2023 has been the year of artificial intelligence. Since the beginning of the year, we have heard a lot about new technologies and how AI-powered tools are here to change how businesses work. In the education industry, AI has not only challenged and changed the dynamics and conversations inside the classroom but has also helped education marketers speed up the content creation process.
However, as more and more tools are developed and become available, it is important for schools to reflect on the limitations of AI tools and acknowledge that, while helpful, without human supervision, these tools can do more harm than good. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss some of the most common AI content creation mistakes and what schools can do to avoid them.
What is AI Generated Content?
AI-generated content refers to any form of text, image, audio, or video content that is created with the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and technologies. To generate such content, these tools use algorithms and machine learning techniques to analyze and understand patterns in existing data and then generate new content based on those patterns. For instance, chatbots and typing assistants use machine learning and language processing techniques to predict sentences based on which words are more likely to appear together. Similarly, AI image generators use complex machine learning algorithms like artificial neural networks (ANN) to learn patterns and features from a dataset of images and then create new images based on this learned information.
Over the past few years, education marketers have used these tools more frequently to streamline content production. But if you are new to AI-generated content, you might wonder, “What AI can I use for content creation?” From chatbots to video editing tools, there is a wide variety of AI-powered tools available in the market to help you generate text, visual content, music, and videos. The right tool for your school will depend on your needs, budget, and desired outcomes.
Example: While writing this blog, we asked ChatGPT to provide us with a condensed list of AI-powered tools for content creation, and here’s what we got. While tools like ChatGPT can be useful, as the chatbot itself mentions, we would need to fact-check the answers and do some research to ensure that the answers provided are correct and helpful for our readers.
Given AI tools use existing data to generate content, as mentioned, mistakes are likely to occur. That’s why education marketers need to stay informed about the latest AI developments and check what insights and strategies are available for schools when it comes to using AI in education marketing.
Do you need help with your school’s digital marketing strategy? Let us help you! Our team can work closely with yours to refine and improve processes every step of the way. Get in touch with us.
Mistake #1: Not Fact-Checking AI Generated Content
One of the most common AI content creation mistakes marketers make is not checking the accuracy of the content produced. While AI content tools don’t intentionally produce misleading content, most don’t work with fact-checking systems, so they cannot detect false information. ChatGPT’s free version, as seen in the screenshot below, acknowledges that it “may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts.” Not evaluating the quality of the content produced can have severe repercussions for schools. That’s why if education marketers consider using AI-powered tools, someone within the team must be responsible for researching and fact-checking the information obtained through these technologies.
In addition to replicating misleading information, chatbots like ChatGPT can also produce what is known as ‘hallucination,’ a phenomenon that happens when chatbots invent information that sounds plausible.
Fact-checking is all about ensuring that all claims made in a piece of content are accurate and are not misleading. This necessary practice ensures that schools do not share information that can compromise the institution’s integrity (i.e., sharing content about a certificate that doesn’t exist). In addition, fact-checking can help schools build trust with their prospects and become leaders in the industry. Here are some fact-checking tips to help your school produce quality content:
- Look for logical gaps or inconsistencies: Whenever you evaluate the quality of the information produced, look for contradictions or gaps within the content. If something doesn’t feel right, do your research and rewrite that part.
- Always double-check statistics or studies cited: If you use chatbots to source information, you should double-check facts, statistics, and studies cited, as hallucinations can get in the way.
- Identify reliable sources: If you are using AI to write about a specific topic, it is important to identify your reliable sources before you get started. You can use AI tools to help you speed up the process, but remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that the information shared is accurate and that you have good sources to support your claims.
- Use fact-checking tools: Consult websites like Google’s Fact Check Explorer, Factcheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes, among others. While many of these websites are used to fact-check political and scientific information, schools can also use them to check if quotes commonly attributed to a person or an author can be attributed to them, as seen in the example below.
