Sunday 28th April 2019

Will Robots Replace Writers?

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Last year, our website fell victim to a cyberattack. In an ironic twist of fate, a pen-selling company was the culprit.

The presence of these cyber-spammers wasn’t immediately detectable either. Chiselling their way into the CMS backend, they surreptitiously added two articles to our blog section about biros and gel pens.

They’d even done their link-building homework – adding URLs within the body copy that sent the reader to sales pages.

It was an almost admirable spam effort… until you actually read the text.

The sentences ventured down blind cul-de-sacs. The syntax was all over the shop. The clumsy grammar was the visual equivalent of nails-on-a-chalkboard. Both blogs, quite frankly, were painful to read.

Sure, the coding and prep-work was something of a success but by recruiting a robot to do the writing, ultimately they’d failed.

Many would have you believe that automation is taking over the world. Utilising automated software is being touted as a quick-fix for future blogging – but choosing robots over humans will lead to results that are at best dull, and at worst amateurish.

Here’s why…

Comparing content: Robot vs human writing

Initially, we were unnerved by the fact that someone had found their way into our CMS and rejigged our blog section. However, it was undeniably interesting to see how this robot writing compared to our human-crafted content.

After a bit of research, we discovered that we weren’t the first to have bogus blogs uploaded on our site, and we certainly won’t be the last. Unfortunately, there are all kinds of companies trying to trick audiences into thinking automated content is legitimate.

As things stand, scamming success has been somewhat limited. In some instances, the writing is illegible. One organisation used Artificial Intelligence technology to pen its very own Harry Potter novel, for example. The results were unintentionally hilarious, revealing that there was no danger of cyborg scribblers putting JK Rowling out of business anytime soon.

In other cases, robots have managed to put together a coherent storyline, but sentences need to do more than just make sense to keep audiences interested.

Whilst robots can repeat, re-use or change patterns by drawing on existing text – they can’t get their writing to pack an important emotional punch.

Love, blogs and robots: Emotion in writing

Humans respond to, and engage with, content that contains emotive language.

Whilst robots might be able to prompt sniggers with nonsensical storytelling, they can’t convey key messages, stir intriguing debate, or persuade people to act/make decisions. Marketing is all about emotion – which is why robots will simply never be able to replace writers.

Memorable writing contains personality, character and opinion: three traits that robots are famously incapable of imitating.

Making You Content: Putting the human in copywriting…

At MYC, we assign specific writers to your project based on their interests/strengths and your sector.

This ensures you always have the right wordsmith on hand to produce your content – someone who knows what you’re trying to say and the best way in which to say it.

Want to meet our team of very human writers? Get in touch on 0161 660 9206 or info@makingyoucontent.com. You can also visit us at Binks Building on Back Thomas Street in Northern Quarter.

We’ll have the kettle on…