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The success of any content marketing strategy hinges on having a regular supply of high value, high quality content. For content marketers, creating and sourcing this content forms the main part of our job but are content marketers about to become the latest casualty of our increasingly automated society?

A new generation of content writing bots has many people worried while others are dismissive. It’s hard to know what to believe.

Can a machine really write content that is as compelling and readable as a human?

The answer, it would seem, is…maybe.

Machine written content has been around for a number of years now but all we’ve really seen it produce is reworded garbage or stilted robotic copy. Automated content may be a cost saving strategy but in terms of engagement the results are more likely to drive readers elsewhere and send the publishing site straight to the bottom of the Google results page.

However, automated content is developing as machines become more complex. AI is starting to play a part in even relatively simple machines and this lets computers create more natural sounding written content that many believe could potentially pass for human.

Some news outlets now use robots to write updates and headlines. Could this be a red flag? Could these same robots one day be responsible for churning out all the content, contributing to the problem of content shock and putting a whole lot of content marketers out of a job?

Content marketers have every reason to be nervous. Not only can robot content be produced at a fraction of the cost of hiring a real writer, it can also be set up to automatically analyse the industry, find out where the gaps are and produce content to fill those gaps with very little in the way of human intervention.

Is there any hope for humans?

The robot content that has been produced so far seems to be very good at communicating the kind of informative, dry content that gets a basic message across, but machines do have one major weakness.

Entertaining and engaging content is about more than just relaying facts and while AI is getting more sophisticated when it comes to recognising emotions and humour, writing about them convincingly is still a long way off.

While automated content is almost definitely going to become a thing over the next few years, right now it doesn’t appear that content marketers need to lose too much sleep over it. While robots might take over some of the more mundane writing tasks, there will still be plenty of room for creativity and innovation and they may even prove to be a useful tool by giving content marketers more time to focus on strategy.

Rather than being a threat, it’s likely that robots writers could be very helpful to human writers in the future by freeing them up from the mundane tasks to spend more time writing the more interesting content that engages, humanises and entertains.