Artificial intelligence (AI) is at a tipping point. Ever since the launch of artificial intelligence company OpenAI’s ChatGPT, more people are talking about and using AI than ever before. ChatGPT had one million users just five days after it opened to the public. Let’s take a closer look at the current facts related to artificial intelligence. 

What Are the Types of AI?

Organizations are developing and using AI in many ways, beyond novel content generation. AI uses computer systems to do tasks that typically only humans have been able to do. IBM defines it this way:

Artificial intelligence leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind. 

Modern AIs can be divided into two main categories: machine learning AI and deep learning AI. Both are trained on thousands, sometimes millions, of examples to “teach” them what to do and how to do it. However, there are a few differences between machine and deep learning. 

Related: Content Trends 2024: The Epic of Extremes Intensifies

Machine learning requires more supervision in its execution and often requires its work to be evaluated by a person. Examples of machine learning AIs include: 

  • KNIME Analytics Platform, which connects users to machine learning libraries to automate and optimize analysis processes 
  • Grammarly, which uses natural language processing (NLP) AI to analyze and edit text 
  • Alteryx, which streamlines and automates analytics processes to help businesses make informed decisions 

AI can be trained to do specific tasks or, as with ChatGPT, can be built to think and act as a human would using a type of AI called deep learning. Deep learning is a booming field. Other powerful deep learning programs include:

  • DALL-E, which creates images and art based on a description and also comes from OpenAI.
  • Deepmind, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet.
  • Make-A-Video, which is from Meta. 

Related: Artificial Intelligence + Content: The Promise + The Pitfalls

Content Science lists an increasing number of AI tools in its biannual Content Technology Landscape Infographic. These tools can help you write, edit, and create video or imagery. 

So what does all of this mean for content professionals? Start answering that question with some facts. 

The State of AI

VC fund and accelerator Antler recently mapped the generative AI field and lists nearly 200 different tools. And, that’s just generative AI. McKinsey finds that “the average number of AI capabilities that organizations use, such as natural-language generation and computer vision, has doubled—from 1.9 in 2018 to 3.8 in 2022.” 

More companies are adopting AI. 55% of companies say they have adopted AI for at least one business function. Less than one-third of companies report adopting AI for more than one business function. — McKinsey

Much more to come from ChatGPT. Microsoft has committed billions to OpenAI. “Microsoft’s partnership enables it to capitalize on OpenAI’s technology. Microsoft’s supercomputers are helping to power the startup’s energy-hungry AI systems, while the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant will be able to further integrate OpenAI technology into Microsoft products.” Associated Press

Generative AI’s popularity is growing fast. One-third of survey respondents say they use generative AI regularly in at least one business function. 40 percent of respondents say their organization will increase their investment in AI overall because of advancements in generative AI. — McKinsey

Majority of companies say they have started automation initiatives. Seventy-three percent of executives say their organizations have embarked on a path to intelligent automation, up 58% from 2019. Those organizations range from piloting, with 1 to 10 automations (37%), to scaling, with 51 or more automations (13%). Deloitte

Related: How to Start a Content Automation Initiative

Tech giants invest in generative AI. “Microsoft Corp. is investing $10 billion in OpenAI, whose artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT has lit up the internet since its introduction in November, amassing more than a million users within days and touching off a fresh debate over the role of AI in the workplace. The new support, building on $1 billion Microsoft poured into OpenAI in 2019 and another round in 2021, is intended to give Microsoft access to some of the most popular and advanced artificial intelligence systems.Bloomberg

The emergence of AI regulation. “Generative AI has been hurtling forward in its progression like a runaway train, but the unstoppable force may soon meet an immovable object; statutory regulation. Now is the time to take a step back and assess your content operations to determine if incorporating generative AI into your content production process is the right move.” — Creators vs. Machines: The Rise of Intellectual Property Lawsuits Against Generative AI

AI fueled misinformation reaches a large audience. They (researchers) found that whereas the truth rarely reached more than 1000 Twitter users, the most pernicious false news stories routinely reached well over 10,000 people. False news propagated faster and wider for all forms of news – but the problem was particularly evident for political news. — Science.org

Consumer confidence in identifying AI-generated content varies. 54% of consumers claim to know when they are reading content written by AI, 26% claim to not know, and 20% say they are unsure. — Forbes Advisor

Consumers worry about certain types of AI-generated content. The top 5 types of content consumers are worried about AI being used for are product descriptions (70%), product reviews (60%), job applications (59%), chatbot answers to questions (58%), and music recommendations (55%). — Forbes Advisor

Related: 20 Signs of a Content Problem in a High-Stakes Initiative

How Organizations Are Using AI

The release of ChatGPT has unleashed enormous potential for using AI to address content needs at large and growing organizations. But even before ChatGPT came on the scene, content professionals were increasing the use of AI in their operations. 

Content marketers see great benefits from AI. 84% of marketers now use AI, up from 29% in 2018. 79% of marketing teams report a revenue increase after the adoption of AI. — Keenfolks

Number of organizations using AI for content is increasing. Twenty-nine percent of organizations are using AI or machine learning in some capacity related to content. This is up from 22% in our 2022 study and up from 15% in our 2017 study. What Makes Content Operations Successful?

