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Artificial intelligence (AI) has been steadily influencing business processes, automating repetitive and mundane tasks even for complex industries like construction and medicine.
While AI applications often work beneath the surface, AI-based content generators are front and center as businesses try to keep up with the increased demand for original content. However, creating content takes time, and producing high-quality material regularly can be difficult. For that reason, AI continues to find its way into creative business processes like content marketing to alleviate such problems.
AI can effectively personalize content marketing to the audience it is aimed at, according to David Schubmehl, research vice president for conversational AI and intelligent knowledge discovery at IDC.
“Using pre-existing data, AI algorithms are used to make sure that the content fits the interests and desires of the person it is being targeted to,” Schubmehl said. “Such AI can also be used to provide recommendations on what the person might be most interested in engaging with, whether it is a product, information or experience.”
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AI can not only aid in responding to your audience’s questions but can also help connect with consumers, generate leads, build connections and, in turn, gain consumer trust. These advantages are now being made possible, in part, with the use of AI content generator tools.
“AI-supported and AI-augmented content creation capabilities have begun to blossom over the past 18 months and are approaching an inflection point where they are transforming content creation and content-scaling,” said Rowan Curran, an analyst at Forrester.
How AI content generators work
AI content generators work by generating text through natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG) methods. This form of content generation is beneficial in supplying enterprise data, customizing material to user behavior and delivering personalized product descriptions.
Algorithms organize and create NLG-based content. Such text generation models are generally trained through unsupervised pre-training, where a language transformer model learns and captures myriads of valuable information from massive datasets. Training on such vast amounts of data allows the language model to dynamically generate more accurate vector representations and probabilities of words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs with contextual information.
Transformers are rapidly becoming the dominant architecture for NLG. Traditional recurrent neural network (RNN) deep learning models struggle with long-term modeling contexts due to the vanishing gradient issue. The issue occurs when vanishing gradient occurs when a deep multilayer feed-forward network or recurrent neural network cannot propagate information from the model’s output end back to the layers near the model’s input end. The outcome is a general failure of models with multiple layers to train on a given dataset or to prematurely settle for a suboptimal solution.
Transformers overcome this issue as the language model expands with data and architecture size, transformers enable parallel training and capture longer sequence features, making way for much more comprehensive and effective language models.
Today, AI systems like GPT-3 are designed to generate text similar to human creativity and writing style that most humans cannot generally distinguish. Such AI models are also known as generative artificial intelligence, i.e., algorithms that can create novel digital media content and synthetic data for a wide range of use cases. Generative AI works by generating many variations of an object and screening results to select the ones that have helpful target features.
AI content generation use cases
There are various ways AI is assisting enterprises in creating great content, some of which are the following:
Voice Assistants: With the assistance of NLG, AI content generation tools can be used to build voice assistants ready to answer our queries. Alexa and Siri are examples of how companies can use the technology in real-life applications.
User-based personalization: AI is adept at targeting each client by leveraging customer data to develop customized content. This is currently being improved by obtaining data from multiple sources, such as social media platforms and smart gadgets in the home, to learn further about the customer’s requirements and desires.
Chatbots: Chatbots are one of the most used services in the market since they can answer most requests in a few seconds. These AI-powered bots employ a speech generator to generate pre-programmed information based on realistic human conversations.
Extensive content creation: Currently, content generation is mainly confined to short to medium copy, such as newsletter subject lines, marketing copy and product descriptions. However, in the future, AI content production is expected to write lengthy chapters, if not whole novels.
Top content generation tools
The following is a list of widely used content generators — compiled with information from reviews by Search Engine Journal, G2, Marketing AI Institute and others:
Writesonic: Writesonic is built on GPT-3 and claims the machine is trained on the content that the brands using the tool produce. The generator is based on facilitating marketing copy, blog articles and product descriptions. The generator can also provide content ideas and outlines and has a full suite of templates for different types of content.
MarketMuse: MarketMuse assists in developing content marketing strategies by using AI and ML. The tool shows you which keywords to target to compete in specific topic areas. It also highlights themes one may need to target if you wish to own particular topics. AI-powered SEO tips and insights of this caliber can guide your whole content development team throughout the entire process.
