I have been in several discussions recently with a number of professional bloggers, editors, and people in marketing about the introduction of artificial intelligence into our world. As with all industries that integrate elements of automation, the initial reaction is fear, a completely human response.
But then… well then there’s wonder, curiosity, and even, dare I say, interest? When it comes to AI tools for writing, we have so many questions, most of which revolve around if, how, and when we can use them, in that order.
As someone who has worked in marketing for years, both on a corporate level and as an entrepreneur, and someone who has been writing for even longer, no one is more interested in the answers to those questions than I am.
To that end, I published a piece here recently on the latest addition to the AI writing world, Chat GPT.
I have also taken the opportunity to run an article of mine from another blog through 11 different AI writing tools to see what they come back with. I was hopeful this experiment would give me insight into how helpful AI can be for marketers and writers – and how much of a pain it might be for editors.
AI Writing Tools
The first thing that became glaringly obvious with each of these AI writing tools is how inferior they are at the actual work of writing.
As noted in the Chat GPT article, and this applies to all the current writing tools I’ve seen on the internet, the writing is juvenile, and the information is unreliable in terms of facts and evidence.
To highlight this point, I had the original article, written by a human, run through Chat GPT, Content Edge, Copy AI, Copy Smith, Jasper AI, Rytr, Shortly AI, Simplified, Snazzy AI, Word Hero, and Write Sonic.
Each one has its advantages and its drawbacks, but none of them came even close to sounding like a human being wrote it.
Because, well, a human being clearly did not write it.
For proprietary purposes, I am not including the full-length version of my original article or the full-length versions of the articles each AI tool produced. The internet is both glorious and ugly, and we all know it.
If I produce the full-length article here, undoubtedly countless rogue pirates will work tirelessly to co-opt my domain, my articles, and all of my, and my team’s, hard work. It is just the nature of the game.
To be clear, the point of this article is not to give you full-length articles to compare side by side yourself but rather to share with you what I found in my investigations into this matter. I do, however, encourage you to perform this type of testing yourself. Most of the AI tools have a free trial that you can use for 1-2 weeks, so just be sure you run your tests and then cancel your account before it bills you.
Suffice it to say, as you will likely guess from the reviews, the article is about decorating your home with plants.
Instructions for the 11 AI Tools
Before I share the reviews, I want to share the instructions my team gave the tools to write the articles.
The goal was to test the output from each tool, so we used with each tool the same brief we gave the human writer who wrote the original article. This brief provides an instruction as to what to write, what tone to take, who the audience is, and general headings that we think might be good for the article.
We relied on that brief alone as a source of information to “help” the AI tools as we worked with them.
We purposely did not include any other information to “help” the tools to generate their own articles.
The question was whether we could get anything meaningful from artificial intelligence writing tools using the same information we would give a human writer.
Review of 11 Articles
The latest addition to the world of AI writing tools, Chat GPT creates articles that read like a fifth-grader wrote it using fill in the blanks. With the exception of the first two paragraphs in the article, every single paragraph follows the same format:
“If you’re looking for… consider…” It then follows that recommendation with sentences that explain why you should make this consideration in a basic “this (blank) serves its purpose in this way,” with every sentence beginning with the words this, that, those, or these.
To be fair, Chat GPT did provide ample content, easily meeting my minimum 1,000-word requirement.
It was also grammatically correct and made use of a nice variety of vocabulary.
Before sharing the review of the actual article created by Content Edge, I want to note that my team found this tool to be particularly hard to work with. It required constant refreshing just to get a single decent paragraph.
And those paragraphs were not really decent. The content created by Content Edge is highly repetitive, and the word choice is off. The article also sounds like it is working hard to maximize key words, with the words in subtitles I included being used multiple times in the paragraphs Content Edge created. As you likely know, Google is not a fan of this approach to blog writing.
PLEASE NOTE: Remember that Google does not like keyword stuffing. The Google Panda algorithm update solidified the fact that keyword stuffing is a ranking factor. Any AI tool that feels like its stuffing keywords should be avoided or used with extreme caution.
It also made several rhetorical errors, like using the word “whether” without providing a “this or that” setup or using the expression “more unique.”
Perhaps the most egregious issue was the misuse of capitalized words throughout the article.
The only good thing I can say about Content Edge is that it did provide a ton of content.
Terrible content. But content, nonetheless.
Copy AI does not make obvious, glaring mistakes like in the two previous reviews, but it makes some interesting ones once you take a close look.
For example, it created a sentence that reads, “If you’re not a fan of the idea of having a head full of hair that grows out of your scalp and nowhere else on your body, you may be interested in this new artificial hairstyle.”
It’s like the tool is trying to be fun and playful (lots of exclamations!), but it doesn’t really know how. So it makes it up as it goes with very confusing results.
This article also has a ton of “if, then” statements and a wealth of this, that, and those as the first words in sentences.
Copy AI doesn’t create terrible content, but it is obviously not written by a human.
