Blogging is dead. Why would anyone care about what some girl or guy somewhere around the world had to write about something when a machine with the authority of the knowledge of the entire Internet could do the same faster, cheaper and better? Well, if you put it that way, it really sounds like the end for blogging is nigh. Why that isn’t necessary the case and why that is particularly important in finance and technology, is what this article is about. Read on.
Leveraging the Power of Language Learning and the Internet
Dead Blog Walking
AI, in particular thanks to emergence on a wide scale of ChatGPT, followed by similar tools form competitors, has become an everyday topic and its impact on the job market appears to be of particular interest. Especially ChatGPT has eclipsed the Terminators of old and is now often mentioned as the biggest threat to our way of living as if the tool would make most humans in the professional world redundant.
We cannot deny the impact such tools have and ChatGPT has contributed significantly to bringing the matter to the public awareness. We must not forget though that AI has been around for some time and although we may have been discussing the risk it could cause for human lifeforms – in particular in light of the success of Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a cyborg – even the discussion on how ChatGPT might impact the practice of writing blogs has started years ago even if we might not remember it. Almost five years ago, I came across an article that proclaimed the end of human-generated content:
“Blogging is dead. Recently, a new language processing and content generation framework from OpenAI was published. Leveraging the full power of machine learning available today, it’s capable of generating internet content. Texts, blog posts, articles, and even translations. The implications for content writers -and internet content in general- are overwhelming.”
Believing in the power of blogs or maybe I was just enjoying myself too much writing about things that interest me, I disregarded the warning as one does. However, fast forward a couple of years and there is no denying that Artificial Intelligence has changed things forever.
Yet, how has it changed the blogging landscape? On the surface you will have come across articles that have been written entirely by AI tools, just as an experiment and with similar intentions to mine. Further down, much more content will have been created using such applications, often invisible unless the AI has gotten something terrible wrong. Exhibit A: the American media giant Gannett had been using an AI tool for content creation but had to pull the plug after a series of dismal articles that were repetitive, poorly written, and lacking key details.
Still, the power of AI goes beyond mere content generation and if you ask ChatGPT for instance about how AI is going to influence blogging, you get a long list of ways it is poised to have a significant influence on the field of blogging in several ways:
- Content Generation: AI-powered tools, such as natural language generation (NLG) algorithms, can assist bloggers in generating content more efficiently. These tools can automatically create articles, product descriptions, or summaries based on specific input or data. This can be particularly useful for bloggers who need to produce a high volume of content.
- Content Editing and Proofreading: AI-based grammar and spell checkers, as well as style and tone analysis tools, can help bloggers improve the quality of their writing. These tools can identify errors, suggest corrections, and provide recommendations to enhance readability and engagement.
- SEO Optimization: AI can assist bloggers in optimizing their content for search engines. AI algorithms can analyze keyword trends, suggest relevant keywords, and provide recommendations for on-page SEO, helping bloggers improve their content’s visibility in search engine results.
- Personalization: AI can enable bloggers to deliver personalized content to their readers. By analyzing user behavior and preferences, AI algorithms can recommend related articles, products, or services that are more likely to engage individual visitors, leading to higher reader retention and conversion rates.
- Content Curation: Bloggers can use AI-powered content curation tools to discover and share relevant articles, news, and multimedia content from the web. These tools help bloggers stay updated and provide valuable resources to their audience.
- Audience Analytics: AI can provide bloggers with insights into their audience’s behavior, interests, and demographics. This data can help bloggers tailor their content to better suit their target audience, leading to more effective engagement and conversion strategies.
- Chatbots and Customer Support: Bloggers can integrate AI-powered chatbots into their websites to provide instant responses to reader inquiries. Chatbots can answer common questions, provide information, and even guide users to relevant blog posts, enhancing the overall reader experience.
- Social Media Promotion: AI tools can analyze social media trends and suggest optimal posting times and content strategies to maximize a blog’s social media reach. Additionally, AI can assist in automating social media posting and engagement tasks.
- Monetization: AI can help bloggers optimize their monetization strategies. This includes ad placement optimization, affiliate marketing suggestions, and even identifying potential sponsorship opportunities.
- Language Translation: For bloggers with a global audience, AI-powered translation tools can help make content accessible to a broader range of readers by translating articles into various languages.
- Predictive Analytics: AI can predict trends and topics that are likely to gain popularity, helping bloggers stay ahead of the curve and produce timely and relevant content.
ChatGPT by default advises its users that it can make mistakes and recommends checking important information. In this exercise it also added that it is important to note that while AI can be a valuable tool for bloggers, it should be used thoughtfully and ethically. The human touch, creativity, and authenticity in blogging remain essential for building trust and a loyal readership. Bloggers should aim to use AI as an aid to enhance their work rather than replace it entirely. If only the people at Gannett had known that…
The Impact on Finance and Technology
“Wait a minute! What’s that to do with FinTech?”, you might say now and you are not wrong. After all, that is what the title promised in large letters.
Well, with all due respect, misinformation in a travel blog or an article advising on the right pairing of wine and food can still cause unfortunate results. You might agree with me though that wrong facts with regard to finance and technology could have catastrophic consequences both on a personal and a general level. While AI gets better by the day, the fact that it might erroneous results cannot be ruled out. In fact, that’s even what OpenAI says and the reason they added the little disclaimer we just talked about. Machines are infallible, it is only the human input that causes mistakes – or so goes the general assumption when we approach the work of computers. Therefore, we might be inclined to trust, for example, given by an analytical machine faster than the investment advisor who ordinarily needs to build trust through success in past investments.
