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AI Evolution: Transitioning From Creator Economy To Editor Economy


In just the last year, generative AI tools have profoundly transformed the game of content development. It is rapidly changing the way we work, creating new opportunities for automation, data mining, research and much more.

These tools can do the work faster than humans ever could. So, where exactly does that leave content creators? What does the future look like for skilled data analysts, experienced researchers and talented writers?

Overall, I think the future is pretty bright as long as we’re willing to evolve.

AI tools won’t replace us. They can’t replace us; they lack that ability. They can do the job faster but not necessarily better. AI tools require skilled users to reach their fullest potential. And in turn, these tools give us the power to work faster, be more productive and reach our fullest potential.

The roles played by human creators, researchers, marketers and data scientists are more critical than ever. But those roles are transforming. I believe that the businesses that place their AI tools in skilled human hands will be in the best position to grow, scale and evolve.

AI Tools Are Transforming The Economy Of Work

We are witnessing the transition from a creator economy to an editor economy. We’re treading a new business landscape where AI does the heavy lifting—the brainstorming, organization, image drafting, data mining and research—while human editors, artists and analysts add nuance, build meaning and draw connections.

Competitive advantage will go to those companies that can leverage evolving technology, scale upward with strong human support and ultimately produce content, data and processes that connect with human audiences. Those businesses that do it best will scale at a pace that would have been unthinkable without the AI tools now at our disposal.

Why Human Editors Matter

Content generation is just one area where we’re already seeing a dramatic change in the way businesses work. This first generation of generative AI tools truly is remarkable. If you feed it the right prompts, a generative AI tool can be responsive, efficient and lightning-quick. As workplace tools go, it’s a good one.

The vast majority of business leaders today seem to agree. An article from Forbes Advisor reveals that a remarkable 97% of owners believe their business can benefit from ChatGPT.

Generative AI tools are clearly valuable. But they are still just tools. Automated content generation is not the same thing as writing. Automated image generation is not the same thing as graphic art. Automated research is not the same thing as actual research.

Generative AI tools don’t think or feel. They merely aggregate readily available information and feed it to you based on predictable sequencing. Unsurprisingly, the results are fairly predictable.

It may also not surprise you to find that copy written by robots can come off as, well, robotic. Moreover, AI tools, without proper inputs and exceptions, are prone to data and research errors. As for imagery, generative AI has a more-than-occasional tendency toward hallucinogenic inaccuracy. At times, the resulting images can be downright unsettling.

If you allow generative AI to do all the work for you, it will show. There’s just no substitute for a human being who understands your organization’s goal, echoes your tone and captures your brand’s identity.

Human-AI Interaction And The Evolution Of Productivity

The big takeaway here is that you don’t have to choose between talent and tech. You need both. Today, a growing number of organizations are working to integrate AI tools into existing business processes.

Automation, inventory management and generative content development are de rigueur today. But if your business trades quality, consistency and reputation for speed and efficiency, you aren’t really scaling. And you risk falling short of your own service promises.

This is where outsourcing comes in. Leading edge outsourcing partners often employ human-in-the-loop (HITL) strategies, positioning human experts at key places in a workflow. An experienced third-party provider can contribute both the technology and end users needed to scale up activities like research, content production and data mining without sacrificing quality, authority or, most importantly, the human touch.

Four Predictions For The Future Of AI And The Creator Economy
We are only just beginning to experience the impact of AI tools in the workplace. So what does the future hold?

Below are four likely developments that I think businesses should anticipate, especially those using generative AI tools to scale upward.

1. Search engine penalties. Google, Bing and others are already adjusting their search algorithms to deprioritize sites that use exclusively AI-generated content.

2. AI-detecting web plugins. Consumers will be armed with their own increasingly sophisticated tools for differentiating AI-generated content from original content.

3. Stricter AI governance. Companies and people will, by necessity, become more protective of their original content. AI tools often leverage and repackage original content, data and images. The impetus will be on creators to protect their original creations. Firms may prefer to work with AI tools that agree not to “learn” or harvest content from users. Generative AI is raising new questions about the protection of ideas, privacy and accountability. Consumers and companies are likely to be increasingly conscious of how prospective AI partners and tools are addressing these evolving questions.

4. Premium on original content. Taken together, these conditions suggest that truly original content will be increasingly valuable in helping businesses stand out. Badges and claims about “human-created/reviewed” content will become far more commonplace on products, images, designs and websites.

Stepping Into The Editor Economy

AI tools can save time, increase output and enhance productivity for your business. But effective AI-driven creation requires an end user with an editorial mindset. A human-in-the-loop strategy is vital to making generative AI work for your business.

Those who don’t leverage these emergent tools risk falling behind their competitors. Those who lose the human touch risk falling off the map altogether. It’s all about finding that balance and positioning deeply engaged human operators at the helm of AI-powered tools.

View our original article as featured in Forbes