How We’re Using AI

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Content strategy, Writing

Like many of you, we’re trying to stay on top of the latest developments in AI — though the speed of change makes that feel like a Sisyphean task.

In the past year, we’ve gone from exploring options to experimenting to adopting what works (and discarding what doesn’t).

AI is a technological tool, and like other technologies, it can be used well or poorly. Our goal: maintain our high-quality service while being as efficient as possible. Here are some ways AI is helping us.

Doing the (easy) work

Some of what we do, while essential to delivering quality work, isn’t brain surgery. We’ve found AI good for:

  • Writing meta descriptions: Meta descriptions are a required element of a web page, but they’re just a summary of what we’ve already created to help with search engine optimization. AI can speed up the job (and then we edit it).
  • Finding sources: Some of the content we work on has been well covered by other experts, and other times we need to have good background knowledge going into an interview. AI tools can offer suggestions — though we still do our own research as well.
  • Suggesting ideas: AI can play the part of another voice in a brainstorm. Maybe not the most creative voice, but often the ideas it generates will spur a new branch of thought.
  • Proofreading: Getting another set of eyes (figuratively) on content is always valuable. I don’t always agree with its suggestions — grammar is an art and a science — but it’s good to have questions raised about usage.
  • Comparing versions: AI tools like ChatGPT can take two documents and show you what’s different — that’s a real time saver when a reviewer doesn’t track changes.
  • First drafts: If you’re having trouble getting started with an email or article, asking AI to draft something can jump you ahead 10 or 15 minutes in the process. By the time we’re done with what it generated, almost none of its original text remains — but it saves some time and, more importantly, brain power.
  • Summarizing long articles: When we’re researching a topic, sometimes we encounter a source that may cover what we’re interested in. Instead of reading the entire article, we feed it to AI and it will just tell us what we need to know. AI is much faster at scanning an article than I am.

Cautiously optimistic

With the pace of change, we regularly try new things with AI tools. Some of the tasks we use it for couldn’t be done six months ago. We’d love to use AI for more things to help us be more efficient and save our clients money. We’ll be following closely as new tools develop this year to see how they can make us better at what we do.

But we’ll also be diligent that we’re not using AI in any way that harms our clients or what we produce. We want to use these tools to improve our services, not as a shortcut that just allows us to produce more. Quality will always be paramount for us.