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Discussion on: NaNoGenMo 2016 and My Predictions About Text Generation

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Ben Halpern

Your "this blog post is computer-generated" appendix gets me every time. 😄

I feel the publishing industry has created a model where they try to extract maximum value out of their human bloggers and treat them like assembly-line workers. There's not a lot of value in "aggregating" stories. It's just publishers trying to eek out a slice of the pie. A lot of this work will certainly be automated in the future.

I feel like the quantity over quality model that Internet publishers have fallen into is flawed for the business and the consumer because there is so much replicated work and it does not take advantage of economies of scale very well. In the future, there may be fewer overall writing jobs, but they will leverage human creativity much more than the current landscape.

Before the content-farming blog jobs totally go away, they will trend in the direction of editorial oversight into a more automated process. This part will probably vanish eventually as well.

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Tariq Ali Author

I agree completely that the current ecosystem is perverse and unsustainable. To add a bit more content to this comment though, you would probably be very interested in the Content Shock hypothesis, which argues that the users' demand for more content will ultimately halt (meaning that incumbents who are 'first to market' with content ends up dominating, while new contenders who are trying to push out content gets ignored). In November 2015, the author claimed that content shock has arrived. Surprisingly, the author believe that one way for marketers to handle "Content Shock" is to mass-produce content, thereby drowning out the competitors, and believe that this mass-production will likely be done by computers.

If this content ecosystem does collapse, then the amount of text generation (human or automated) will probably decrease. It's an open question whether the humans that remain in that line decide to embrace automation (and use the content wreckage as corpus) or to shun it.