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5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Could Change How Writers Make Money


We tend to think of artificial intelligence as a thing of the future. However, it is interesting to consider whether it would change how writers make money.

Science fiction has presented scenarios about intelligent machines, from R2-D2 and C-3PO’s metal-plated Abbott & Costello routine to The Terminator’s hellscape vision. In truth, those machines were already there. Frank Rosenblatt’s Perceptron program was first demonstrated in 1960 – a software package that could be trained through simple trial and error. By 1996, IBM’s Deep Blue was taking on chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, and it beat him the year after.

For writers today, AI is less a subject they write about and more a practical tool they use to write. While writing aids have been around for some time when we think of word processing software’s spellchecking features, the launch of Grammarly in 2009 took help out of the local machine and located it in the cloud. In 2022, ChatGPT showed that AI could compose entire movie scripts or even poetry from a few parameter commands. These new packages showcase the power of Generative AI. ‘What is Artificial Intelligence?’ by MongoDB explains that Generative AI can go beyond being ‘trained’ by asking questions and using machine learning to recognize new situations based on previous examples to be capable of making its content.

However, we believe AI will change how writers make money, not by replacing human writers but by offering opportunities to advance their visions.

Let’s take a look.

Maintaining Authenticity

Grammarly uses AI to check spelling, grammar, and syntax – British rather than American English, for example – and can instantly scan a database of billions of academic texts and web pages to check for plagiarism. Unsurprisingly that’s led to its enthusiastic takeup by educational establishments for marking, but it also helps writers in potentially crowded fields stand out by ensuring they have a distinctive voice.

Brainstorming and How Writers Make Money

Inspiration can be hard to find when a content writer is commissioned for a piece where they’re not savvy in the subject. AI can help unstick writer’s block by generating prompts and subject headings and offering suggestions on structuring content. It is helpful to ‘know what you’re writing before you write it,’ as suggested in this piece on ‘How To Catapult Your Writing Productivity’. Using AI to map a passage can be a valuable compass on unfamiliar ground.

Opening opportunity

On the flip side, when a writer is an authority in their field, their work will likely be in demand far outside the borders of their own country and often their language. 20 years ago, publishing in languages outside one’s own may have involved human translators, which would mean delay in going to print, the cost involved for the service, and potential loss of editorial control as the author may be somewhat at the mercy of the translator’s interpretation. Generative AI apps like Lokalise AI can integrate into various Content Management Systems, offering instant translation, oftentimes not just into other languages but even dialects of languages – Chilean vs Castillian Spanish, for example. In ‘10 Creative Steps to Increase Income Without Working More’, the emphasis is on ‘learning to work smart’. Smart machine learning can also work for content writers.

Staying on top

Content writers are frequently concerned with SEO rankings – the lower the search engine results one’s piece is, the less likely it is to gain viewers. Google has used AI to power its algorithm since 2016, meaning simple keywords don’t cut it anymore – the user’s intent and preferences drive results based on factors like their location and prior searches. Scott Keever writes in Forbes “As we usher in the AI era, evolving your SEO strategies to match this transition is critical.” As the search engine algorithms periodically change, an AI writing assistant can be tuned to keep pace in a much less labour-intensive way than a human writer. Leverage the tech to leverage the tech for best results.

Pitching perfect

In ‘How to Take Responsibility for Your Financial Future’, Lewis Humphries advises ‘taking the initiative’. For a writer, that can pose some unique problems. Proposing a piece to an editorial desk can be made or broken by the introductory email. AI can analyze effective headlines to maximize the impact of the introduction. An AI program can analyze the tone of prior correspondence with a contact and customize text to mirror in response. AI can even track when a contact is most likely to open your emails, putting a new slant on the age-old saying ‘time is money’.

Will artificial intelligence change how writers make money? Yes and no. While it’s true that AI can streamline many tasks and let the writer utilize his or her time more effectively, there is (as yet) no substitute for unique, human-written content. Intelligence may be useful, however knowledge is power.

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

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