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AI: Writerly CEO defines importance of human element driving innovation in emerging technology, not vice versa

We’ve been hearing an awful lot about AI lately.

Jon Ricketts
Photo courtesy Writerly CEO, Jon Ricketts
Photo courtesy Writerly CEO, Jon Ricketts

Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

We’ve been hearing an awful lot about AI lately.

Media coverage detailing how AI is revolutionizing everyday tasks has been escalating at a rapid pace. Try it for yourself and you’ll surely walk away agreeing that AI increases efficiency and has the potential to alter life as we know it.

By delivering hyper-relevant and SEO-optimized marketing and creative content to users in seconds, Nashville-based Writerly is playing a pivotal role in driving the AI wave that is sweeping the globe. 

The GPT-enabled AI software as a service platform is enterprise-grade, generative AI; offers customizable templates; and over 50 guided templates  in more than 25 languages. Writerly also spans B2B and B2C markets while offering flexible usage-based pricing models.

But along with all the technology, Writerly CEO Jon Ricketts is focusing on the critical role that the individual plays in the application of AI.

“We can’t forget the human component, because what AI generates as an output is very reliant on the creator’s end,” Jon said. “That also drives our innovation at the enterprise  level. We build AI tools for real people. It’s not with a mind of, ‘Can we replace people with these tools?’ It’s all about, ‘Will this allow people to improve what they’re doing with these tools?’ And it seems to be working for us.”

The human element also allows Writerly to differentiate itself among other generative AI companies.

“It makes sense that several other generative AI companies have robots as their brand avatars, suggesting, ‘Hey, let this robot or AI do all this stuff for you,’” Jon said. “It’s kind of fun from a marketing standpoint, but it can lead to confusion and hesitation.” 

But Jon said the future of AI rests with the human element driving innovation of the technology, not the other way around.

“I use Writerly almost daily ,” Jon said. “I have it rewrite certain things for me. So it’s not just a content generator, it’s a grammar editor, or it’s a tool to rephrase a sentence or paragraph I think can be improved. It can do so many things around what I have already created and make it better while saving a lot of my time. I can also share and collaborate within the organization or outside of it. It’s a very powerful platform beyond just automating content. It is as much a part of our organizational tech stack as Airtable and Slack.”

One of Writerly’s main goals is to demystify AI.

“We built Writerly as an enabling tool for people,” Jon said. “It’s additive to existing workflows with automation capabilities determined by the user or organization. We have achieved traction in the market thus far by focusing on efficiency deliverables for our enterprise users, and making the same features available to smaller teams and individuals at the same time.”

Many are familiar with the AI platform chatGPT. 

The GPT part of that equation is an AI language model tapping a neural network called a transformer, to generate text written in the human voice. Summarizing text, answering questions and translating languages are just a few of the tasks for which GPT can be fine-tuned. Powered by large bodies of data, GPT’s rapidly-expanding technology is positioned to disrupt just about every aspect of our lives. 

Key components of the platform—and its reliance on humans—include:

  • Best-in-Class Google chrome extension.
  • Dual Wield Mode for power users that can overlay templates.
  • Pricing models that do not restrict features. 
  • Powerful enterprise tools for teams of all sizes. 

“Writerly is an inspiration and collaboration platform for creators that also automates content at the user’s discretion,” Jon said. “We want to help turn writers into editors, where time spent polishing is more productive than perhaps struggling to create in the first place.

“AI, if you follow it through traditional media or social outlets like Twitter, can be overwhelming for many. For all of those saying, ‘Look how amazing this technology is’—myself included—there is an equal or greater number vocalizing real hesitations common with disruptive technology.  The common claim is that AI will eliminate jobs en masse. I do believe AI will replace where it makes sense. But I also believe AI will in time create far more opportunities for people than we can imagine today.”

But Jon pointed out that generative AI is similar to automation technology in that it does not replace jobs, but instead helps make human labor more efficient. People will use generative AI to quickly create new ideas or automate tedious tasks so they have more time and energy for complex problems. Thus, while generative AI works in tandem with people, it improves the quantity and quality of their outputs rather than replacing them altogether. 

“Our focus is enabling people, not replacing people,” Jon said. “We are excited to continue helping some of the world’s most creative individuals and brands execute better and faster over traditional techniques.”

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George Nellist is a public relations, marketing and strategic brand expert who has executed social media and strategic marketing campaigns for a variety of Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. For more information, visit Ascend Agency.

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