New research: Generative AI 'frenzy' lacks fizz

The media hype around generative AI has been incredible ever since the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022. At the same time, demand for content has risen sharply. But does it follow that the adoption of such content creation AI platforms has equally been widespread? Clearly PR suveyed almost 300 businesses to find out.

26 March 2024 | 3 min read | Clearly News
Clearly Team

In March, Clearly PR conducted a survey that involved 266 business leaders and senior decision makers. We wanted to better understand if the hype surrounding generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT and was translating into their widespread adoption by businesses and brands when it comes to content creation.

So, we asked them three important questions:

1. ‘What impact will AI technologies like ChatGPT have on human-created thought leadership content? (Select all that apply)’

Almost half (45%) of respondents optimistically stated that AI and human generated content can co-exist. The suggestion being the two can complement one another.

However, while one in four (23%) of respondents went so far as to say that AI will replace all human-created content, a third (33%) argued to the contrary and stated that human creativity and expertise cannot be replicated by AI.

2. ‘Have you or your business ever utilised tools such as ChatGPT and to generate articles or written content?’

The survey also wanted to ascertain how AI content writing generator tools are currently being used by businesses and brands, if at all.

In response to this question, around a third (32%) stated that they have compared to 43% who have not.

3. ‘Can you distinguish between articles written by ChatGPT and those written by humans?

Respondents were rather scathing when it came to the quality of written thought leadership content produced by AI content writing generator tools.

Accordingly, almost half (48%) of respondents said ‘Yes.’ One in three stated that they find it difficult to distinguish between AI and human-generated content.

One in five (20%) express the opinion that AI generated content lacks depth of originality (just 10% argued to the contrary), with 17% believing that human-generated content is of higher quality and authenticity.

What do these results mean?

Commenting on the findings, Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, managing director and founder of Clearly PR, said:

“While less than half of businesses are not currently using any form of generative AI to create thought leadership content, that figure is likely to increase in the next 12 months.

“This will be in part due to the frenzy for all-things AI and a doubling-down on content creation that is proven to be a powerful brand builder and prospecting tool.

“A major criticism of AI content writing generator tools, however, is the quality of the content they produce. The language and tone of most of the platforms we have trialed lacks any semblance of personality, authenticity, or real conviction.

“True thought leadership ‘speaks’ to its audience in a way that resonates with them and provides real-world insights into the challenges and issues they face.

“That said, generative-AI is still in its infancy and, as the technology evolves, its use of language will invariably do so, too.

“These platforms most certainly have their place, such as stimulating ideas for new pieces of content or undertaking basic research into a subject.

“But they must only be used to play a supporting role and not take centre stage as the lead author.

“The outcome could be damaging to the reputation of the individual whose name is to be attributed to the published content, and that of the organisation they represent.”

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