‘Content marketing’ often amounts to nothing more than companies filling their blogs up with posts that try to make them seem smarter than they are while saying nothing of any value to anyone. And if you’re going to get into that game, why spend time and effort crafting a 500-word article when you can buy a computer-generated one for a dollar? That’s the idea behind Article, a startup that can generate reports on various topics based on up to five keywords.
While some ‘AI journalist’ products like Quill are used to write finished articles that news websites can publish, the Article doesn’t pretend its themes will be perfect. Instead, the idea is that you take the piece it’s created twe,ak it with your personal touch, and clean up things like flaky grammar that may have snuck in. “It can help you write a 500-word article in five minutes instead of two hours,” as Doron Tal explains. So what are the results like? Tal told me that the Article deals best with broad topics, so I entered ‘Shiba Inu dogs’ and selected the ‘Shiba Inu secrets’ suggestion it offered (mainly because I like the idea of dogs conspiring against humans for their secrets).
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Two minutes later, Articolo had generated a 272-word article about Shiba Inu’s secrets with “100 percent uniqueness.” Until you pay for your Article, you only get to see snippets of the piece. All but a few sentences are blurred out. As you can see from the legible sentences above, the articles aren’t perfect. In my tests, I found occasional grammar errors, some missing words, and, in this case, a lower-case letter starting a sentence. Still, cleaning up those mistakes is easier than writing your piece from scratch. After I’d ‘bought’ the full Article with the credits Articolo had given me to test the service, I found the finished Article to be perfectly readable, if light on the ‘secrets’ I was hoping for. But was it ‘unique?’ Not quite. A quick Google search found the Article I would have paid money for to be a trimmed-down and lightly rewritten version of this 2009 piece posted to EzineArticles, a site often associated with low-quality content designed to rank highly in search engines.
Another article I generated via Article, about ‘the rise of content marketing,’ turned out to be a rewrite of this 2008 EzineArticles piece that predates the rise of content marketing by several years. Tal tells me that Article uses more than just EzineArticles as a source. “Usually, articles our algorithm creates are structured from more than one source. It depends on the topic you wish to write about and its initial semantic (analysis).”He said using the ‘enhanced uniqueness’ option would make an article more likely to be based on more than one source.
Trying that out on the topic of ‘Shiba Inu dogs,’ the Article I got back used multiple sources and was certainly ‘more unique. However, the way it had rewritten information from those sources rendered the finished product nonsensical in some cases. “Their mind is proportionate to the size of their body,” it confusingly claimed, in a sentence I discovered was taken from Dog Breed Info Center. The original sentence said, “The head is in proportion with the body,” which makes much more sense.
Suppose you don’t want the software to write you an article based on old information from content farms. In that case, Articolo can also ‘rewrite’ any article you paste in to create original content from someone else’s work of your choosing. I decided to see what it would make of my recent look at call center gamification startup EvaluAgent. The result? My 379-word original became an ugly 232-word regurgitation.