Copy AI: Contains over 70 AI templates for various purposes. Its AI creates high-quality material and provides limitless usage alternatives. Copy AI offers templates for various content categories, including blogs, advertisements, sales, websites and social media. The generator can also translate into 25 different languages.
Frase IO: Frase builds outline briefings on various search queries using AI and ML. It also includes an AI-powered response chatbot that uses material from your website to answer user inquiries. The chatbot understands user inquiries using natural language processing (NLP) and then brings up content on your site that provides suitable replies. The outlines can help you speed up content development by automatically summarizing articles and gathering relevant statistics. One may also utilize the user questions compiled by the response bot to help you decide what to write about next.
Jasper AI: Jasper is an AI writing assistant that can write high-quality content, blog articles, social media posts, marketing emails and more. Jasper knows more than 25 languages, the content is built word-by-word from scratch. Jasper has been taught over 50 skills based on real-world examples and frameworks to aid writing tasks such as writing email subject lines to fictional stories.
Pros and cons of AI content generation
Businesses can establish an effective content marketing strategy using AI content generator tools. A study by Fortune Business Insights predicts that the AI-based content technology market to reach $267 billion by 2027. According to the data, organizations that use these systems receive more traffic and have more excellent conversion rates than those that do not.
AI content technologies have shown to be far more valuable to businesses than human resources because they are far less expensive and time-consuming to invest in. AI content generation is significantly faster because computers can handle enormous volumes of data in much less time than humans can. These AI content generators can also generate infinite pieces with little input, making them ideal for enterprises that require consistent, new material.
Curran noted that the industry is just beginning to see what these tools and techniques can do in terms of content creation, but fundamentally it’s still going to be about humans being enhanced by AI.
“Over the next few years, we’ll likely see a Cambrian explosion of different applications, use-cases and approaches for AI-supported content generation as the technology gets into the hands of a wider array of enthusiastic users,” Curran said.
However, there are also some drawbacks associated with using an AI content generator. First, setting the generator to hit the right tone for your content can be challenging. The generator may produce AI text that is not particularly well-written or appropriate, as AI sometimes lacks the judgment to give an opinion and cannot provide a definitive answer. While AI is smart, writing depends on the context and triggering the correct emotions, and humans are still superior at both.
“AI can be a powerful tool for generating large quantities of text, but the output can sometimes lack emotion and common sense,” Schubmehl said. “This happens because an AI writer cannot read between the lines like human writers and may use words that are not necessarily what was meant by the author.”
Schubmehl also noted that AI-based content generators (NLG programs) do not really understand the text that is being generated, as the created text is only based on a series of algorithms.
“While natural language-generated text can provide increasingly accurate summaries, there are still areas of preference such as brand voice, tone, empathy, etc. that are difficult to program into AI algorithms and will continue to require human intervention in the content creation process,” he said. “Over time, we expect that large language models, based on billions of lines of text, will use unsupervised machine learning to do a better job of creating AI-based content.”
Machine-generated content cannot be subjective, no matter how great the ML training using structured data is. Human writing reflects our richness of topic knowledge and has an expressive aspect that a machine cannot equal.
Only a human content expert can address such gray areas. Therefore, developing an AI tool that can completely replace a person while matching human authors will take time.
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One of the most irritating (and slightly painful) parts of joining a Microsoft Teams call could soon be fixed by a new update.
The video conferencing service is a popular choice for many companies, meaning calls with large numbers of participants joining at the same time, and from the same location (such as a meeting room) are a common occurrence.
However, often when multiple people join a meeting in the same room, a feedback loop is created, which causes echo, which in most cases quickly escalates to howling – with Microsoft likening the noise to when a musician holds the mic too close to a loudspeaker.
Fortunately, a new fix is coming for Microsoft Teams users. In its entry in the official Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab), the new “Ultrasound Howling Detection” describes how it aims to prevent this noise for users on Windows and Mac across the world.
Microsoft says that the update should mean if multiple users on laptops join from the same location, it will share with the user that another Teams Device is detected in their vicinity and is already joined with audio to the current meeting.
