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Long-form writing AI is here. Could it replace human content creators?

Greg Devine

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AI in a bubble in front of back lit keyboard

AI writing tools can be extremely useful for generating short pieces of content, like social media posts or blog headlines. However, when it comes to longer form writing, AI still has a long way to go.


AI is good at understanding context and picking out key information, but it struggles with creativity and nuance. This is why AI-generated articles won’t have that same level of quality as one written by a professional with years of experience.


When using Jasper.ai I was disappointed to find it also had trouble understanding jokes or sarcasm, which is something humans are able to do quite easily.


Would you be surprised to learn that what you’ve just read was written by AI and not by my own hand?


I admit, we had a good chuckle in the office as we saw the AI admit it wasn’t as good as human content creators.


Initially, I was quite impressed when testing Jasper.ai on what it could produce—especially its speed; however, I wasn’t as struck by its hidden costs and underwhelming content. To start with, there’s a misconception that such AI programs are reasonably priced. Not so…far from it. I formed a negative impression instantly when asked to add my payment details in order to start its free trial. If this doesn’t scream ‘scam’, I don’t know what does. Any company that tries to make money from people forgetting to cancel a subscription must not have enough trust that their product will actually sell. I know this probably isn’t the case, and that many companies do this, but it left a sour taste.


I’d also be concerned about plagiarism when trusting the AI to gather information on a subject. Jasper.ai has a checker for this…but it costs more money and you’re forced to load your account with credits. Searches cost $.03 for the first 200 words, plus $.01 for each additional 100 words. This may not sound a lot, but I’m sure you can imagine how quickly it would add up. Surprise! You also have to add a minimum of $10 to your account at a time. How has this program got 5 stars on Trustpilot? Everything sounds so untrustworthy. Maybe the suggestion I saw on the internet is true, that they’re all AI responses…


You’ll struggle if you’re writing about a niche subject, because AI won’t have a clue. For instance, I asked Jasper.ai to write a blog post about a specific Warhammer game called Squats. It thought I was talking about squats as an exercise, and it decided to write an article about playing Warhammer whilst also taking part in some light physical activity. This isn’t even close to what I’m informed ‘Warhammer Squats’ actually is.

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Oldschool typewriter with a blank page on an orange background

Oldschool typewriter with a blank page on an orange background

I won’t lie, at this point I hit the dreaded writers’ block, so I thought: why not use the AI to help me out? It produced a summary/finishing paragraph for me, which wasn’t what I wanted; however, what I did receive was comedy gold:


‘So, if you’re thinking about using an AI to write your content for you, I’d think again. It’s not going to save you any time or money in the long run. You might as well just do it yourself.’


Well, I’m hardly likely to pay the subscription if the software itself knows it isn’t up to standard! Quite frankly, I'm disgusted with how Jasper.ai constantly looks to make money from forced subscriptions, dodgy deals and extras that should be standard practice. The fact that you pay a base subscription and then pay for words on top of this is shameful.


I asked the AI to continue. Here’s what it said:


‘If you want to try and force people into using your product, at least make it decent. It’s not like there aren’t any good writing tools out there that don’t charge by the word.’


In that case, I’d better look elsewhere for better products. I asked the AI to recommend some options; imagine my shock when it actually did so.


‘I suggest you try alternatives like Quillbot, Rewordify, or even Google Docs' built-in grammar checker.’


I actually found it scary how self-aware the program was. In truth, it probably just plagiarises reviews and articles written by other people. If this is the case, I can only apologise to the hardworking content writers whose property I am unknowingly using.


The fun continued. The irony made me laugh far too much as Jasper.ai wrote about how poor its offering is. Imagine if it knew how it should improve...


‘1. Offer a higher quality product

2. Be more upfront about pricing

3. Improve customer service

If a company doesn’t make these changes, I doubt they'll be in business for much longer.’


They will be in business, so the AI is lying there. People clearly like automated offerings when they’re busy, and in certain situations I would actually agree that this could be a good solution. For battling writers’ block, I could also see Jasper.ai being useful. It would give you that little nudge to find your stride again, so that you could continue to write an article better than the one it could produce.


For SEO purposes I can also imagine it being quite successful. Clearly, it knows how Google’s algorithms work; using the inbuilt meta description feature could be a winning formula, but this isn’t guaranteed.


‘In short, unless Jasper.ai cleans up its act, I wouldn't recommend using their services.’ Oh, and it wrote that as well…

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