Source: Google’s Fact Check Explorer
Mistake #2: Solely Relying on AI for Content Creation
Another big mistake commonly seen among marketers is solely relying on AI for content creation. While the tools available in the market can be impressive, it is essential to remember that these tools don’t know your school’s audience, so in addition to running the risk of spreading inaccurate information, solely relying on AI content creation can distance you from your prospects and make your school lose leads. Thus, finding the right balance between AI-powered and human-generated content is key to developing relevant and high-fidelity content.
Content created by AI tools is limited to the input you provide these tools with. If you don’t explicitly provide the needed details, AI-generated content might lack the contextual knowledge to turn prospects into students. Thus, while these tools can be helpful, and education marketers can use them to supplement their work, they should not be taken as solutions. The images below, generated by AI, are great examples. We used DeepAI and Veed.io to generate background images for a business school ad. As seen, the photos are low quality, and the writing and images featured are not well defined. While these tools can be helpful for designers to get ideas and brainstorm, the results are not ideal.
Another mistake that might come with overreliance on AI is accepting the initial outcomes without engaging in additional experimentation with our inputs. Playing around with how we ask AI tools to generate content can help schools create better content, as seen in the example below.
Pro tip: One thing education marketers should remember is that AI doesn’t know about school events, statistics, and key selling points, so, likely, the content generated by these tools does not highlight critical aspects of your school. Education marketers can use AI tools to speed up the creation of dynamic content, but should always edit it to ensure that its unique selling points are highlighted.
Mistake #3: Not Proofreading or Editing Content
The third mistake in our list is a mistake that is familiar to AI content creation. Not proofreading or editing AI-generated content is just as bad as not proofreading or editing human-generated content. Like humans, AI tools can make mistakes, and while AI tools are pretty good with grammar, it is always essential to proofread to ensure that the content is free of mistakes. Moreover, while AI-powered content creation can help writers save time, schools should always review and edit content to avoid plagiarism, as AI might replicate content from other sources without citing them.
Relying too much on AI-generated content without editing can also make your school sound generic, as most of the messages generated will lack your personal touch. Education marketers must check that the tone and branding align with the school’s guidelines. At HEM, for instance, our specialists use AI tools for research and brainstorming purposes, but they ensure that the messages crafted for our clients are aligned with their brand and speak to their prospects.
Example: We asked Copy.ai to create 10 blog topics about the importance of sustainability training for business students. An education content writer might take one of these topics as a starting point for a future blog post.
Thus, if your school plans to integrate AI tools into your content strategy, you should ensure that all the content produced goes through a thorough editing and proofreading process. Keep in mind that AI tools can also be used to support your team beyond the content creation stage. In addition to using AI for brainstorming and content creation, when you are writing your content strategy, you can plan to use AI tools to support your editing efforts. Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway can help your writers minimize errors. Incorporating these tools into your writing process can facilitate a smoother editing process, as your copy will be in better condition by the time it reaches your editor.
Mistake #4: Using AI Content Creation Tools to Generate Content On Sensitive Issues
One of the things we advise schools to avoid is using AI content-creation tools to talk about sensitive topics. Given that artificial intelligence tools don’t have cultural sensitivity and can, at times, reproduce stereotypes, schools should stay away from AI-automated content creation when it comes to talking about delicate topics. No one knows what values your school stands for better than your team. Relying on AI to generate content on these issues can result in messages that do not reflect those values.
In addition, your school should remember that AI doesn’t necessarily think about diversity and equity when creating content, so ensuring that the content doesn’t reproduce cultural, racial, or gender biases is a must. Many studies have shown that AI tends to take them to extremes instead of addressing and correcting these biases. For instance, in a recent study, Bloomberg analyzed thousands of images generated by Stable Diffusion related to job titles and crime. The authors found that most images generated for high-paying jobs featured subjects with lighter skin tones, and subjects with darker skin tones were mostly seen in images generated for lower-paying jobs.
Example: We asked the same platform to create a photo for an ad featuring business leaders. Like Bloomberg, we observed that the generated photo featured a white, middle-aged man, leaving out women and racialized minorities.
Source: Stable Diffusion
Given that schools aim to break these biases and that their goal is to offer educational opportunities to everyone, the visual and written content used for marketing and advertising purposes should reflect the diversity of their student body.