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Will Artificial Intelligence Kill Content Marketing?

Date published: September 03, 2015
Last updated: September 3, 2015

"Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded [by artificial intelligence]."

– Professor Stephen Hawking, University of Cambridge

These words from renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, as well as the impending presidential campaign of self-proclaimed “transhumanist” Zoltan Istvan, paint quite an exciting picture regarding the future role of artificial intelligence (AI) in everyday life. After all, Istvan’s idea of integrated immortality via the growth of AI being just within reach of humanity’s grasp is definitely a topic that stirs up quite a bit of controversy and discussion among experts and casual friends alike.

However, the notion of this virtual force assuming direct control of certain societal functions isn’t just limited to fascinating conversations and hypotheticals found in the distant future. In fact, certain members of the content marketing community feel that this reality is right around the corner for a human-driven industry that views itself as both vibrant and irreplaceable. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the future relationship between content marketing and AI, as well as what this development could mean for content marketers like yourself moving forward.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

So how exactly do these two seemingly disparate concepts come together? According to The Huffington Post’s Jayson DeMers, there’s actually a surprising amount of overlap already in place between content marketing and AI. With “journalistic robots” taking center stage for the Associated Press and other major players in the digital world, AI is already making its presence known in the world of digital content via automatically generated posts.

In fact, DeMers suggests that you’ve probably already read more artificially crafted stories or posts than you can count. The process all boils down to AI being able to take easily assimilated raw information – think news briefs and press releases – and turn these offerings into consumable selections over a short timeframe.

Forecasting the Future

While basic, easily created content might already be succumbing to the influence of AI, value-driven, professionally crafted offerings will always be off-limits, right? WIRED magazine’s Klint Finley explains that this is far from a realistic outlook for the future. The reality of the situation is that current AI models are already working hard to tackle the concept of unique article submissions.

Yes, news reporting will be the first to fall, but content marketing is the next stepping stone on this impressive path being forged by AI. Perhaps the most fascinating part of this seemingly inevitable future is that these programs and logic systems will be so good at what they do that Finley sees each user receiving a story that’s developed exclusively with that particular individual in mind—something that even the best content marketer couldn’t pull off.

Should You Be Worried?

After reading all of that, chances are you probably feel like it’s time to consider a new career that’s situated far from the prying hands of our seemingly unstoppable AI replacements. Thankfully, there’s no need for this kind of overreaction just yet.

“Content marketing is probably going to die at the hands of robots, but it's still got a long life ahead of it.”

– Jayson DeMers, The Huffington Post

The concept of AI-driven content marketing – according to DeMers – is still decades away at the earliest. While this reality is virtually inevitable given what you’ve just learned about the inexorable march of AI into this industry, there’s no reason to set aside your wealth of knowledge and expertise at the soonest possible moment. Until the day comes that machines can do it better, faster, and for less cost, your best bet is to continue crafting evocative content and building relationships between brands and consumers that matter.


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