Deep down, most writers think they're frauds, and let's be honest, I'm no Hemingway either. Editors only compound this self-doubt further with a constant need to demean and diminish their authors.
Wikipedia refers to these type of editors as "angry mastodons," whereby they get angry and feel a natural urge to fire off an immediate retort. They say your writing is too long, too short, too simple, too complicated. Luckily for the beleaguered author, new forms of Artificial Intelligence are looking solve this age old problem by replacing the need for authors and editors altogether.
Seeking to make my life a bit easier, I recently set out to explore some new breeds of writing and grammar tools dedicated to making me a better writer. I've been a user of the Grammarly tool for a while and have had pretty excellent results.
Are you using a word too often? Grammarly will tell you or are you mixing your "theirs" with "there's", it will let you know to cut it out. Essentially it's a fancy spell checker like you might find in Microsoft Word with some additional proofreading capabilities. What it lacks are capabilities to enhance my writing for maximum social media impact.
This is where an exciting new AI platform from Toronto-based Atomic Reach comes in. Before I go any further, I should let you know that I'm currently writing this article using its system. Do I sound better or worse, more robotic or more professional? I'm not sure yet. What it is doing is telling more about my writing and who my target reader is. Currently, I'm writing this article at what they call an "academic" level.
The company describes itself as "The most advanced readability engine in the world." It's a lot more than that. It's essentially a real-time copy editor there to solve any grammar, readability or structural problems you might encounter as you write. A key aspect of the platform is how it adjusts your writing to particular audiences. Are you targeting a genius level or basic level or possibly something in between? They system will tell you. It also informs on how and where to break up your sentences, paragraphs and other structural aspects of your writing for mobile phone readers. An area of vital importance as phones become the preferred method of content consumption.
Another benefit to the platform is a focus on performance. The company claims that by using its platform you can increase your social media conversions, reader engagement and page views by a factor of 2 - 4 times by following its real-time suggestions.
The system breaks it down into three main parts; Efficiency, using real-time editorial guidance makes it easier for team members to produce clear and engaging content at greater speed. Quality; High-quality content is a key indicator of your company's professionalism and influences engagement. And lastly, Impact; produce faster and better content while reducing the time and cost.
Company founder and Serial Entrepreneur Bradley Silver describes the opportunity. "We are building a future in which hyper-personalized and interactive communications are defined, created and delivered at the hands of intelligent communications and marketing engines."
With the rise of AI and Natural Language Generation, whereby machines rather people create content, the question becomes whether or not people are required at all?
I raised this issue to Silver. "Continued scientific advancements in machine based linguistic comprehension and artificial intelligence functional capabilities are enabling the automation of tasks that are typically managed by people, and as a result, the role of the individual will change to that of a maestro conducting a symphony."
To make this future happen Atomic Reach say they are exploiting billions of disparate data points, well beyond the functional capability of the human brain, artificial intelligence advancements in the enterprise of "creativity" is deepening.
He explains further describing a marketers' paradigm. According to Silver, writers and marketers "will change to a position where people will provide a machine with a set of inputs based on a problem or objective, and the AI engine will create the marketing and communications campaign across all of its facets from asset and message creation all the way to intelligent distribution."
The platform isn't without its flaws; at times there seemed to be a mysterious force changing my paragraphs, occasionally repeating sentences while deleting others. In fairness, we are still in earliest days of this type of technology. It is without question a glimpse into the future of content creation.
It's an ambitious vision, to say the least. It appears that the next generation of writing platforms are looking to take the concept of AI driven content creation as far as possible, potentially taking the need for a human author out of the equation altogether. For the corporate content marketer, this will be a significant advancement, for the next Hemingway, maybe not.