Marketers lean on AI for customer data. Marketing and sales professionals are most likely to be using AI for customer service analytics and customer segmentation. McKinsey

Content professionals use AI to complete their tasks. “Composition, including writing, localization and collaboration, is the most common application, with 36% of AI / machine learning users citing it. This is up 66% from the 2021 study. Conversely, distribution (syndicating, targeting, etc.) is down 50% from the 2021 study.” — What Makes Content Operations Successful?

Related: 5 Secrets to Successful Content Operations Webinar Recording

AI and the Content Job Market 

Although the launch of ChatGPT unleashed a wave of predictions about the end of certain kinds of jobs, AI is far from ready to replace us all. In fact, AI will open up more opportunities for people to do their jobs faster and more efficiently. 

Is the era of the “prompt engineer” coming? “To use generative AI effectively, you still need human involvement at both the beginning and the end of the process,” write two AI experts in Harvard Business Review. — Harvard Business Review

To start with, a human must enter a prompt into a generative model in order to have it create content. Generally speaking, creative prompts yield creative outputs. “Prompt engineer” is likely to become an established profession, at least until the next generation of even smarter AI emerges. …Then, once a model generates content, it will need to be evaluated and edited carefully by a human.

Related: Prompting Text Generative AI Course with CSA

Companies are adopting AI to address gaps in labor. 1 in 4 companies say they have adopted AI for a skill/labor shortage. 33% use AI for IT automation. 33% use AI for automating business procedures. 29% use AI for security and threat protection. 26% use AI for marketing and sales. — IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2022

Some companies replace human processes with AI. AI is putting some jobs more at risk than others. 81.6% of marketers think content writers’ jobs are at risk because of AI. Companies are already replacing people. 32.9% of businesses have already replaced some human tasks with AI solutions. — Authority Hacker

AI may take you to 80% complete when it comes to content creation. “Artificial intelligence is living up to its potential for content. These tools can accelerate creating content at a high level of quality. I think of it as these tools take you to 80% complete, leaving you with about 20% to do…usually final polishing or refinement. Content Science Review, 4 Content Technology Trends to Watch

Generative AI will bring new opportunities. “While some creatives may be replaced by Gen-AI systems, others may find new opportunities to work with these systems or to create content that is enabled by Gen-AI. In many cases, it may actually enhance the work of creatives by enabling them to create more personalized or unique content, or to generate new ideas and concepts that may not have been possible without the use of AI.”Mapping the Generative AI Landscsape, Antler 

How to know when you’re ready for AI. “Your content maturity level can help you figure out when and how to start your AI experiments. Knowing your level means you have identified weaknesses in your content ops, which can give you a roadmap for improvement, whether you decide to pursue AI or not.” The Content Marketer’s Guide to AI and Content Maturity by Writer + Content Science

Bottom Line

The AI technology space is exploding. Companies and organizations worldwide, including tech giant Microsoft, are spending billions to turn artificial intelligence technology into practical tools and services. 

Of course, many AI tools and services are already here. Google’s RankBrain uses machine learning to determine the most relevant results to search queries, intelligent chatbots handle steadily more customer service queries, and Amazon’s Alexa uses complex natural language processing (NLP) technology to understand what you’re saying. Using AI, content professionals can better understand their audience, improve user experience, increase productivity, and select more effective content strategies.

And, as the sophistication and ability of artificial intelligence grows, so too does that of content intelligence. Together, these two fields can produce higher content ROI through areas such as content creation and hyperpersonalized content. 

Putting your head in the sand will not make this reality disappear or pause, so it’s imperative business leaders prepare for this new wave of change. Proper content engineering is a crucial aspect of preparing for the impact artificial intelligence will have on every organization, and Content Science founder Colleen Jones points to nine content engineering activities teams can start or ramp up:

Related: Content Engineering Certification with CSA

  1. Modeling content structures, schemas, and semantics
  2. Architecting content using taxonomies and other metadata magic
  3. Designing content delivery
  4. CEM lifecycle planning (including when to archive!) and implementation specifications
  5. Marketing automation workflow planning
  6. Designing content management workflows, reporting, and user support services
  7. Content reuse planning, adaptive content strategy, and content personalization architecture
  8. Audience- and session-based analytics personalization rules and scoring, validating content targeting against user task success
  9. Multisite content syndication and content API definitions

Related: The Ultimate Guide to End-to-End Content

Smart companies have been establishing a system of content engineering as part of an end-to-end content approach so they can make the most of artificial intelligence. For brief examples and inspiration, check our 2024 Content Predictions and Plans

The Author

Content Science partners with the world’s leading organizations to close the content gap in digital business. We bring together the complete capabilities you need to transform or scale your content approach. Through proprietary data, smart strategy, expert consulting, creative production, and one-of-a-kind products like ContentWRX and Content Science Academy, we turn insight into impact. Don’t simply compete on content. Win.

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