Bots Are Plenty Competent at Writing Blog Posts, but Your Audience Wants a Human Connection
This month, the New York Times published the most recent in a series of articles on the impressive writing proficiency of artificial intelligence. Readers may remember that, about a year ago, another magazine from the Big Apple published an article that used a computer-generated pastiche of Kafka’s Metamorphosis as an example of the extent and limitations of the mastery of language by artificial intelligence. The new article focuses on a supercomputer in Iowa, known as GPT-3, that produces text, based on a much larger corpus of human-composed texts than any previous AI writing project that has preceded it. The author’s article, Steven Johnson, describes asking the computer to write a recipe for Bolognese sauce, compose a poem in the style of John Ashbery, and provide an explanation of the Big Bang theory with elementary school students as its target audience. The bottom line is that, if you asked the current generation of bots to compose legal blog content about your practice area, they would probably write something that is recognizable as a blog post, but it probably wouldn’t be something that you would want to use to make a good first impression on prospective clients.
Artificial Intelligence Is Great for Routine Writing Tasks, but Communicating With Potential Clients Is Not a Routine Task
Johnson implies that GPT-3 could make itself useful in a law firm, since artificial intelligence is good at generating boilerplate text. It could easily compose drafts of routine emails, invoices, and even simple contracts. It would simply look at numerous examples of similar texts and then remix them according to your instructions. According to Emily Bender, Temnit Gebru, Angelina McMillan-Major, and Meg Mitchell, this is exactly the problem. In a paper published before Johnson’s New York Times piece, the aforementioned authors describe AI writing programs as “stochastic parrots.” Computers can follow patterns, and they can do it in increasingly sophisticated ways, but they cannot think in any way that resembles how humans think.
All of this is to say that, if you prompted a computer to write a blog post for your law firm, the post would probably be more grammatically correct than what you would get from 95 percent of the freelancers on Fiverr. At best, though, it would be a bland, generic blog post, lacking in narrative arc and specific details. In other words, it would be bottom of the barrel blog content, the kind that readers click away from after a few sentences, once they realize that no genuine thought has gone into it. This would lead to a reduced time on page, which would be bad for your site’s SEO rankings.
Only Humans Can Write Blog Content Thoughtfully
The professional legal content writers at Law Blog Writers can do more than just remix old blog content according to your specifications. They can help you communicate meaningfully with the target audience of your law firm’s website, as only human beings can.