We are Content Factory 1, a global e-Commerce Solutions Company based in Germany. Our goal for this article is not to argue for or against the use of AI, but to share important considerations for its use.
While the media has largely presented the possible effects of artificial intelligence in dramatic terms, both good and bad, the same can be said of many sizable inventions. Some have proved life-changing (the Internet), while others have not (BitCoin.)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a leap forward in technology. For those of us in e-commerce, where product data and content need to be constantly updated, using the support of a variety of tools is a continuous requirement. Automated tools are the next generation of these and they help you to stay competitive in the market. But, the potential risks to quality and accuracy are just as sizable. Businesses must weigh the options and decide for themselves: do we or don’t we?
For us, this isn’t an ethical question but a practical one. What matters is the quality of the content we produce and the array of services we provide to our customers.
Using these parameters, let’s look a little closer.
Can AI tools create high-quality content?
Today AI content generators are being used to write marketing materials, blog entries, emails, and product descriptions. The promises of these AI tools include time and resource savings as AI can produce a large volume of material in seconds. However, there are well-documented and sizable drawbacks that can negatively impact your content that must be taken into account.
To understand these, it is important to know the basics of how AI works. GPT 3 operates by recognizing patterns in existing data and making predictions for the desired output. Data-to-text AI tools rely on information input by the user to generate final content. Both use Natural Language Generation, a software process that attempts to make data understandable to humans.
If we step back from this, one thing is clear – AI uses facts and logic to generate content. But is emotion logical? Is human instinct predictable?
The answer to these questions is no, and that’s the value that people give to the materials and solutions they develop. They can use facts and logic, as well as add a layer of emotional understanding that makes content resonate on a deeper level. Considering that 80% of purchases are driven by emotion, not logic, this is no small factor.
Take product descriptions, for instance. These are essential at the point of sale. They must engage potential customers, give them the information they need to make a purchase, and motivate them to take this step.
AI variations exist that can mimic your brand’s style and tone, and output descriptions with the needed information, but they cannot think creatively and offer unique ways to present content. They can’t think of the big picture or plan ahead. Fundamentally, AI cannot empathize with the customers shopping for your product. While it may be tempting to think, “These are only product descriptions”, they are the last point of contact a consumer has with the product and must propel purchase on practical and emotional levels.
Knowledge Comes First
Knowledge includes both semantic and contextual accuracy. Semantics defines a word or a subject, while content takes its environment and culture into account. For a product description to be contextually accurate, machines must understand natural language as humans do: based on meaning and context. This is not yet possible. Facts are not knowledge and the “new” content produced by even the latest iterations of AI is prone to misinterpretations.
86% of consumers say authenticity is key in deciding which brands they like and support.
Authenticity isn’t a definitive standard of measurement, however, but an approach to content that is honest and trustworthy. Retailers must trust the companies that help manage their data and maintain their product galleries. Consumers must trust that the product content they see and read is accurate. AI can be a risk to this trust.
Despite these drawbacks, AI has its value and place in ecommerce. We see it as a tool that can feed human inspiration, insight, and intelligence – and it can do this instantly. But it must take a supportive role, not one that can replace an experienced team.
How we use AI
At Content Factory 1, our use of AI is minimal and selective; it is always in a supporting role that strengthens our team and our company. 99% of our business is man-powered. Why? Because this gives us the best content. When a complex solution is needed, we use our own tools or develop a new solution that addresses the issue at hand and empowers our customers.
Our first question is not, “Can AI do this?” but “But how can we best do this?” We use AI without it using us: as an ally and an assistant, which allows us to maintain control. This ensures the best service and security for our business and our customers. Ultimately, it is our know-how, backed by 23 years of experience, that creates data-driven product and e-commerce solutions that drive sales.
Content Factory 1 combines its experience with market-leading innovation to deliver tailor-made, modular, and scalable 360-degree content solutions powered by quality information. We focus on the details that drive sales at the core to create content that engages consumer interest and inspires them to purchase. Learn more at https://www.contentfactory1.com/