Should it matter if your content is AI-generated?

It's no longer possible to reliably detect AI-written content. Time to move on.

Should it matter if your content is AI-generated?
Photo Credit: DALL-E 3

It's no longer possible to reliably detect AI-written content. Time to move on.

Let me put this upfront. I love the written word and I appreciate good prose.

Great writing evokes your emotions, lingers long after you've put down the book, and maybe even reshapes your worldview and beliefs.

But as our channels get flooded with AI-written content. Where does great writing stand?

Detecting AI-written content

When faced with a seismic change, we instinctively try to arrest it. And so it was with AI-detection tools.

AI-detection tools worked reasonably well to identify AI copy at the start. But this won't last for much longer.

  • There are more AI models than before.
  • They are getting progressively better.
  • They are trained on human works.

There are still organisations touting AI-detection software. But the reality is many are increasingly inconsistent for the above reasons.

OpenAI had previously talked big about finding ways to detect AI-generated content. They have since shuttered that project.

Harder to tell apart

A communications director recently related to me how her daughter was caught, along with half the class, for using ChatGPT for an assignment.

The reason? They had submitted uniquely written assignments with the same talking points. With more AI tools and greater savvy, expect such amateur use to fade away quickly.

AI-written content is already everywhere today. In fact, at least a handful of the LI posts you read today are probably written entirely by AI.

And that figure is going to grow with content that's harder to tell apart; I've already seen friends engage with clearly (to me) AI-generated comments.

Who knows what I myself have missed?

Why should it matter?

Why should it matter that we wrote something ourselves? I can think of two reasons.

  • Quality: For now, wholly AI-written content shows a lack of effort. We all want to be more discerning about what we consume.
  • Authenticity: We want to know that the written words reflect the heartfelt thoughts and genuine personality of the author.

Then again, when Singapore's PM Lawrence Wong gave his inaugural address, did you think he wrote every single word of his speech? In every language?

But it didn't matter, because it was his heartfelt message and definitely worthy of your time tuning in.

In a world full of AI-generated content, perhaps we'll have to learn to look past the words and peer into the heart of the message.

Ultimately, I think it'll be a more productive use of our time than trying to figure out if a given content is written by AI.

Unless it's a school assignment.