Be wary of AI
I focused on artificial intelligence (AI) a few issues ago, noting I have no fears of losing my job as a result of its growing popularity. The more I read about it and interact with it, the surer I am that there are many things simply requiring a human touch.I regularly edit transcripts that have been created via AI. Why are my skills necessary? Here are a few corrections I made to a recent transcript, with the original noted first and the edit following:
- museum—user name
- rake show—make sure
- apple—Apple (the company)
- Susie Warman—Suze Orman
The program that created the transcripts simply doesn’t have the “brainpower” to accurately record names—people’s or company’s—or determine what’s correct based on context.Here’s something much scarier I found in a recent issue of BottomLine Personal: “Beware AI-generated content on news sites. Two recent analyses found dozens of instances where robots had been producing web content. Affected pages included news outlets, health information websites, social media pages and e-commerce sites. Among the information produced by the AI language models were celebrity death hoaxes, fake consumer reviews and false medical advice. This trend raises concerns that AI will make the misinformation landscape even harder to navigate.” The article recommended ways to combat potential misinformation that include looking for “odd phrasing, sentences that don’t quite fit with the rest of the text, and images and videos that look odd or don’t quite blend with the background.” Another way I suggest: Don’t rely solely on AI if you’re a content creator. Perhaps use it as a starting point if you wish—but then bring in talented humans to “take it home.”
You name it
I recently came across this copy in something I was editing (names changed for anonymity): CEO and founder of ABC Company, self-proclaimed rebel and online space leader John Smith believes…. Yikes! The most important information in that clause—the person’s name—is buried. My edit was moving the name to the front, so the sentence begins John Smith, CEO and founder of ABC company…. I suggest you do the same for anyone who requires more than a short title to introduce.
Know your audience
Last month, I wrote about my frustration with those who fail to adequately research their target audience, e.g., sending queries about providing assistance with hiring and benefits to sole proprietors. Even more ridiculous to me are companies that don’t tweak their messages for various regions of the country. For instance, an ad posing the question, Frigid temps got you down? isn’t likely to resonate with someone who lives in San Diego or any other temperate climate. Seems like a waste of marketing dollars to me.