AI has been a trending topic in the SEO and content marketing industry for a while. It’s already a part of our daily lives as voice assistants, internet-of-things appliances and face IDs.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Even some information you consume is generated by AI, and sometimes you don’t even realize it. There is a chance that you have clicked on a Google search result recently that took you to a page with 100% AI-generated content.

At what point in time will AI content be indistinguishable from human-written content?

Here’s ChatGPT’s answer:

“To achieve truly indistinguishable AI-generated content, several challenges must be overcome. These challenges include enhancing contextual understanding, fine-tuning stylistic nuances, improving coherence and logical consistency, and generating original ideas while maintaining a human-like tone.” – ChatGPT, June 2023.

Let’s dive into what AI-generated content is and look at some of the pros and cons at the current stage of its development.

What is AI-Generated Content?

AI-generated content is content generated by artificial intelligence based on information inputs by a human such as a keyword or even a full content brief full of detailed instructions.

The most popular forms of AI-generated content are written content and images. In this article, we will use AI-generated content to refer to written content.

What are the Pros of AI-Generated Content?

Here are some of the pros of AI-generated content:

  1. AI-generated content is cost-effective. You can generate an article or even an entire book for a fraction of what it would cost to pay content writers, proofreaders and editors. Some AI solutions even include the option to automatically publish the content on your website.
  1. AI-generated content is scalable. You can launch a website from scratch and generate dozens, even hundreds of articles on a topic to help build topical authority. Even a team of 10 full-time writers can’t keep up with the pace of AI.
  1. AI-generated content can be useful to target generic topics such as “what is”, definitions, and explainer articles that are based on lots of publicly available information. A good use case would be to create an extensive glossary of definitions and have AI generate the first draft for each term.

What are the Cons of AI-Generated Content?

Although the pros of AI-generated content make it appealing, there are a lot of caveats you need to know before you fire up ChatGPT.

Here are some of cons of AI-generated content:

  1. AI-generated content makes mistakes and is not good at fact-checking. It sometimes gets the most basic facts wrong or provides confusing answers, such as claiming that Paris is not the capital of France but then claiming it is, in the same sentence.
  1. AI-generated content brings plagiarism concerns. Most modern AI tools don’t literally copy and paste text from other sources and as such, the output is technically not plagiarism. But if the initial prompt was “rewrite this entire article” then it can still be viewed as plagiarized content if there was no correct use of quotes, paraphrasing and citations.
  1. AI-generated content gets more generic over time. AI gets its information from sources that already exist, and we are not at the stage yet where it can read human minds. The more people are using AI to generate content on the same topics, the more similar and generic the AI output will become over time.
  1. AI-generated can require heavy editing by a human. The quality of AI output can vary drastically based on the tool you use and how detailed your instructions are. In some cases, you may be spending more time editing the content than it would have taken to write it from scratch.
  1. AI-generated content can cause possible SEO issues. Google has stated that it rewards high-quality content, however it is produced. This means Google is not against AI-generated content and your website probably won’t get penalized for it, but the question is whether the Google algorithm thinks your AI-generated content is of a high enough quality.

AI-Generated Content vs. Human-Written Content

The one thing AI-generated content lacks is the human factor. But this begs the question: 

What is the human factor? What does that even mean?

The human factor is the personal touch in an article. The emotion. The sentence that can only be written because it comes from a personal experience other people can relate to.

AI simply doesn’t have the real world experience required to be able to add nuance and original ideas to its content.

The more you experiment with the various AI content tools out there, the more you will notice this yourself.

The output is often not wrong, but it reads… robotic! And that’s exactly what it is.

Google also recognizes the importance of the human experience and is launching Google Perspectives. This new search experience will specifically highlight content written by humans that provides a variety of human perspectives on a topic.

AI-Generated Content and Human-Written Content Can Go Hand In Hand

Having said that, AI-generated content is here to stay, and the technology will only advance. It may very well be possible that one day, it truly does produce content that is indistinguishable from human-written content.

But we are not there yet.

For now, the best use of AI content generation tools is to take advantage of the pros while minimizing the cons.

When writing an article, you can use AI tools to help speed up your writing process and overcome writer’s block. By feeding it the right prompts, it can be a time-saving asset to your content production.

AI writing tools can also be a great source of new article ideas you hadn’t thought of before, or give you clues on what is needed to update your existing content to become great instead of merely good.

AI-assisted content creation can be a good middle ground instead of having AI produce entire articles.

How to Detect AI-Generated Content

Remember, AI-generated content is not necessarily bad for search engine rankings and will more often than not be factually correct if a human has proofread and edited the content.

However, if you have concerns about content that is being sold to you as “human-written”, there are a number of AI detection tools you can use to detect AI-generated content.

An important caveat to mention is that the AI detection tools currently available do not seem to be very accurate yet.

We have experienced a situation where one of the tools flagged our content as being AI produced, when it was 100% human-written. The reverse happens too, and people are figuring out how to game these tools so they don’t detect AI content.

AI-Generated Content: Is it Good or Bad?

AI-generated content can be good or bad, and it all depends on how you use (or abuse) it.

If you need to produce a massive amount of articles in a short period of time, AI-generated content is worth considering because of the sheer volume it can produce.

But if you go this route, it’s only fair to be transparent about it to your clients. You shouldn’t sell content without disclosing that it is (partly) generated by AI.

At Provectus Digital, our recommendation is to maintain the human touch by writing all the content ourselves. In certain situations, we may discuss the pros and cons of using AI to assist our processes with our clients.