If a user has already joined with their audio on, Microsoft Teams will automatically mute the mic and speakers of any new the person who then joins the call, hopefully putting an end to the howling and screeching feedback.
Thankfully, the update is already listed as being in development, with an expected general availability date of March 2023, so users shouldn’t have to wait too long to enjoy.
The new updates are the result of using a machine learning model trained on 30,000 hours of speech samples, and include echo cancellation, better adjusting audio in poor acoustic environments, and allowing users to speak and hear at the same time without interruptions.
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK’s leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he’s not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods lands in theaters on March 17. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)
The final trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods has debuted online – and it looks even more charming, funnier, frenetic, and darker than its predecessor.
Shazam’s sequel flick arrives in theaters worldwide on March 17, so it’s about time we were given another look at the forthcoming DC Extended Universe movie (read our DC movies in order guide to find out where it’ll fit in that timeline). Luckily, Warner Bros. has duly obliged. Check it out below:
Okay, there’s some messy CGI and a slightly corny vibe about Shazam 2. But hey, the first problem can be ironed out before the superhero film takes flight, while the latter is part of what makes this movie series spellbinding (see what we did there?).
But we digress – you’re here because you want to find out what you missed from Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ new trailer. Below, we’ve pointed out six things you might have overlooked. So, what are you waiting for? Shout “Shazam!” and let’s dive in.
1. Who are the Daughters of Atlas?
For a film centered around Shazam, we don’t actually see the titular superhero appear in the official trailer for the first 20 seconds.
Instead, we get another glimpse at Fury of the Gods‘ villains, aka the Daughters of Atlas. The powerful trio comprises the power-hungry Hespera (Helen Millen), dragon-riding Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Athena (Rachel Zegler), the latter of whom seems particularly torn about how the sisters are going about their business.
So, why are they gunning for Shazam and his superpowered foster siblings? Essentially, when Billy Batson was gifted his abilities by Djimon Hounsou’s wizard in the film film (available now on HBO Max), one of those powers was the Stamina of Atlas. The Daughters of Atlas aren’t too happy about their father’s ability being passed down to a child, so they want to take back what is theirs – and they’ll do it so by any means necessary.
2. Mythological monsters
Shazam’s first DCEU outing featured some horror-imbued creatures in the form of the Seven Deadly Sins. How, then, do you go about topping (or, at the very least) matching what came before? Throw in a bunch of myth-based monsters, of course.
Kalypso’s imposing dragon is the most notable inclusion. It feature prominently throughout the trailer, and we even get an amusing Game of Thrones reference from Shazam – “Hey, Khaleesi!” – in the movie. Hey, Warner Bros. loves to mention its suite of IPs in as many of its films as possible.
But Kalypso’s wyvern isn’t the only fairy-tale-based beast we see. Minotaurs, griffons, and demonic unicorns are just three of the other monsters who’ll turn up in Fury of the Gods. Basically, don’t expect this to be an easy fight for Shazam and company to save the world.
3. You can’t get the staff these days
Saving earth from a new titanic threat will be even harder when Shazam’s adoptive family are stripped of their powers, too. And it seems that the staff, which was wielded by Hounsou’s wizard in the first movie, is the key to giving and taking those abilities away.
In 2019’s Shazam!, the titular hero gave powers to his foster siblings to help him combat the Seven Deadly Sins and Doctor Sivana. They’ve still got those power in Fury of the Gods, too, but they won’t have them for long, based by what the trailer suggests.
The footage shows Freddy Freeman and Mary Bromfield being drained of their abilities by the Daughters of Atlas at various points. The trio are using the wizard’s staff to rob the teens of their powers, so it’s clearly of major importance to the movie’s main players.
Later, we see Shazam wielding it – not before he asks the wizard to take his powers back, mind you, when he becomes convinced he can’t defeat the Daughters of Atlas. Anyway, Shazam’s brandishing of the staff suggests he needs it to boost his own abilities if he’s going to defeat the movie’s antagonists and give his siblings their powers back. Expect the staff to play a vital role in Fury of the Gods‘ plot, then.
4. Prison break
In order to get the wizard’s staff, it seems the Daughters of Atlas go after Hounsou’s magic wielder to obtain it.
