Will the Robot Write Marketing Articles?
Robot writing involves the application of certain types of software to produce content from scratch. First, a human editor makes the original template of a document, making sure to include keywords and phrases that relate to the subject matter but will make perfect sense no matter the resulting storys end result. Then, the robot is given those same words and phrases, along with their meanings, and gives it a scenario to follow to write a different type of document. This is used in schools and businesses alike for research purposes and is often used to create a variety of short stories and articles. There is great flexibility in the application of this style of writing and it can be a very interesting form of creative writing.}
A recent example of robot writing involved the creation of an advertisement for a Toshiba laptop. The text in the ad had several paragraphs and was filled with all sorts of technological jargon. It also included the company’s logo, an image attribution to one of their products, and was written in a professional tone. The full text of the advertisement reads as follows: “The world’s greatest computers are fitted with a set of tools which Toshiba applies to create a new experience for its consumers.” This robot, according to its creators, had been trained by a combination of humans and artificial intelligence, and the images were created with mihalik, a picture attribution tool originally developed by the authors themselves.
The full text of the advertisement generated numerous comments from readers, with many believing it was a professionally written piece. But how did the writer accomplish this? One could only speculate that the software used by the robot was customized to meet this particular project, as there is no other information available regarding the process. But one thing is clear, marketing automation tools such as mihalik is being used to help companies with marketing jobs, a trend that is expected to continue. The ability to automate tasks, such as creating ads that will reach a specific target demographic and increasing revenue, can be useful to any company.
However, just because these marketing automation programs can automate more tasks, does not mean a person can take on the role of robot writer. It takes talent to come up with words that are interesting and captivating enough to entice people into reading the article and convincing them to make a purchase or at least visit the company’s website. And even then, the writer still must possess a basic human skill set: writing style, grammar, and punctuation. There is no escaping the need to understand how to properly use basic English. If you want to be successful in marketing jobs, you must master the ability to do these things.
According to one article, “Many believe that machine translation eliminates the creative human touch because text is dictated by machine translation software,” but this is not necessarily true. In fact, translation software is often times used to create a more dynamic image attribution; where it is created to “fit” the context of whatever is being translated (such as an English sentence, or an Egyptian nursery rhyme). This gives the product the ability to engage with the real person behind the words, while still maintaining the standard, boring, and repetitive nature of most written materials.
So does a robot writer really help when it comes to increasing the productivity of marketing campaigns? According to one article, “It does help if your robot writes articles that are interesting and informative…but more than anything else, it should be able to create original, interesting content that can’t be found anywhere else.” It seems the biggest question with robots writing articles is whether or not humans will find them interesting enough to read. To keep a fresh perspective on this, it says mihalik has created a robot writer that reads a list of articles from a variety of sources, then creates its own “discovery-driven” headlines based on those lists. And because these headlines are “discovery-driven” they are also much more likely to be “interesting,” than the article’s writers would write for themselves.
The other big question that marketers and article writers seem to be wrestling with regards to robots is whether or not they can help drive traffic to websites. According to the New York Times, it “may be” one way to accomplish this. In one study, the writer was able to direct four different types of traffic: informational article seekers, sales-oriented article seekers, readers looking for information on a particular topic, and website visitors. All four of these groups ended up clicking on the writer’s links within eight seconds after reading the article. While it may not be very statistically significant, it does represent some success for the robot.
Will the robot continue to be successful as it continues to be developed and refined? Right now, the creator and developer, Kayvan Khurasani, are working hard in order to complete a robot that can write articles to resemble the style and language of both humans and machines. Currently, the finished product has a very basic outline, but the goal is to eventually have a robot that can write articles, sound coherent sentences, and engage in conversation. In the meantime, consumers will still buy the products that are marketed through the articles, but the process of actually communicating with a sales representative or marketing manager may be shortened.