In a setting befitting the opening scene of a sci-fi thriller at the recently opened Leverhulme Center for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge University, Professor Stephen Hawking cautions that the future of artificial intelligence could potentially be “either the best, or worst thing to ever happen to humanity.”
Reiterating his 2014 statement to the BBC, Hawking urges that if done wrong, “the development of full AI could spell the end of the human race” –– think Terminator, I, Robot, or WestWorld. But on the other hand, Hawking believes that amplifying our minds through utilization of artificial intelligence can transform every aspect of our lives.
The overarching concern surrounding AI is machine morality and whether it is safe for society. If people do not have proper ethical guidelines or fully comprehend the risks AI could play on mankind, is the expansion of functionalities and the powering of complex self-evolving capabilities – as Hawking would put it – the ‘worst thing to happen to humanity?’ Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: it’s an innovative, lucrative and progressive technology with tremendous scope, that more and more companies from various industries are investing in research and development in order to disrupt and mold the future.
Content Marketing Revolution
As a result of the present day digital marketing landscape with its plethora of connected devices, over-saturation of content and limitless potential consumers, positions quality, shareable content as king, a spike in the number of AI systems related to content marketing have spawned.
#1: Automation of Articles
For starters, you are most likely unaware that many articles you have read online are automatically generated from journalistic robots. Companies have already begun to adopt the utilization of robot writers, including the Associated Press. In January 2015, the AP revealed that it is now automatically generating 3,000 news stories about U.S. corporate earnings each quarter.
Momentarily, robots can only construct narratives from uncomplicated, quantitative information because humans have only developed early forms of AI termed narrow intelligence, intelligence equivalent or better than human intelligence at solving very specific lower level tasks, but in the future robo reporters may become advanced enough to tell personal, emotional, complicated stories. In other words, AI in it’s current capacity is capable of deciphering easily interpretable information, ex. data driven stories like the statistical analysis of a football game. Naturally, in this form, AI is incapable of composing qualitative, complex stories comparable to first hand experiences or your favorite blog or novel but eventually, algorithms will outperform human writers and be more cost effective. Content marketers will simply plug in basic guidelines and install software programs and AI will take care of the rest.
#2: A New Approach to SEO
RankBrain is the name of Google’s machine-learning artificial intelligence system. It helps sort through Google’s search results and is an important new part of how Google is improving their SEO rankings through an approach known as deep learning, AI processing huge amounts of data and learning from those analytics. Content marketing is extremely dependent on search engines driving visitors to the site. Google’s search engine is widely seen as the hallmark of this aspect of marketing.
RankBrain is important to content marketing because it can sort through a massive amount of data to deliver the most quality and precise content to a user based upon Google search queries. It vastly diminishes existing SEO hacks and strategies like keyword stuffing which, in turn, forces content marketers to create higher quality, tailored content to their target market. This explains why in 2016 the average time to create a blog post increased by 26% from 2015 and the average length is up 19%. It’s now a quest for quality and marketers are adapting a go big or go home mentality.
#3: More Targeted Content
The constant fiddling with newsfeed algorithms allows social networks like Facebook to analyze and deliver catered content to display to each individual user. As these algorithms advance, machine learning functionalities will allow them to learn from their own user experiences, relying more on AI to customize newsfeed algorithms for each individual. The combination of robo-writers and algorithm updates could allow AI systems to deliver quality and extremely precise stories developed exclusively with a particular individual in mind. To clarify, we are talking news articles written by machines specifically with a single person in mind for each individual user.
AI in it’s present form is a tool to increase productivity for content marketers and within many industries but researchers and developers are also experimenting with emotions, morality, and consciousness in neural networks that will transform not only content marketing but Hawking’s hope and/or fear, humanity.
The demand for those industries will not go away anytime soon and therefore those industries will not die by the hands of the machines just yet. AI will simply transform industries into something completely different much like advancements in tech have always done, ex. the internet, smartphones, social media, augmented reality, virtual reality, etc.
The same is true for content marketing. People will always feel the need to consume content for informational and entertainment purposes. Great content will always rise to the top regardless of how much noise or overabundance. The value quality content provides isn’t limited to a device or platform. With the evolution of technology and consumer interest, content marketing must also evolve. The machines are definitely coming for content marketing along with entire industries, but until AI develops into more advanced forms of intelligence then it will simply be an excellent tool to boost productivity.