By : Jayson DeMers , Source : forbes.com
The Internet is already filled with AI-written articles and advanced algorithms capable of doing more than we ever dreamed. Content writers may fear for their jobs when this day comes, and they have a right to, but content marketing itself will never die.
Content marketing has enjoyed a long and fruitful reign as one of the most cost efficient and universally beneficial marketing strategies available. While it’s had its share of critics, panning it as a fad or a temporary strategy, content marketing has shown resilience with a staying power that keeps it top of mind for businesses all around the world.
The typical threats to marketing strategies include new technologies (which render old-technology strategies obsolete), oversaturation (which increases costs and decreases user interest), and other loss of viability (such as when a gimmick stops working). Of these, only oversaturation has been a problem, and even then, it hasn’t been a major threat. People have always and will always need information and entertainment, and the best content will always rise to the top, regardless of how much noise there is. Great content provides value, and it isn’t limited to any one technology or application. This makes it functionally immortal—when technology evolves or consumer interests change, content marketers simply have to change along with them.
But there’s a serious threat on the horizon for content marketing, and it will likely result in a complete overhaul of the field as we know it.
Artificial Intelligence in Journalism
By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard some of the buzz about artificial intelligence algorithms as they relate to journalism. When you think of advanced AI, you usually think of sophisticated robots in science fiction movies. But practical, arguably astounding AI achievements are already starting to populate our world. AI is responsible for giving you those helpful boxes of information on certain Google searches. It’s responsible for the digital assistant that “lives” inside your phone. It’s even responsible for a machine capable of beating two Jeopardy champions in a game of Jeopardy.
These accomplishments aren’t quite the same as having a robotic maid clean your house for you, but they represent a critical breakthrough in the world of technology: the dissection and manipulation of natural human language. Language has long been a barrier for artificial intelligence algorithms, since complex grammatical rules (which are second nature to our organic brains) can’t be reduced to simple on/off combinations or numerical sequences.
However, modern developers have discovered enough tricks, shortcuts, and advanced processes to be able to decipher the meaning behind full sentences and even create some of their own. Algorithms are now able to scout the web for information, compile it, and produce a full-length article that details and summarizes that information for a mass audience. Does that sound impossible? It’s already being done on a daily basis with basic sets of information, like stock prices and weather forecasts. Chances are, you’ve already read at least one article that was written by a machine.
Now that we’ve already crossed this bridge, it’s only a matter of time before algorithms grow complex enough to write articles on any topic, for any audience. They could, conceivably, write content better than humans, and someday, they could even create personalized articles tailor-made for the individual who’s going to read them, based on known information about the reader.
What It Means for Content Marketing
Consumers will continue to need content, just as they continue to need food and energy. The demand isn’t going anywhere, so the companies who can provide that need will continue to earn the benefits of providing it. However, that provision will soon undergo a fundamental shift. Right now, human writers are available at a variety of expertise levels and costs, making it possible for any company to find a good fit for their own content needs. In the not-too-distant future, algorithms will outperform all of them, and at a far lower cost.
Essentially, human writers will be completely out of the equation. Content marketers will only have to plug in a handful of basic rules and guidelines, and software programs will take care of the rest. It will be a process that happens almost automatically for businesses, the way systematic traffic lights automatically control traffic at intersections. This is a futuristic and admittedly optimistic view (in the sense that it assumes these accomplishments can be realized), but it is a realistic one.
How It’s Already Developing
In addition to the basic journalistic articles that are already being produced by algorithms, there are other hints at companies making the jump toward fully automatic content updates. Take, for instance,Twitter’s upcoming “Moments” feature, which is designed to aggregate information, images, and live video from its millions of users and produce streamlined mosaics of content around real-time events and news stories. Essentially, it’s a way of algorithmically organizing and crowdsourcing real-time information and visuals. No writers or marketers required. Think also of Facebook’s most recent developments, allowing publishers to feature their work directly on the platform and giving users more power than ever before in customizing their newsfeeds. Add one AI algorithm into the equation, and you’ll soon have user newsfeeds populating themselves with custom content.
It’s hard to say when this change will happen, or if it will happen suddenly or gradually, but at this point it seems to be an inevitability. The Internet is already filled with AI-written articles and advanced algorithms capable of doing more than we ever dreamed. Content writers may fear for their jobs when this day comes, and they have a right to, but content marketing itself will never die.
Original source Link : http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/08/27/how-journalism-focused-ai-will-change-the-content-marketing-landscape-forever/