Artificial intelligence tools have become more accessible to non-technical users – even if they don’t always recognize it. If you’ve ever checked your work with Grammarly or recorded a meeting with Otter, you’ve used AI. However, more people are paying attention to the AI tools that make up their kits and how they use them.
Thanks to the speedy advances in AI technology (ChatGPT anyone?), creating content’s easier than ever. There are also more conflicting views about the topic of AI-generated content and where to place limits. One Buffer community member said, “I’ve been apprehensive about AI because it isn’t necessarily original because of what it’s referencing (at least with art).”
Anyone creating content must consider where and how AI will influence their processes. Some questions you’ll need to be able to, at the very least, answer are: Will you use AI to generate content? Or edit it? How will you assure your audience that your content and ideas are original?
To help make the process a bit easier, we put together a list of examples from different creators and content teams about their policies regarding using AI in content creation.
How content teams approach using AI for content development
AI has been a double-edged sword for many content and creative teams. On the one hand, over 55 percent of Bynder’s clients said they are using AI to automate time-consuming tasks to boost productivity. Conversely, a report showed that AI was a major reason for over 4,000 layoffs in May 2023.
There are varying perspectives on using AI, from those who reject it entirely to those actively exploring it. Here are some of them.
CNET shares transparent insights into how AI is used in its content
CNET uses AI to write its articles but emphasizes that they don’t publish AI-generated content without having it reviewed and edited by humans before posting – even more since an incident with its content.
A report found that of 77 AI-written articles, 41 contained errors. The team paused using the AI tool to build better editorial processes and has committed to refining it to suit their editorial standards and needs.
The tech publication now updates an AI Policy page detailing how they’re using AI. They even have an in-house AI engine called RAMP (Responsible AI Machine Partner) to assist in their content creation. They’re also more transparent about which articles feature AI-generated content.
As a marketplace to connect writers with clients, Verblio had to set stricter rules than most regarding AI use in content to ensure quality. Their writer policy and guidelines regarding AI-generated content explicitly state that they don’t accept AI-generated content.
They also explained their multi-stage screening process to ensure that no AI-generated content is submitted to a client, as no AI tool can pass the high-quality standards Verblio requires of all of its writers.
One Generation SEO, a content agency, sets clear boundaries regarding AI use in content with a dedicated “AI content policy” page. The agency emphasizes that AI-generated content will never be directly “copied and pasted” onto a site without undergoing human editorial review.
In the policy, they state that they experiment with AI to create:
- Guides and tutorials
- Informational and support content
- Short, supportive copy for metadata (titles, descriptions) and social posts
They also shared that they don’t use AI for
- Niche or expert-level content
- Articles to be written from personal experience or original research
- Content about proprietary processes or terms a company has invented
- Thought leadership content
Finally, according to their policy, every piece of AI-generated content has to undergo a strict editorial process, including plagiarism checks, writing quality edits, fact-checking, brand alignment, and conversion optimization.
As part of Doist’s Content & SEO, Naomi Liddell shared AI doesn’t produce great results for writing. She specifically mentioned their Todoist newsletter, which takes a personal storytelling approach that AI can’t replicate. So while the Marketing team doesn’t have formal guidelines, Naomi keeps AI out of writing, sticking to keep the warmth and honesty that comes from her.
However, she highlighted that AI has been beneficial in repurposing content – specifically converting evergreen articles to video. She mentioned that it has saved her time, and the resulting scripts are “excellent springboards that require minimal editing.”
We like AI here at Buffer and have even incorporated it into Buffer to help our audience improve their content creation process. However, we also understand that it’s limited and not a replacement for quality content or the people that make it.
Here are the four statements that cover 90 percent of how we think about using AI in content.
- AI assists but doesn’t replace
- AI never writes complete drafts or paragraphs without being edited by a human
- AI content is always reviewed for accuracy
- We don’t believe AI can replace creative work in any sense
For a deeper dive into how our Content Team uses AI, check out this article, where we outline our history with AI tools, our approach to AI in content, tangible ways we’ve been using AI, and more!
How creators are using AI for content development
You might think that creators would be hesitant about AI. After all, much of the narrative around AI, especially in the news, is about how it’s here to replace people. However, 94.5 percent of creators said they use AI mainly to edit content and create text and captions for accessibility, according to Influencer Marketing Factory report.
Most assumptions about AI (and its applications) are that it can take over the creation process, from generating ideas to distribution. This conflicts with how creators are actually using it – to work more efficiently.
Chris Bailey uses AI to support his writing, not replace it
The author and multi-platform creator is one of the few creators with a fully transparent explanation of where AI fits into their creative process. Chris published a blog post explaining his perspective on AI: “In short, my goal is for AI to support my writing (and other work), not replace it.”
In this policy, he outlines how exactly he uses (and doesn’t use AI). Here’s an overview of how he currently uses AI in his process:
- To organize data and large amounts of information
- To find starting points for research
- To identify blind spots and biases
- To spark new ideas
He also outlined which tasks he doesn’t use AI for:
- Drafting written content
- Preparing for speaking engagements
- Connecting ideas in innovative ways
The post adds that the policy is a work in progress and will change over time. Still, this clear explanation will help build trust with his audience that they receive content from his authentic perspective.
Colin and Samir encourage the use of AI to speed up post-production
Samir Chaudry of the popular duo behind The Colin and Samir Show told NBC that he’s encouraging all his team members to use AI in their day-to-day. He said tools like Descript, AutoPod, and Midjourney have improved the team’s post-production process, leaving them more time to create.
However, Samir also mentioned that he understands people may be uncomfortable adopting AI, especially with so little regulation. He shared an optimistic prediction that AI will encourage human interaction, saying, “[In a few years] when a lot of stuff [has been] altered or generated by AI, we will value human perspectives in a way that we maybe have lost touch with.”
Tejas Hullur generates images for his newsletter
Alasdair Mann (@Alementary) uses AI to enhance information and create video hooks
When struggling to gather specific information, Alasdair Mann (or @Alementary as he’s known on YouTube) turns to AI for assistance. For instance, while working on a story about Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, he sought AI’s insights into potential challenges Tito might have faced. Between the AI-generated suggestions and his independent research, he was able to craft a more compelling narrative.
He also uses AI to create hooks – the first sentence you write or the first few things you say to capture your audience’s attention. As he told Insider, he prompts the AI with a content brief explaining his video and his idea for a hook. The AI tool then offers alternative suggestions, which he creatively combines or edits to align with his unique style. Working with AI like that allows him to expand his ideas while keeping his voice authentic.
Jen Glantz uses AI to save time across her creative process
- Keyword research to boost website traffic
- Viral content ideas, like this Instagram Reel that hit over 6 million views
- Creating and sending pitches to potential brand partners
- Keep an eye on competitors and market positioning
- Improving how she communicates with customers
Jen’s use of AI gives her a lot more time back in her day to spend with her family, enhances her content, and improves her business operations.
Develop a simple set of guidelines to communicate your stance on AI and content
While there are valid concerns about AI replacing human jobs, the current trend shows that creators and businesses use AI to enhance and optimize their processes, not replace them.
Across our examples, there’s a strong emphasis on the human touch, storytelling, and unique perspectives, which AI cannot replicate. However, AI can be valuable for editing, research, and automation, making the content creation process more efficient.
Wherever you use AI in your creative process, make sure you communicate it or at least have an answer for your audience, who still want original and authentic content from your perspective.