Unlock Your Writing Potential with AI: Exploring the Benefits and Limitations (2023)
Unlock Your Writing
Potential with AI:
Exploring the Benefits and Limitations
of AI for Writers in 2023
You’ll soon see AI in most writing tools. Canva, Notion, Craft, Coda and other popular writing services have been racing to add new AI features. Google Docs added a new AI-driven summarisation feature. Read on for what AI can do for you, where the hype goes too far, and a few recommended tools to try.
What is AI?
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines (source). It focuses on assisting humans by training machines to help with repetitive or complex tasks.
Everything below this (and the title) was generated by Craft’s AI — I have not edited it, in order to provide a sample of the kind of material the AI can generate in response to prompts.
Here are several ways in which AI may be helpful for anyone writing in 2023.
- Text Summarization: AI will be able to generate summaries of articles, books, and other long text documents, eliminating the need for readers to slog through long passages of text.
- Automated grammar and spelling checks: AI technology will be able to quickly correct common errors and typos, helping writers create error-free material.
- AI-assisted content generation: AI technology will be able to generate content for writers, helping them produce more or less customized articles or book chapters with no effort.
- AI-assisted research: AI will use big data to find relevant and useful information for writers, ensuring that their work remains factually accurate and up-to-date
- Automated copyright protection and plagiarism detection: AI technology will be able to detect copyright issues and protect writers from unjustly profiting from someone else’s work. It will also be able to detect plagiarism attempts, providing an extra layer of security.
• Text summarization will save time and effort.
• Automated grammar and spelling checks will improve accuracy.
• AI-assisted content generation will help with creativity.
• AI-assisted research will provide access to up-to-date information.
• Automated copyright protection and plagiarism detection will help protect intellectual property.
• AI may not be able to understand the nuances of writing, such as tone and context.
• AI-assisted content generation may lead to overly generic material.
• Automated copyright protection and plagiarism detection may be costly for some.
Beyond these big apps, a slew of start-ups have built brand-new writing services that rely on AI to reduce the friction we face when staring at a blank page.
The hype factor
If you take their online ads on board I think you'll agree that some go a bit too far.
Jasper, an AI writing service, raised $125 million at a $1.5 billion valuation. The appeal of writing faster is clear. But AI-focused startups that emphasize speed and volume should expect a backlash from fans of thoughtfulness and quality.
Postwise.ai promises to
automatically generate tweets for you when you type in any topic. I’m not sure
we need 10x the amount of automated, low-quality content pumped out ever faster
in a world already drowning in hot takes.
🧰 AI tools to try
Lex. I love its simplicity. It’s designed specifically for individual writers, not marketers, technologist or corporate teams. It doesn’t make braggadocious claims, just helps writers in subtle ways. Still in private beta, it already has great features, including:
- A title generator to suggest headlines for whatever you’re writing.
- A question answerer to respond concisely to factual queries.
- A paragraph writer that assesses what you’ve written and suggests a relevant next paragraph or bullet-points that build on your argument. It can also help remind you of blind spots in your writing by listing topics, facts or issues you may have accidentally ignored.
- Writing stats to track of productivity.
Lex draws on the same Open AI engine as Canva Docs but lacks its visual features. It’s useful if you write often but don’t need the 150 menu options available in Microsoft Word. For now, Lex is free, with a waitlist for access.
ChatGPT isn’t a writing service per se, but it’s a helpful way to challenge your own thinking by seeking out AI explanations of complex issues. More than a million people have already signed up to chat with this remarkable chatbot that answers questions with an eerily human touch.
Craft.do has the best-designed implementation of any of the AI writing tools I’ve seen so far. You hit / and it gives you some options for adding directly into whatever doc you’re working on. It works on the Mac and Windows apps, on the Web and on iOS.
You can use the AI feature to summarise or explain something; create an outline; write a pros and cons list; generate keywords or hashtags; suggest a title; add to something you’ve written, or translate your text into English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Korean or Japanese.
Copy.ai is useful for generating marketing materials. You can also use it to generate YouTube titles and descriptions, Instagram captions, TikTok video ideas, Facebook ad text, and various other formats.Readers like you help more than AI to spread the word, mainly by sharing posts.
Canva Docs calls its AI feature Magic Write, which joins another Canva AI tool that lets you generate images by typing in a text prompt, and a magic resizing tool that will adjust your image to fit whatever dimensions you need. Those first two AI features are free.
AI will provide writers in 2023 with many helpful features, such as text summarization, automated grammar and spelling checks, AI-assisted content generation, AI-assisted research, and automated copyright protection and plagiarism detection. These features are likely to save time and effort, improve accuracy and creativity, and protect intellectual property. However, AI may not be able to understand the nuances of writing and AI-assisted content generation may lead to generic material. Automated copyright protection and plagiarism detection may be costly for some.