Copy Smith makes many of the same mistakes Chat GPT makes. We found almost every single sentence began with “This,” followed by a description. The next sentence would then begin with “It” and expand on the description.
Exclamation marks are in abundance here, as well!!!!
Also, it gets some facts wrong. In a paragraph about fake plants, it makes the point that “plants are known to boost moods and purify the air, so… good for your health.”
Overall, Copy Smith feels the most like “fill in the blank” article writer among all these tools.
Okay, Jasper AI certainly creates the most fun article to read. I quite literally laughed out loud while reading it.
The Jasper AI article is nonsensical and completely inaccurate, but at least I got a kick out of it.
Take, for example these sentences about a head and face planter for an artificial plant:
“This unique planter allows you to grow a new artificial hairstyle, complete with leaves and flowers. Simply place the planter on your head and water it regularly. In no time, you’ll have a full head of lush foliage!”
The grammar is good, the word choice includes a wide range of strong vocabulary, and the rhetoric is decent.
The article just does not make sense in far too many places.
Almost like a robot wrote it.
Speaking of sounding robotic, the article created by Rytr is easily the most robotic among the tools here. While the other articles may pass to some as having been written by an immature writer, this article is without a doubt created by AI.
Take, for example, these sentences:
“This is a great way to decorate your home. This would look perfect in a succulent garden or on the wall of your house. You can also put it on the wall of your office.”
You can almost hear the “beep boop beep” noises in the background.
Further, Rytr easily takes the cake for the highest level of inaccurate information. Back to the paragraph about the head and face planter for an artificial plant:
“This new head and face planter is a device that can grow an artificial hairstyle. It’s a twist on the traditional hair transplant surgery. It’s made of silicone, and it can be used to cover up scars, bald spots, or simply to change your hairstyle.”
I think Rytr lost the thread somewhere here.
Well, Shortly AI certainly lives up to its name.
My team could not get this tool to create more than three paragraphs despite having numerous subtitles and links to work with.
A content creator it is not.
To make matters worse, the writing is terrible. Take this sentence as an example:
“It is not crucial to install a leafy set piece near the ceiling.”
Yeah, Shortly AI falls far short of being a worthwhile writing tool.
Simplified is a lot like Shortly AI in that it does not create a lot of content, though we did get a few more paragraphs out of it than we did from Shortly.
The language used by Simplified AI is also highly repetitive; every sentence under a subheading begins with “this,” and many of the follow-up sentences begin with “it.”
The article also repeats a lot of the language included in the brief, so the content it did create makes the article sound redundant.
Of all the tools, Snazzy AI creates the most lifelike article. It is repetitive and boring, with lots of “this” and “that,” and the sentence structure is monotonous, but there are no real grammar mistakes, the rhetoric stands up well, and the word choice is good.
If you were going to choose an AI tool to write a basic article for you that you could then fix up yourself, adding human touches and expanding with facts and anecdotes, Snazzy AI might be the best tool for the job.
At first glance, Word Hero looks good, almost too good.
For a moment, I thought, “Oh here we go. This is the new writing tool that will compete with human writers.”
The first thing I noticed about this article was the level of sophistication in the language. It includes a wide range of vocabulary and sentence structure. It feels like a new writer who is trying really hard to get it right.
But then I caught the excessive use of the same descriptive words. I think I found the word “perfect” at least a dozen times. I also caught a few basic grammar errors that should be part of AI Writing Tool 101.
Word Hero also made some of those silly mistakes, like this one about upside-down umbrella planters:
“Not only are they great at keeping you dry, but they can also be used as a base for a small flower arrangement.”
In the end, the overall article feels lifeless. It does not read like it was written by a human writing about how to decorate with plants. The Word Hero article reads like it was written by a robot trying to sound like a human, but it would be a good place to start if you’re trying to shortcut your writing process.
Finally, Write Sonic combines the nonsensical with plain old bad writing.
The article is redundant, with dozens upon dozens of “you can” expressions and the use of “this” and “these.”
The sentence structure is monotonous, following the same pattern repeatedly, and the information included is confusing, bordering on ludicrous.
For example, in an article about a pug-shaped planter:
“If you want to go with a larger plant, a pug can also be found in a pot. If you want to go with a smaller plant, you can get a pug in a succulent pot. You can also get a pug with a pot to go with a larger tropical plant.”
AI Writing Tools Are Not Meant To Do The Writing for You
It doesn’t appear we have anything to fear from any of these AI writing tools. At least not yet.
And I don’t see a day coming anytime soon where these tools will be able to avoid simple mistakes that result from the inability of the tool to pull information from the internet and make sense of it.
That’s what humans are for.
But we can absolutely use these tools to help us establish structure, brainstorm ideas, and give us a foundation to work with.
In the end, however, it seems that writing, at least the creative kind, remains firmly in the domain of humanity.
What has your experience been like with these or other AI writing tools? Have you had success? Had funny moments? Let me know in the comments below.