If an AI tool gets its analysis wrong and advises you to put your money into a stock right before the company goes bust, you will have learned a very costly lesson. I’m not saying that a human couldn’t have caused the same outcome. On the contrary, history is full of examples that show how humans can get it wrong when it comes to where they put their money. Usually, you wouldn’t follow the advice of someone if you hadn’t the slightest bit of confidence it the advisor’s capabilities normally built on a reputation coming from the experience and evidence of previous investment decisions, which is of course no guarantee for future profits. Obviously, that is not always the rule either and greed trumps logic too often, but you do get my point, don’t you?
If you were able to follow and agree with me on this until now, you might also concur that if erroneous information distributed through social media and news outlets can influence markets in rather unfavorable ways. If machines then are used to create the content that is distributed and that contains such mistakes – well, you can do the math and once there is blood in the water… Stock markets have crashed on weaker foundations.
Learning from other disciplines
Blogging is, of course, not the only field that seems to be under immediate threat. Teachers at schools and universities have to face a new reality, too, but the focus always appears to be about how the unauthorized use of generative AI can be discovered to determine whether students have used AI to write their thesis or homework. While the majority seems to concentrate on whether submissions can be reliably checked automatically (as it happens, the chances aren’t great: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/09/openai-admits-that-ai-writing-detectors-dont-work/), some have realised that the question no longer is if but how we can integrate AI in studying and check learning progress.
In an interesting oped in a German newspaper, Patrick Glauner, Professor for AI at the TH Deggendorf and advisor to the parliaments of Germany, France and Luxembourg on the subject, advocates the use of generative AI in academics along clearly defined guidelines, of course. He writes that teachers ought to see it as an opportunity and teach how to use it correctly, otherwise they will train young people for unemployment.
From this we can learn that one of the key aspects at the core of the question we are discussing here, i.e., whether AI means the end of content generation as we know it – is also not if but how we respond to this development. Adopting to change is fundamental quality of humans, which has served us well for millennia, yet the initial response is that this is going to cost a lot of jobs rather than thinking how it could improve and evolve existing ones. Still, this doesn’t mean we should disregard all concerns this change will bring.
Ethical concerns in AI-Generated Content
Talking about concerns, naturally it is an aspect than we must examine in more detail and the ethical concerns in relation to AI-generated content are several. The first that springs to mind as the most pressing ethical dilemmas associated with AI content generation is the potential for plagiarism. Even before ChatGPT, several tools were available for curious college kids and any other group of people that required a smart way to rephrase brilliant ideas. AI content tools can inadvertently or intentionally replicate someone else’s work, posing a threat to originality and intellectual property rights. Plagiarism not only breaches ethical norms but can also lead to legal repercussions.
Another critical concern is the inherent biases that can be ingrained in AI content tools. These biases can originate from the data used to train the models and the programming decisions made by developers. AI-generated content that reflects these biases can propagate discrimination and reinforce harmful stereotypes, deepening societal divides. When I first read about this issue, in particular with regard to black people in America, my emotional journey began with being incredulous to shocked when I understood that this was actually real to outraged when realising its consequences.
Also, AI-generated content often walks a fine line between transparency and deception. It can be incredibly convincing, leaving readers unaware that they are engaging with content produced by machines. Ethical concerns arise when AI-created content is presented without disclosing its origin. Deceptive practices can erode trust and compromise the integrity of content platforms.
I may have mentioned the general disclaimer tools like ChatGPT have introduced about the exactness of its output but it is important that unlike humans, AI content tools lack personal accountability for their actions. This absence of responsibility can create challenges in holding individuals or entities accountable for ethical violations. It raises questions about who should bear the burden of ensuring AI-generated content adheres to ethical standards.
Just as the aspect of potential job loss, whose consequences extend beyond economic concerns and encompass the loss of human creativity and expertise in the content creation process, these concerns cannot be disregarded. As such a responsible AI implementation is of paramount importance for content creation just as it is when considering transferring weapon systems to the control of AI – well, maybe not quite as much, but you get my point.
Still, I believe that there is no point in denying its existence and would rather embrace it to reap the benefits the technology has to offer. I reckon that it will also emphasise the importance of the human experience and opinion. As a result, influencer might become even more important – whether you like this occupation or not. People prefer reading about experiences rather than just facts, people by nature appear to trust machines less than humans even if it is humans that try to deceive us rather than machine – until Skynet takes over, of course.
Until then, let me know how it goes. After all, the social exchange of thoughts and opinions is what makes us humans. Well, that’s at least what the Internet told me…
Epilogue (previously known as disclaimer):
This article has been written in part with the help of ChatGPT as an attempt to highlight the benefits and ethical challenges of AI content creation (while the slightly trashy image has been created with Canva’s AI Image Generator). It also is an ongoing test about how to use such tools to write better and more productively, though you will have to believe me when I say that so far I haven’t saved much time in terms of production, but I imagine that is to be expected.
As in anything I write I try to be as accurate as humanly possible in my research and the statements I make and like anywhere else on this website, the views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and other contributors. Thus, readers should bear in mind – AI or not – that the material information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. While I endeavor to keep this information correct and up-to-date, I do not accept any liability for any falls in accurate or incomplete information or damages arising from technical issues as well as damages arising from clicking on or relying on third-party links. I am not responsible for outside links and information is contained in this article nor does it contain any referrals or affiliations with any of the producers or companies mentioned.
Or to summarise it in one line as has always been the case: the opinions my own, no liability, just thought it would be important to make this clear. See, not so much has changed after all…