Software which writes articles (and, in the future, books) is evolving with astonishing speed. It does not yet have the imagination and creativity of humans of course, but thanks to progress in artificial intelligence it is improving all the time.
Already, much of the written material found online was written by a robot; although, for now at least, such technology is only used for a limited variety of content such as finance, weather forecasts and sport, it could expand into other areas very soon.
Writing using databases and its quality
Software for writing articles is based on a relatively simple concept. The program connects to a database, where it retrieves the most important information for inclusion in the piece. By using special algorithms, it is then able to formulate simple phrases with a clear meaning.
Artificial intelligence ensures that the language used is natural, making the piece more fluent and almost indistinguishable from the writing style of a human journalist. This was the conclusion of an interesting study carried out recently in the United States.
The aim of the experiment was to demonstrate the quality of articles generated by robots. The test involved a group of people who were asked to examine some pieces written by artificial intelligence and others written by human beings, with no knowledge of the authors’ identity.
The results were remarkable because the readers were completely unable to identify which texts had been created by AI. Furthermore, the software in question also passed the famous Turing test, designed to measure the actual level of intelligence of a computer or, in this case, a program.
The limitations of software for writing articles
The future of article writing software looks bright: ongoing technological evolution should, in fact, lead to increasingly complex algorithms for writing and a broadening of the subjects that the program is able to deal with.
For now, however, we must be content with good quality pieces of writing, limited to sectors in which the themes remain more or less the same. Although indications for the future are excellent, it is still too early to envisage a whole book entirely written by artificial intelligence.
Some people are afraid that one day this type of software could even replace the professional writers employed in that sector, but such fears (at least for now) lack any logical foundation.
With current technologies, replicating something as complex as human creativity is almost impossible, because it is the result of life experience, learning and an innate capacity to imagine (all things which a computer cannot be taught).
The advantages of using robots for writing
The use of automated writing programs brings several advantages, especially in sectors in which themes occur with a certain regularity. The writing of such articles in fact, is often allocated to journalists at the start of their career, because it requires a writing style which is quite routine and not too complex. The option to delegate more monotonous writing tasks to bots therefore frees up human journalists to work on more stimulating subjects.
Another point in favour of these applications is the fact that they can write pieces which are already optimised for search engines (SEO optimisation). A semantic SEO (popular with recent algorithms used by the most well-known search engines, is able to engage users while they read.
In any case, it should be noted that the publication of automatically generated content is not viewed very positively by search engines, since their objective is to enhance the user experience. At present however, there are no efficient counter-measures to enable the identification of texts written by software.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith