For the past few years, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been transforming many industries. In the publishing industry, technologies based on AI are being developed and implemented to help writers and publishers. They are programmed to tackle issues relating to searching for published content, peer review, identifying data fabrication and detecting plagiarism. Hence, AI doesn’t just aid in advancing communication but also reduces human bias.
AI is a still-growing field that continues to bring changes to every walk of life. A wide-ranging tool, it enables humans to rethink how we incorporate the information, research and analyse data and then use the results to improve decision making. Expert systems, neural networks, natural language processing and robotics are just a few of the main areas of research that are related to AI. These areas control technologies like extraction and retrieval of information, speech recognition and machine translation. Similarly, the implementation of AI in research has increased exponentially.
This blog discusses AI, its milestones and a few of its applications in the field of research and publishing.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
It was John McCarthy who coined the term ‘artificial intelligence’ in 1956, at a conference at Dartmouth. AI, in simple terms, means that the functions of the human brain can be mirrored by machines, like solving problems in Mathematics. Since then, the interest, development and use of AI have increased tremendously over the years.
Rather than a futuristic vision, AI is something that is present today. It is something that is integrated and installed into a myriad of sectors. Fields such as national security, finance, criminal justice, health care, smart cities and transportation are run with the aid of AI. The applications of AI are many. It includes web search engines, understanding human speech (like Alexa or Siri), recommendation systems (used by Netflix, YouTube and Amazon), competing in strategic game systems (like chess) and self-driving cars (like Tesla). These are just a few of the countless examples where AI is making an impact around the world. Human capabilities are augmented in significant ways.
Qualities of artificial intelligence
While AI has no uniformly agreed-upon definition, it generally refers to machines that can respond to stimulation in consistence with the traditional responses of humans, based on the given human capacity for contemplation, intention and judgement. According to researchers, software systems have the capability to make decisions that usually require the human level of expertise. The software assists people in anticipating problems or dealing with errors and issues when they crop up. Hence, they operate in an intelligent, intentional and adaptive manner.
Artificial intelligence is generally undertaken in combination with machine learning and data analytics. The data is taken by machine learning, which looks for underlying trends. Anything that is relevant to a practical problem is spotted by the AI. Software designers then take that knowledge to use it for analysing specific issues. What is required is data that is adequately robust so that the algorithms can detect usage patterns. The data can be in the form of satellite imagery, digital information, visual formation, unstructured data and text.
The algorithms of artificial intelligence are designed for decision making. This is often done using real-time data. AI is not like passive machines, which are capable only of predetermined or mechanical responses. Using digital data, sensors or remote inputs, they put together information from many different sources. The material is analysed instantly and the AI acts on the insights concluded from that data. Due to the huge improvements in processing speeds, storage systems and analytic techniques, AI is capable of marvellous sophistication in decision making and analysis. Thus, AI is altering how the world works and raising vital questions for the economy, society and government.
Artificial intelligence systems are capable of learning and adapting as they make decisions. For example, in the transportation area, semi-autonomous vehicles are equipped with tools that assist drivers. They let the drivers know of any potholes, upcoming congestion, highway construction and any other possible traffic obstructions. Vehicles can even take advantage of other vehicles’ experience on the road without any human involvement. The entire collection of the experience achieved is immediately and completely transferable to other vehicles, provided they have similar configurations. The advanced algorithms, cameras and sensors incorporate the experience into the current operations. The AI uses visual displays and dashboards to present information in real-time so the drivers can make sense of the vehicular conditions and ongoing traffic. In the case of completely autonomous vehicles, the car or truck is completely controlled by advanced systems which make all the navigational decisions.
Artificial intelligence and the writing process
Content writing artificial intelligence concentrates on content that is machine-generated. This includes articles, blog posts, journals and other forms of content. An AI content generator has the capability to create various forms of text. The text is based on criteria that the users fill out, thus letting the content generated be focused and relevant. The overall idea is to let the users create content that is personalized and used for business purposes. There are many things that AI writing is capable of. Various applications and programmes have been created for this purpose.
While AI writing has a good many different uses, the most basic use is that it improves a human writer’s work. AI writing, for instance, can be used for editing. By making both small and complex changes to the text, it can amend the story itself. Hence, the story is improved and makes it flow better. Words can be changed and grammar mistakes can be rectified. The story becomes more interesting, easier to read and concise. Another use of AI writing is that it can also generate new text. When a user struggles with content ideas or has a looming deadline for generating a new article, then AI content generation can be a saviour. Remember, it is important to note that AI writing isn’t meant to replace human writing. Instead, it just assists human writers and increases productivity.
There exists AIs that can write novels, poems and news reports. But these robots aren’t yet accessible to the public. Currently, the AIs that are accessible to the public are those that can perform simple writing and proofreading tasks. Some of the ways people use AI in their writing are as follows.
Almost all software creators include some tools that will assist writers, like proofreading features. These features are programmed to detect spelling and grammar errors and to rectify them. While humans are the better writers, AI is definitely better at precision. Humans do have a great command of language and produce very creative articles. But it cannot be denied that they are bound to make errors now and then. Concerning this, AI plays a vital role. AI proofreads with almost perfect precision, helping to correct errors that could distort the work.
Some of the more advanced AIs, like Microsoft Word’s Editor, have features with a better understanding of the context. It provides the user with something more than proofreading. It is capable of understanding writing nuances, complex words and overused flags. Other online writing assistants include Grammarly, which allows the user to check grammar, contextual spelling, style, punctuation and sentence structure.
Writers, when they are referencing someone else’s ideas or content, often err by using their actual words. This is completely unacceptable when writing professional articles and reports. Luckily, writers in the present era can make use of AI tools that’ll help to detect plagiarized content. These features work based on AI algorithms.
There are AI tools that use a scoring system for checking the quality of the content. They mainly evaluate the readability of the user’s content. They detect lengthy paragraphs, lengthy sentences, and passive voice and transition words in your sentences. Apart from just detecting such details, the tools also provide tips on where and how to improve readability too. Such tools include Yoast and Atomic Reach.
To write a great article, the writer needs to do an ample amount of research by reading a good many articles. But writers and researchers, we know it’s easier said than done, right? And especially when you’re pressed for time. There are too many materials to go through and very little time to do so too. And to add to that, in the words of a university professor of mine, some of the articles are mere trash. An ample amount of time is spent when reading and finding the key highlights from the mountain load of materials on hand. However, lucky are the writers today. Al algorithms like Algorithmia Summarizer provide smart summaries of lengthy texts. These tools scan and provide the user with the essence of the reading materials, so they don’t have to scan the texts themselves.
Artificial intelligence writing programs
There are a lot of different programmes used for AI writing text. Snazzy AI is one of the most popular ones. It is a free platform that can be used by anyone to create content in a matter of minutes. Snazzy AI uses an AI model called GPT-3 from OpenAI, one of the most advanced AI in the world. Some of the features of the Snazzy AI tools are: create blog ideas, generate taglines, generate product descriptions, create a header and description and create ad-copy.
Another programme is Wattpad. More than just an app, it is a writing platform that enables you to not just write, but share your work with others, be it writers or readers, who give you feedback. It is also a great way of connecting with other writers and learning from them. In short, AI writing is a useful tool for writers, especially for writing in a short amount of time.
The benefits of AI writing
Using AI writing has a number of benefits, like the ones given below.
Following the traditional way of hiring a writer to produce a great, final, well-researched and well-edited article can take a decent amount of time. On the other hand, using artificial intelligence for creating content can be done within a number of minutes. Of course, time will be spent on an editorial overview, but it is still quicker than traditional methods.
By saving time, it goes without saying that AI content generation can also increase productivity. The quicker you produce content, the more content you can generate. And it doesn’t just help you generate more content, but also increases productivity in other areas of digital marketing.
