AI-Generated Blogs: Can they hurt your business?

Let’s talk blogs – they support your business in a myriad of ways, but could you be hurting your company by posting blogs on your website? Believe it or not, depending on how your blogs are written, you could be causing a great deal of harm to your brand. Before we cause any heart attacks, blogs are an extremely beneficial tool in improving SEO, boosting traffic, and generating leads–your blog is a window into your brand and your expertise.

So what do we mean when we say that blogs can hurt your business? With the increased use of artificial intelligence, more and more businesses are turning to AI platforms to not only write marketing content but to put together entire blog posts that are then shared on company websites. While there may not have been concerns as of yet, there are many considerations that businesses must take into account when relying solely on AI to craft content that speaks to their audiences. 

 

What are some of the concerns when it comes to AI-generated content?

Originality

Content generated by artificial intelligence is by default not completely original. While there are ways to train AI models to learn about the brand and company voice, it is simply creating patterns based on the information it is given. In addition, artificial intelligence programs often only have access to information they are trained on, and while some have limited availability to pull from the Internet, the content used is not original. This means that the content businesses are getting is not original, nor is it infused with the individuality and spark of a passionate writer. This, however, is not necessarily dangerous for your business and rather becomes an option to weigh when deciding to generate content through AI. It does, however, become an issue if the AI software is taking information and directly utilizing it without crediting the source, leading to our next concern: Plagiarism.

 

Plagiarism

We have all heard the term plagiarism, and often think of deliberately copying and pasting information from one source and claiming it as your own. When writing blogs with AI, we are not technically doing that, right? The answer here is slightly more complex: When AI is generating content, businesses are not intentionally copying information, but AI might unknowingly label plagiarized information as new, unique content. AI software isn’t always able to tell if the content has been plagiarized, and it is often not obvious that content has been taken from other sources unless the user runs the information through software that specifically checks for copied information. 

 

Why does plagiarism happen?

AI software is not intentionally giving back replicated information, but it is heavily trained on massive datasets from the Internet, leading it to ‘borrow’ material that matches your request. We can see this in phrases, structures, data, and even entire paragraphs appearing in AI-generated content without proper attribution – and without knowing the original source, businesses might not be aware that this is happening. This does not, however, remove the risk that plagiarism can pose, especially if a business is caught using plagiarized material as a means of promotion. Not only can it damage the reputation of a company, but it can ultimately negatively impact your SEO ranking.

 

Accuracy

Accurate information is key to successful blog posts – a fact that is undeniably accepted by the majority of writers and businesses. While unintentional, artificial intelligence often includes misleading information in written pieces as it works to conclude a plethora of sources. We have even seen AI chatbots make the news for providing untrue or misleading information to customers. And these chatbots were specifically trained to provide company-specific information.

Sharing misleading information, even if unintentional, is not only harmful to a company’s reputation, but it can even be illegal depending on the nature of the information. It is important to remember that while AI software is trained on a variety of information, there is no guarantee that it is trained on correct information, especially when it comes to niche areas of expertise. 

 

Training

Most, if not all of the downfalls of writing with AI are not specifically related to user error or human interaction. Instead, they are related to the training that AI models receive. Since AI has continued to expand, we have even seen legal cases arise about the validity of how artificial intelligence is trained, mainly stemming from alleged copyright violations. The source of training data that provides artificial intelligence currently sits in an ethical gray area, especially when it comes to how training data is sourced. There are questions regarding access to personal data, what happens if businesses feed confidential data to AI models, and even how training data can lead to inadvertent bias in AI models. These all create varying degrees of risk when it comes to utilizing AI as a main focus in uplifting a company.

 

With all of the risks that AI poses, how can it be used beneficially?

The most important note when utilizing artificial intelligence is to understand the risks. Before deciding to explore AI to write, businesses must not only become aware of the negative effects that AI can ultimately have on their business, but they must also work to become educated on the proper use of AI technology. This includes becoming aware of potential bias, taking extra steps to avoid plagiarism, and accepting that AI is not a copy-and-paste solution. 

Instead, AI can be a wonderful tool in brainstorming ideas for blog writing and helping to craft notes that a writer can use when crafting unique blog posts. It can support businesses in fact-finding and discovering sources that support crucial knowledge that will interest the audience, and it can even support the creation of more blogs by eliminating some of the research components in the writing process. AI can also help generate ideas, build on strategies, and serve as a sounding board. Just ensure that all facts and information are verified before publishing!

 

Next steps with AI:

Should businesses stop using AI to create written content? The short answer is no – AI can be a valuable tool in quickly creating content and generating ideas. However, content must be created and reviewed by someone with knowledge and experience using AI. There is rarely an event when content should be copied and pasted from an AI program; instead, artificial intelligence should be used as a tool to reach an end.

 

Considerations when using AI:

  • Ensure that whoever is crafting the content has experience with AI and is knowledgeable about the risks.
  • Always check for plagiarism even if you believe there is no obvious copied information.
  • Be sure to carefully analyze the facts presented in any AI-generated writing.
  • Work with an experienced writer to infuse personality and company branding into AI-generated content.

The key takeaway here is that AI is an incredible tool when used carefully, but without understanding the risks and downfalls, AI-written content can cause short-term and long-term issues for any business. Think about it this way: Your blog is a voice for your brand. The goal is for a blog to become a trusted source for your audience to receive information, become educated on the company, and ultimately a tool for generating business. Misinformation and plagiarism can not only cause potential legal issues, but bland content and unoriginal ideas can drive the audience away.

 

About the Author

Emily Roman has 5+ years of experience including copywriting and graphic design. She graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a B.A. in English Literature. Emily speaks English & Spanish.

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