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How to Get Around AI Limitations for Generating Written Content

By: Annie Pasquinelli
Updated: November 27, 2023
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In the ever-evolving landscape of content creation, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) has promised efficiency and innovation—but AI limitations are a serious cause for concern. As businesses and creators increasingly turn to AI for generating written content, the need to understand these limitations becomes obvious. It can be easy to see which posts have been checked for quality control… and which have been posted without human oversight. 

If you don’t want to sound out-of-touch with your audience, you’ll need to know how to use AI generators properly while keeping these limitations in mind. Join us on this exploration of the intricacies of AI in content creation, and discover how a thoughtful blend of technology and human expertise can unlock the true potential of your written content.

What’s the Big Deal with AI Writing, Anyway?

AI content generators like ChatGPT are all the rage right now—and it’s clear to see why. AI promises to make this process faster and easier, especially for businesses and content creators who spend countless hours putting together written work (like blogs) for their followers. By automating everything from brainstorming and researching to writing and proofreading, the work of a whole department of writers could theoretically be relegated to a single person sitting at a computer. 

And despite the wildness of these claims, they’re actually true—to some extent. Big businesses and solopreneurs have found AI to be a powerful tool for speeding up the process of written content generation, especially for search engine optimization (SEO). Tasks that normally take a ton of creative energy and dedicated work to accomplish are now as easy as typing something into a search bar. 

But what about AI limitations? After all, AI programs like these have only been around for so long. Can they possibly produce written content that has any value for human readers? Or is this just another algorithm-chasing fad designed to cheapen the vast informational power of the internet? You’ll have to decide for yourself. For now, let’s take a look at the three key limitations of using AI content generators. 

AI Limitations, Part 1: Lack of Creativity

Despite its many claims, one of the most apparent AI limitations is lack of creativity. Why is this so important? Well, if you’re a business that’s trying to get the most out of written content for marketing purposes, you want your work to resonate with readers. You want them to see your company’s unique voice and branding. Then, you want them to identify with it—and be motivated by it—enough to secure a sale. 

A common thread of AI limitations is that AI can only produce “human-like” writing. It will only reproduce what it sees already written online. This leads to AI content that sounds stale. It repeats easily-identifiable sentence structures, content, and even words and phrases. Worse, this can lead to something that feels outright plagiarized. These issues, if not addressed before sharing, can lead to content that lacks the ring of authenticity. Audiences can—and will—notice this and immediately start to distrust your brand. And that’s big, bad news. 

Additionally, if you’re selling a novel solution to a common problem, AI won’t be able to pitch it nearly as well as a human would—someone who actively experiences the problem and knows the value of this new fix. If you have to expend a lot of effort explaining your idea to the AI in order to get it to produce accurate content, then you might as well just write it yourself. 

AI Limitations, Part 2: Contextual Understanding

Another issue with AI is that, as a computer and not a human person, it lacks the capacity to understand nuanced context. It simply reads what’s available to it, takes one glance at your prompt, and then spits back out whatever it finds. So if you’re searching for “winning strategies” for your digital marketing team, and it only outputs various ways to beat your competitor at chess… Well, that’s a completely useless result. 

That might sound a little silly, but take this facet of AI limitations a step further. Are you marketing for home services? Do you mean home services as in construction and contracting, or in-home assistance for the elderly? You’ll have to provide—and explicitly specify—that element to your AI. 

Let’s go to the extreme of this element of AI limitations. Since AI only draws from what it sees and spits it back out with little context, it has the capacity to perpetuate misinformation, or even “fake news.” Misinterpretations like these can snowball on the internet, and AI is no exception. If one person posts something that’s half-true, and another person repeats it out of context, and then the AI takes it at face value, you could end up with an entirely false result. It’s like playing a game of telephone… except the missing context could be crucially important to your outcome. 

AI Limitations, Part 3: Quality Control

By the same token, a major part of AI limitations is quality control in general. As an engine whose goal is simply to repeat what it sees others saying, it’s severely curbed by the information it’s given. A calculator can only provide you with the answer to the equation you plug in—but if you accidentally press 3 instead of 4, your outcome will be wildly incorrect for the problem you think you’ve entered. Similarly, the AI may interpret data differently than a human with common sense would. That makes using AI for research a questionable methodology. 

Less dramatically—but possibly just as important—is that AI may not have the capacity to make content that will fit the context you’re aiming to apply it to. For example, AI is often used as a tool for generating SEO blogs. However, if the AI doesn’t know your keyphrase, the requirements for your piece, or your audience, it could write something that simply doesn’t work. 

In the end, AI should be viewed as a tool for writing—not a writer itself. That’s why, even though AI can be used as a proofreader like Grammarly, it’s not always a good idea to apply it without oversight. Even the best spell checker sometimes misses a word or a typo. Why should you expect more from a program that’s basically doing the same thing? 

How to Get Around AI Limitations

So it seems that there’s one final question: with all these AI limitations on the table, is it even worth it to use AI to generate written content? Most of the time, the answer is still yes. It’s a great tool for brainstorming marketing ideas, blog keyphrases, and writing outlines. Plus, it’s a powerful way to beat “blank page” syndrome and get the ball rolling. However, in the end, AI is simply a writing aid—and as such, it can never fully replace a human writer. But as long as you keep that in mind, AI can help you be more productive and even streamline your content-generation process! 

So if you’re looking to start applying AI to your content creation, there are a few things you should do before you post AI-generated content. 

1. Always read the generated content yourself at least once.

Even after you’ve gotten into the groove of AI-assisted content generation, it’s absolutely vital to make sure you know what it is you’re sharing. 

2. Check for a truly human voice and add your authentic insight.

Again, since all AI’s are computer programs, they only have the capacity to imitate humans. Make sure your content rings true with your audience by adding your own personal touch. 

3. Consider your context and course-correct when necessary.

Who will be reading this content? Does it flow from point to point? Will it make sense to your audience? Check that the people who will be interacting with this piece will get actual value from it. 

4. Verify all stated facts independently.

Even if you’re writing an opinion piece with the help of AI, don’t trust your research solely to the program. Seek out authoritative sources on your own to corroborate your findings and arguments. 

5. Have at least one other human serve as a beta reader.

Whether you use a professional proofreader or simply a friend or family member, it’s always best to have another set of eyes on your work. That way, you’ll have a better chance of catching anything that slips by you. 

These steps aren’t required of every piece of content you produce—and they won’t prevent problems from happening every time. Regardless, they’re all great ways to ameliorate the AI limitations we discussed. 

AI Can Be a Powerful Tool for Written Content Generation

The use of AI for generating content is more popular than ever, especially for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to speed up the writing process. However, there are many AI limitations that should be taken into consideration. Because of the nature of these programs, they lack human creativity and can sometimes sound inauthentic on their own. They also often fail to take into account the context of the works they cite. Thus, they frequently spread misinformation, misinterpret data, and repeat content that could be considered “fake news.” With this research fallibility, AI generators are void of real quality control. 

In conclusion, despite the AI limitations, these content generators can be used as a tool for speeding up production of written content. It can also be powerfully productive when applied to marketing for businesses and entrepreneurs. Just remember that AI is a helping hand, not a replacement for a human content creator.

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