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AI writing assistants: how to use them and why

A look at the advantages and disadvantages of AI writing assistants

AI content assistants are a hot topic recently and you might be wondering what exactly these tools are, and how you can use them to your benefit.

In this article, we review what AI writing assistants are, look at examples of different AI writing assistants, and the advantages and drawbacks of these tools.  

What are AI writing assistants? 

AI writing assistants are software that use artificial intelligence to assist in writing and editing text. Some primarily make error corrections and grammatical changes or offer predictive text suggestions.  

More advanced AI writing assistants can generate content and even adapt writing styles to fit various needs.  

Word processing software often incorporates AI writing assistants into their flows. For example, if you type on Microsoft Word or Google Docs, you will find each respective programme has its own editor tools. These provide text correction and suggestions for improvement.  

There are also companies like Grammarly that provide more extensive grammar and proofreading capabilities as a separate embedded service. It integrates with web browsers and desktop applications, providing real-time feedback on any text you write online or offline.  

Examples of platforms with more significant content-production capabilities include ChatGPT and Jasper AI. These tools can generate detailed, human-like text based on prompts, ranging from simple responses to complex articles.  

These platforms provide extensive opportunities for AI writing assistance on content ranging from short marketing content snippets to longer articles. Such platforms have been designed to understand context and intent, enabling them to produce tailored content that meets specific user needs.   

How do AI writing assistants work?

AI writing assistants work through natural language processing algorithms that analyse text for context, grammar, and style. They are trained on vast datasets that cover a broad range of topics and writing styles, allowing them to provide relevant suggestions and enhance the overall quality of the writing. 

Many other services are now being built on top of platforms like OpenAI’s ChatGPT as they provide extensive content generation potential. For example, one.com’s Website Builder and mail services both feature AI writing assistants that are built on OpenAI.  

These writing assistants are embedded into our platforms. At different steps of your usage of our services, you will be prompted if you want to utilise our AI writing assistants to create content for your site or for your emails. These tools can generate content tailored to specific topics or industries.  

What makes a good AI writing assistant 

Choosing the right AI writing assistant involves evaluating several key features.  

Integration capabilities

Effective AI writing assistants should seamlessly integrate with popular writing platforms, browsers, and content management systems. This allows users to access the AI’s capabilities within their existing workflows without constant switching between pages.  

A prime example of such integration is the writing assistant embedded in one.com’s Website Builder (WSB). WSB’s onboarding assistant is designed to fit in smoothly with the website building flow and provides content writing assistance for your website.  

As you get started building your website, it will prompt you with questions and provide real-time content input to help you create the basic draft of your site.  

You can also use the AI writing assistance aspects to write content for additional web pages, product descriptions, etc.  

Webmail by one.com similarly features a Writing Assistant that has been designed for email communication to save you time and help you confidently compose emails. 

Having AI writing assistance directly embedded into tools you already use creates a smoother flow for content production and significantly reduces the time spent on manual editing and revisions. 

User-friendly interface

A good AI writing assistant should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows users to easily interact with its features and get good output without a steep learning curve. An intuitive design includes clear flows and easy-to-understand prompts that allow users to quickly apply suggestions and corrections.  

For example, embedded AI tools like those in word processing software often provide pop-up suggestions that users can accept or ignore in a single click. Tools like the ones in Microsoft Word are smoothly built into the document creation process to avoid disrupting the user’s workflow. 

Accurate and contextually relevant suggestions

The tool should provide accurate grammar corrections and contextually relevant suggestions that align with the intended tone and style of the writing. It should understand nuances like formality and industry-specific jargon.  

A great AI writing tool should provide suggestions that are appropriate for the context and that enhance the overall quality and coherence of the text. 

Contextually relevant suggestions involve the AI’s ability to adapt based on the context of the text.

For example, if you’re writing a formal piece, the AI should suggest more sophisticated vocabulary and avoid contractions or colloquial expressions. Or in a casual blog post, it might recommend a conversational tone and more engaging language.  

Contextual understanding extends to recognising industry-specific jargon and terminology, ensuring that what the AI suggests don’t misinterpret the subject matter that you’re writing about. 

Benefits of AI writing assistants 

AI writing assistants offer a variety of advantages that make them vital companions for writers and content creators.  

Speeds up your work

One of the most significant benefits is their ability to dramatically accelerate the writing process, allowing users to produce high-quality content faster than ever before.  

AI writing tools can prevent you from getting bogged down with repetitive tasks such as grammar checking and spelling corrections. This frees up more time for you to focus on the substance of your content. 

AI writing assistants can generate initial drafts based on brief inputs, saving you time in the brainstorming and outlining stages. For instance, by inputting a topic or a few keywords, powerful AI writing assistants like those built on ChatGPT can produce a structured outline or even a full draft, providing a strong starting point.  

This is particularly valuable in professional settings where meeting tight deadlines is crucial, as it speeds up the drafting phase and reduces the overall time to publication. 

SEO benefits

These tools can optimise content for search engines by suggesting keywords, improving readability, and ensuring that the text adheres to best practices for search engine optimisation (SEO), which can enhance the visibility and ranking of online content. 

Moreover, AI tools can check the readability of the content and suggest changes to improve the structure and flow. This might involve breaking up long paragraphs, using bullet points, and incorporating subheadings to make the content more scannable. 

Consistent tone of voice

AI writing assistants help maintain a consistent tone and style across different pieces of content, which is crucial for branding and establishing a unified voice, especially in collaborative environments.  

Consistency in tone ensures that all written materials reflect the same voice and personality, which is essential for building brand trust and identity with the audience.  

AI writing assistance considerations

Although AI writing tools are useful and worth considering, it’s also important to be mindful of certain challenges and potential pitfalls to ensure their effective and responsible use. 

Plagiarism and accuracy  

While AI can generate content quickly, there’s a risk of plagiarism if it pulls from existing sources without proper attribution. You should always take care to review and modify AI-generated content to make sure it’s original and any sources it references are both real and properly cited. 

Homogenised voice and lack of human quality  

AI-generated content can sometimes lack the unique, personal touch that human writers bring. While AI excels at producing grammatically correct and coherent text, it often results in a homogenised voice that feels generic and impersonal.  

This happens because AI systems tend to optimise for general readability and common usage patterns, which strips away the unique voice or flair that humans bring to their writing. 

To counter this, you should always try to add some of your own creativity and personal insights into the AI-generated text. Add anecdotes, original research, opinions, and your own distinct narrative style to make sure the text resonates with the intended audience.  

Personal touches such as humour, emotion, and storytelling change basic AI-generated content into engaging and relatable material.  

Security concerns  

Using AI writing assistants involves sharing content and potentially sensitive information with third-party services. It’s essential to understand the privacy policies and security measures of these tools to safeguard against data breaches or misuse. 

Depending on your sector and the kind of content you’re producing, you should consider the implications of using AI tools with data that requires confidentiality. In such cases, it’s critical to either keep sensitive information anonymous or anonymise before inputting it into the AI system or use tools that have been specifically designed for secure handling of confidential data. 

AI writing assistants: a valuable partner for your content production 

AI writing assistants provide advantages like speeding up the writing process and ensuring a consistent tone. However, users should be mindful of potential drawbacks, including the risk of plagiarism, a dull writing style, and security concerns.  

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