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What You Can Learn From These AI Content Horror Stories

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A series of horror stories show the dangers of misusing AI for content creation.

Unfortunately, these are just a handful of recent stories we’re tracking that show how prevalent misuse of AI-generated content is becoming—even from media companies and brands that should know better.

Why it matters: This sad state of affairs is a masterclass in how not to use AI in content and media—and we can learn a lot from it. (Even if it drives us crazy.)

Connecting the dots: In Episode 54 of the Marketing AI Show, Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer explained to me what marketers and business leaders need to keep in mind about AI–generated content.

  • This bad behavior is likely explained by incentives. “I think there’s a lot of financial pressure on these media outlets,” says Roetzer. “There’s probably a lot of push to drive efficiency and reduce reliance on human writers.” If outlets think they can generate ad revenue by publishing crap content, there’s likely a high motivation to do that.
  • But that’s a losing strategy. This recent batch of horror stories show how ill-advised this strategy is. “It destroys the trust of the audience,” says Roetzer. And it does so almost immediately, once inaccuracies or quality issues with AI-generated content come to light. It’s pretty obvious this path doesn’t end well for the companies involved.
  • It also reveals failings at the leadership level. “Either they don’t understand how the tech works and that it makes stuff up or they don’t care,” says Roetzer. “Neither of those looks good.”
  • Put simply, companies should not be replacing writers with AI. These stories make it pretty obvious: Purely AI-generated content without guardrails destroys brand value. Content farming for ad dollars is a terrible strategy and business model. And replacing staff with AI tools that run without human oversight is bad for business.

How to take action: Use AI to support the creation of great content. AI can dramatically improve the productivity and creativity of tasks like: ideation, curation, outlining, first drafts, editing, and polishing. “But don’t think you can take humans out of the loop,” says Roetzer.

Don’t get left behind…

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The course series contains 7+ hours of learning, dozens of AI use cases and vendors, a collection of templates, course quizzes, a final exam, and a Professional Certificate upon completion.

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