Creating targeted content
When you enter data into a content generation tool, the information that you will be provided with will be most relatable to the data you want. The AI algorithms will use the best content that suits your intent. This allows for targeted, relevant content.
Boosting SEO efforts
When using an AI content generation tool, it will provide content that is based on the keywords that you enter. This makes room for improving your SEO focus without spending much time curating the best type of content. Google likes to see content that is relevant, targeted and useful, which will be content produced based on the keywords entered into the AI tool.
Artificial intelligence and academic publishing
With the entry of AI into the research and publishing field, it has some positive effects on academic publishing. Each year, millions of articles are published across dozens of journals and note that this applies to those in English alone. With the abundance of published articles, AI is indeed a valuable asset for publishers. AI can detect fraudulent data and plagiarism, as well as whether a paper is fit to be published or not.
AI can improve the manner in which research is carried out and published. Some of the benefits of AI are as follows.
- It reveals trends essential for research. Papers are distilled based on content rather than title, thus allowing researchers to find out trends.
- AI fights plagiarism. Foregoing traditional algorithms that detect plagiarised content, the AI software identifies whole paragraphs or sentences that have been reworded.
- Detects any flaw in the statistics and reporting. It detects whether an important section of research is omitted and if the statistics applied are wrong.
- AI can also detect if the data was altered to arrive at the desired outcome.
AI tool for writing manuscripts
Among other tools based on artificial intelligence, there is a tool for writing manuscripts. Launched by SciNote, Manuscript Writer is capable of simplifying the process of preparing a scientific manuscript. It uses technological advancements in AI and machine learning. Scientific findings and their timely publication are important in the global scientific community. Hence, the tool aims to reduce the time taken for preparing initial content. It draws upon data encoded within the ELN of SciNote and also the references accessible from open access journals. With the data contained, a structured draft is prepared by the AI, which is then shared with the author for editing and developing further.
Detecting plagiarism in research papers
Based on the keywords and taking data from selected references, the Manuscript Writer looks for more open access journals to include in the draft. After every paragraph, the number of references and a percentage is shown to the author. This shows that a certain paragraph has been cited from a specified reference. The percentage shows how much of it is the same text from the reference. This indicates the author to make the necessary edits and changes to the manuscript. Hence, while Manuscript Writer points out any errors, whether to keep the text the same or not is up to the author.
The main advantage of using Manuscript Writer is that it includes interesting paragraphs relating to the subject on hand. It adds that to the introduction, thus giving the writer a head start on writing. The aim of this AI is not to produce the finalized text, but to empower the writer. It cannot create content for the discussion section, which is the most original and creative part of the article. It depends on the author’s way of thinking and writing style.
Will human writers be replaced by AI writing?
As the advancement and popularity of AI writing shoots up, so does the speculation surrounding the future of content writers. One issue that concerns people is the fear of AI writers replacing humans. However, AI shouldn’t be about competition, but cooperation. For example, consider the online essay writing industry. The evolution of online essay writing companies in the market has been tremendous. It has made us question whether an essay we refer to online is by an AI-based robot or a human being. The answer is that the writer is most probably a human. Their works get encoded in the database and are retrieved when a user buys them.
The conclusion regarding this concern is that while AI makes the writing process easier and faster, it is unlikely that it’ll take over a human writer’s job. While the demand for such writers is likely to go down, a machine, however intelligent it is, can never replace a human or their perspective in writing. Just as each person is unique in their fingerprints, so is their writing style, tone and ability. These features can never be reproduced by computer code or algorithm.
Companies and researchers continue to work on AI writers. Hence, more artificial intelligence systems will be produced that make writing easier. Embracing AI and its prominence in the future is the only way to dispel any fears concerning AI. In terms of academic publishing, AI paves the way for more contextualized, cohesive and accessible information. Overall, AI is a great asset for both young and old writers.