GPT-3 Text Generation: The Truth and The Hype

by | Apr 18, 2022 | Business, Content Marketing

GPT-3 text generation has been all over the news lately. This is just another way of discussing artificial intelligence for writing. GPT-3 text generation in content marketing sounds like a great option for blogs and web content, but we’re still a long way from bots knowing how to explain your unique business. What the bots can do? Recognize each other. And, if we know anything, Google (and other search engines) don’t have much patience with AI-type writing. While GPT-3 text generation may be helpful, it’s not the answer you may think it is.

The Impact of AI

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, and complex proprietary algorithms are having an impact on practically every industry imaginable right now. As a consequence, they’ve become part of our day-to-day lives. AI is present in both visible and invisible ways at our jobs, schools, and homes, but to what extent is AI behind the content we consume online? Are robots already marketing to you without you even knowing it? The answer… is, well, sort of.

Typically, the introduction of AI to commercial processes results in increased efficiency or consistency in an immediate and measurable way—that’s the goal, anyway. It makes things faster and cheaper so you can make more money; it’s the driving theme behind much of our economics. Good AI requires costly research, however, and development can be tedious, with researchers spending significant time waiting for machine learning systems to parse and analyze massive batches of data before they can be re-tested. Research and development continue at a fast pace, however, with Google investing heavily in new projects, among other major players. Consequently, the price point and quality of AI assistance that can enhance day-to-day output at a job site is continually improving, making AI more accessible to businesses of all sizes, across all industries.

On Beyond Silicon Valley

This means AI is no longer the exclusive domain of Silicon Valley tech wizards and cutting-edge defense contractors. Today, AI is at work pretty much everywhere we look. For example, a self-checkout machine can free up retail staff to handle other issues, a computer program can plan the best routes for a whole fleet of trucks, intelligent robots can speed up assembly lines, making all manner of products, and apps that can sync up a hungry customer with an open restaurant and an available delivery driver without a single awkward human-to-human interaction required. It can do super consequential stuff like predict catastrophic weather, or it can be used to make the latest videogame more challenging. China is even rolling out an artificial intelligence system that assists in prosecuting court cases, and some places in the US are experimenting with similar technologies.

The potential business and public works applications for machine learning technologies are nearly limitless. Suffice to say that technology keeps getting better at jobs that were once monopolized by humans everywhere you look.

Well… almost everywhere.

One area in which bots and algorithms still seem to lag well behind their human counterparts is in the field of content creation. While people seem to love the idea of bot-generated content (there’s even a popular Twitter gag that revolves around movie scripts “written by a bot”), the reality of automated text generation is often lackluster. Even very sophisticated AI systems tend to lack the nuance required for things like comedy, writing to persuade, and understanding tone (although the robot overlords can admittedly help us make some pretty sick art).

How AI Can Help Content Creators

For now and into the foreseeable future, AI should actually be seen as a tool to assist content creators rather than a replacement to be feared. Chances are, you’re using a lot of it already if you create content for a brand or website. Even the classic squiggly red lines in your janky Word documents are a form of automated assistance in content creation—imagine still having to check your spelling with a dictionary! The difference between a writer who is comfortable with leveraging AI and one who shies away from technology is comparable to that between someone who owns a brand-new plow truck and a competitor who is equipped with only a shovel.

Leverage These AI Tools

Some AI tools available to forward-thinking writers and content creators include:

  • Grammarly – the beloved grammar tips website has become a full-blown app and browser extension, so you can get spellcheck, grammar notes, and style suggestions no matter what platform you’re working on.
  • Clearscope – an SEO-focused writing tool to help ensure your content will perform on major search engines and meet the needs of your audience.
  • Yoast – a powerful SEO plugin for content creators using the WordPress platform.
  • Hemingway Editor – a Grammarly-like plugin that will help you write with clarity and precision just like Papa himself.

How to Use AI to Boost Your Content

Your use of AI in improving and managing your content creation can go well beyond the nuts and bolts of crafting good copy, however. Consider the other ways AI tools can help your web presence flourish:

  • Social Media Management – there are dozens of smart options available to help you design, schedule, and implement your brand’s social media campaign without the need to frantically copy and paste between platforms.
  • Research – tools like Google Analytics can call your attention to issues with your website or content. Smart analytics can also help you see what people are searching for, what search trends over time could mean for your business, what keywords your competitors are using, and a wealth of other information to help you understand why your website ranks where it does.

GPT-3 Text Generation in Content Creation Today

An understanding of natural, compelling storytelling and human levels of emotional sensitivity remain two of the last great frontiers left for machine learning. Progress in those fields is being made every single day, however. With technology that is literally designed to learn, it’s likely just a matter of time before automated writing improves to the point that we find ourselves in a future where the phrase “the first great bot-written novel” is a thing.

Today, however, the optimal content creation strategy still involves AI assisting and elevating live, human content creators (lucky for me). AI can help writers and webmasters do all sorts of things to improve their posts and boost SEO performance, but GPT-3 text generation can never truly come up with new ideas for content because an algorithm’s understanding of the world is limited by the pre-existing data used to train it. GPT-3 text generation may indeed be the future, but its creative potential is hindered by the fact that it can only ever really know the past.

Understanding What GPT-3 Text Generation Is

At this stage, a lot of automated text still needs to be fixed manually by a real, live human who knows not to say things like, “The most epic prank a computer ever played on a human was when it tampered with a human’s thermostat settings so that the human… would be forced to either swelter in the heat or freeze in the cold.” (This is an actual “epic prank” a computer might play on a human, as described by the GPT-3 text generation algorithm—the current state of the art in AI text generation.) Many editors who’ve tried to work with AI content have come to the conclusion that it’s more efficient to write from scratch than try to fix the jarring, uncanny phrasing so often employed by bots. This need for close human editing defeats the purpose of outsourcing to an algorithm for cheap procedurally-generated blog posts… for now.

Non-Bot and Lots of Writers

For a content strategy that will never be defeated by robots, reach out to Better Content Matters. We use experienced human writers and editors to craft world-class, high-performing content for any platform or industry.

Leo Siren

Leo Siren

Leo Siren is a freelance content creator from Michigan's Upper Peninsula drawing on his multifaceted experience as a public librarian, assistant harbormaster, financial software systems analyst, and forklift operator to deliver innovative, high performing content in a range of text and audio formats. His personal interests include the electric banjo, referencing Elder Scrolls lore in everyday conversations, attempting to identify wild mushrooms, and various other things that upset the people around him.