We see Hounsou’s character imprisoned at various points, including a shot of Hespera chastising him for giving the power of the gods to Billy, Freddy, and company. “You ripped it from our father’s core,” she tells him, which implies Hounsou’s wizard might not be as mighty and heroic as we were led to believe.
Anyway, Hounsou’s wizard interacts with Shazam later in the trailer, so he clearly escapes captivity. Whether he does so alone, or he enlists Shazam’s help – does that magic-infused dust, which he sends through his prison cell window, have something to do with it? – is unclear. Regardless, we’ll see Hounsou’s character break out at some stage.
5. Is that you, Doctor Strange?
Remember when we said Zegler’s Athena doesn’t seem as keen to destroy earth as her sisters? That’s because, at the 1: 14 mark, we see her use her powers with a uncertain look on her face. You wouldn’t look like that if you were convinced you were doing the right thing, would you?
Based on the fact she’s pushed away by Kalypso (using the staff no less), seconds later, it seems she’ll be swapping sides at some stage.
Interestingly, it seems the wizard’s staff can do more than give or take a person’s powers away. One perceived ability certainly has an air of the Doctor Strange/Marvel-based mystic arts about them. Just look at the Escher-style nature of how the scenery bends and folds in on itself when Athena is pushed back, and when Shazam evades numerous buildings at the 1: 44 mark. We’d be very surprised if DC and Warner Bros. didn’t take a leaf out of the MCU’s book with such an aesthetic.
6. Light the way
Shazam and his fellow superheroes get a costume upgrade in Fury of the Gods. The group’s threads are more streamlined and less plastic-looking this time around, which is pleasing to see.
Fans had been worried, though, that these suits wouldn’t feature one of the first movie’s most underrated (if somewhat tacky) aspects: the glowing lightning bolt on Shazam’s chest. Shazam’s costume in the 2019 movie was manufactured in a way that allowed the bolt to physically light up, avoiding the problem of having to add awkward lighting effects during the post-production phase.
Thankfully, Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ official trailer confirms that Shazam’s lightning bolt will glow. However, given the sleeker look of the costumes this time around, it appears that the illumination effect has been added in post. Regardless of how it’s been implemented, we’re just glad it’s a feature that’s been retained.
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Jokes aside about Chrome’s incognito mode, the ability to open a private tab for sensitive browsing is incredibly useful. You can perform searches that you want to keep from affecting your recommendations or appearing in your search history—which applies as much to tax information and medical questions as anything more scintillating.
And now on all phones and tablets, you can protect your incognito tabs from prying eyes by locking them down. A quick tweak to Chrome settings on iOS and Android makes biometric or PIN authentication required to view your private tabs whenever you leave the app and then return. It’s an extra layer of protection for when you forget to close a tab when you’re done—easy to do if you’re constantly hopping between apps. No need to worry about banking info sitting unguarded, for example.
Trying to feature out for yourself is easy. If it’s rolled out to your Android device (or if you’re only now trying it on your iPhone or iPad), just tap on the three dot menu in Chrome, then Privacy and Security. Toggle on Lock Incognito Tabs When You Close Chrome. Now when you switch away from Chrome and then come back, you’ll have to pass an authentication check before you can see and interact with those private tabs again.
For folks who use incognito tabs more on mobile than dedicated apps, this feature is a very welcome addition—and one I hope to see come to desktop computers next. I leave my incognito windows open on PC for long stretches way more often than on a phone or tablet. I haven’t yet met a browser window stuffed with tabs that I didn’t like to keep around. And sometimes I’m reading up on something I don’t want roommates to know about; other times, I have private correspondence I’m working on that I really don’t want to be seen.
I can always lock my PC, but I occasionally forget to slam my fingers on Win + L before dashing off to deal with an overflowing pot or vomiting cat. The best alternative is setting up Dynamic Lock in Windows, but that only works if you move far enough away from your computer to trigger the auto-lock. It unfortunately doesn’t prevent someone also in your kitchen from wandering by your screen and teasing you about your recent discovery of r/illegallysmolcats. Ask me how I know.
Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident bargain hunter—when she’s not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she’s scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.