such a vast array of tasks, there are legal and ethical implications to consider as well. For instance: the legal ownership of AI-generated content is still very much in development; currently, it is not eligible for copyright protection. As its use becomes more prevalent, the laws are certain to evolve, and it will be crucial to stay abreast of any changes.
More immediately, Google itself is still working to define its stance on AI-generated content. While there is no formal penalty, the use of unedited AI content is strongly discouraged. Not only is there no guarantee that the content hasn’t been generated for users elsewhere, but it’s also unlikely to meet Google’s standards for quality content, which makes it harder for it to rank highly. If you do choose to use an AI language model to generate content for your website, it’s crucial to engage meaningfully with that content—check for accuracy and uniqueness, and add your own voice and experience to the piece.
With their myriad skills, power, and speed, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there’s nothing AI language models can’t do, no process they can’t improve. Indeed, this is the greatest fear—and the greatest hope—of many. But, like most truths, the reality is somewhere in between the two extremes. While there is always a risk of becoming overly dependent on this technology, we are far from any scenario in which human work and intellect lose their true value. These tools are powerful but not independent; they require a skilled operator to wield them effectively.
We will continue to explore these topics and more in our ongoing series on artificial intelligence, so be sure to check out the upcoming posts or contact us today for more information!