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AI Is Lazy Person Bait — This Is What You Need to Know About the Future of AI On Medium (and The…

  • 7 min read

I’m happy Medium adjusted its policy to be a place for human written content but there is already a flood of spam hitting us.

No matter where I go I see them.

Those cringy and spammy buzzwords that scream: THIS IS WRITTEN BY AI.

Here’s an example:

Most writers don’t know that Medium’s CEO, Tony Stubblebine, recently chatted in the “Equity podcast” from TechCrunch about the future of AI.

The title of the podcast was “Why Medium is opting out of AI”.

Stubblebine emphasized that Medium is an exclusive place for human stories and AI shouldn’t be trained on them.

However, I see a lot of “AI diarrhea” (as I call it) INSIDE of Medium’s ecosystem. Let’s say garbage AI writing without any editing.

It feels as if a flood of spam is hitting us.

This makes me wonder about the future of AI on Medium and I’m not alone. Actually, I’m in good company. I get asked this question a lot. Especially from new writers (who try to game the system).

So I asked top writers Zulie Rane and Sinem Guenel in our interview:

“What do you think about the future of AI on Medium?”

Here’s what Zulie and Sinem said:

It’s so easy to believe that an AI-written story is good enough

Zulie: So I wrote an article recently inspired by my experience as an editor of Better Marketing, looking for articles to boost, and I was just overwhelmed by the amount of specifically garbage AI writing on the platform. So I think AI writing can be good, like, not Atlantic style quality writing, but good enough to read, good enough to maybe get some value from, especially if the writer themselves goes through and punches it up.

But I think AI is lazy person bait. I think that people who are too lazy to write an article, but still want to get the results use AI to generate meaningless garbage.

My opinion on that is that if you can’t be bothered to write it, why should I bother to read it? I think that it’s ultimately the flood of spam that is already hitting us.

This whole AI hype across the creator space is kind of fading out

Sinem: On Medium specifically, a lot of people just use it as a shortcut. It’s so easy to believe that an AI-written story is good enough if you have just never really written a lot for an audience yourself.

You’re not seeing the difference.

For us, as people who’ve been writing on the internet for five years and who are now reviewing a ton of articles in a huge publication, it’s really easy, most of the time, really easy to tell whether a story is AI-written or human-written. And I think, looking at the future, you can already see how this whole AI hype across the creator space is kind of fading out.

I think it’s going to be the same as with most major huge technology hypes over the last couple of years. You had NFTs that were a huge hype. Everyone was talking about them. Everyone was making huge promises.

Are NFTs a bad thing? No. Are they going to probably be part of our lives in the future in very important areas? I think so. Like, there are a lot of use cases for NFTs that are going to be relevant in the future.

Did a lot of people get rich because they got into NFTs or they created content on it? Probably no. It’s similar with AI.

If you know how to use it, it can be such a time saver.

But a lot of people are not even spending enough time figuring out how to create good content. I’m talking about content because it could be your newsletter. Maybe you really enjoy writing stories, but you really struggle to write emails right now. And you use AI as a tool to help you with that.

You still have to train yourself to use the tool. And most people don’t do that. If you don’t do that, the majority of the output is going to be really bad. Even if you use AI in order to publish a story that is worth being published in big prominent Medium publications, and that is worth Boosting, you will need to do a lot of heavy editing.

If you are down for that, go for it. Use it. Most people who use AI to write stories don’t know how to edit them to be actually good stories. And that’s the whole problem. I think that that is going to stay. It’s going to kind of slowly phase out. People are going to realize that publishing a lot of AI content is not getting them anywhere.

And I certainly don’t see any kind of competition for real writers like us, who have their audience, who have their topics, and who genuinely enjoy the process of creating something from scratch.

AI content will be free and human-written content paid

Zulie: AI is good at stuff like SEO, right?

Formulaic robotic content that is going to be read ultimately by a robot who decides where to rank it. So I wonder if there’s not going to be one day a distinction between free content and paid content. And that’s going to be like free content might be majority AI-generated, like stuff that you would Google to get the answer to versus paid content, like stuff that we’re kind of already seeing paywalls for.

Gated newsletters, I subscribe to a couple of those because I love what they write and I know I’m not going to get it anywhere else, or even Medium, which is paywalled, so you pay to read stuff on Medium.

So I wonder if that’s going to be the defining feature of the future, like free stuff is going to be AI-generated, but paid stuff is going to be written by humans. Because I would never pay to read anything written purely by AI without a huge amount of human modification because it’s just not going to be unique or valuable enough for me to not get for free somewhere else, you know?

Bottom Line

I’m happy Medium is a place for human writing.

I’m happy Medium adjusted its policy to be a place for human-written content.

Keep in mind, that if you’re too lazy to write and need some help from your AI friends, learn how to talk to AI.

Learn how to create great AI writing instead of pumping out your AI garbage and “diarrhea”. People won’t like, trust, or follow you for this (on the long run).

However, here’s what Sinem Guenel says about writing with AI:

“(…)it makes our jobs as writing coaches and as editors really easy because if someone is publishing or submitting AI writing, it’s really easy to say just this. You are not even allowed to publish this actually.”

What are your thoughts and learnings in regard to AI? Is the hype already over?

Here’s my interview with Sinem & Zulie:

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