CognitionOpinion Piece

Why I don’t use AI to create content

At a recent Directors Round Table event, I was chatting with a few there about becoming more focused on content creation. The overwhelming recommendation was to use ChatGPT to pull together the initial information and then ‘edit it in your voice’. 

Maybe I’m old. Maybe I’m a bit too much of a Luddite. Maybe I have a too traditional approach to sharing information with others. Or maybe I prefer to write something original. But, I found the advice rather jarring and found myself doing a mental recoil from the suggestion.

My response was more reactionary than I had anticipated, in being so vehemently opposed to the idea. At the time I stated something in the realm of ‘content creation being part of my ongoing learning process’. 

I’ve had some time to contemplate my reaction and after watching a video Rory Sutherland put out on LinkedIn, I realised that he put into words what I had not been able to. 

His argument included the concept that we don’t keep all the essays and assignments we pull together at university to read and re-read at a later date. Writing essays is not so much about the content itself (which may or may not be valuable for others to read), but rather it is about wrestling with the information, making sense of it, understanding how it fits with other information already stored and finding unique, creative and insightful connections that you otherwise would not have made.

When pulling together an AI-curated blog post or article, all you are doing is re-constituting relatively well-written information that can be generated by any other Jo Bloggs.

It’s the same reason I don’t have anyone else create social media posts.

Creating unique content is about adding value to yourself and others. Finding connections that others may not have made before and adding a unique viewpoint on the topic that may not have been considered before. 

The thoughts and viewpoints on this site might differ radically from yours. Some may agree with me and others may oppose my perspectives.

But, what can be guaranteed is that the content created on this site was sourced, read, considered, thought of, contemplated, compiled, and written by a human being. Typed in one letter at a time and edited one sentence at a time.

And yes, AI has its place and added value on every page (probably without exception). Ironing out spelling and grammar errors using AI (i.e. Grammarly) makes it easier for others to read. And even in that process of correcting writing errors, there is learning. 

So, in the footer of the Cybercology website is the following disclaimer: 

Non-AI Content Generation

There is a reason for this. 

We rush too quickly into a new technology, trying to keep ahead of everyone else in business. But, I think we are leaving behind something more valuable. Building core individual knowledge and creating and maintaining human connection and community.

We sometimes need to take a step back and consider what we lose when we so quickly embrace a new technology. It can add loads of value and I don’t deny that AI-generated content can do that. But, using it to shortcut a learning process is denying ourselves of something which (I think) is fundamental to being human – sharing knowledge, rather than simply content creation. 

I would rather post one article blog a month that I (or another human) has written than blast out an article a day that a bot has written. 

You may or may not agree with me, but isn’t that the point of putting ideas out there through written content? At least you will be agreeing or disagreeing with me (and I’m ok with that) as a human, rather than something an algorithm wrote.