The Answer to Writer's Block?

Writer’s block is big enough of an issue to warrant its own movie genre. It’s true. Think of the many movies that feature the blank page. Consider these classics.

  • The Shining. Who can forget that face? The draw of that creepy hotel was that it was a perfect place to write the great novel. The typewriter and stacks of paper with a single, creepy line over and over again is what a writer’s nightmares are made of.
  • The Lost Weekend. An oldie but most definitely a goodie. This iconic tale of a man losing control won an Academy Award. It’s a story of frustration, family, lost causes, descending into a darkness which all begins with – you guessed it – writer’s block.

For a busy marketer, the blank page means skipping happy hour, gathering content, hours of reading and re-reading, copying/pasting, and copious amounts of caffeine. As a marketer this happens to me regularly, however thankfully, SDL, an organization that serves the content needs of the top 90 of the 100 top global brands, had predicted that this would happen and has a solution.

Creating content out of nothing

Our previous blogs have talked about the application of Artificial Intelligence to content across the content supply chain. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read our Five Future States of Content which lays out a future for an AI-driven approach to content. Marketing has turned to AI to help it market goods and services better with clever recommendation engines, data-driven personalization, virtual assistants, chatbots and more. Smart Insights lays out the various ways Artificial Intelligence is being used across the marketing lifecycle:

Note the “AI-generated content” circle in the graphic above. Typically, it means a recommendation or a personalized product description. But, can this help with the blank page?

The answer is a resounding YES. SDL has taken its Linguistic AI capabilities and applied them to the very real burden of having to create “snackable” content for marketing. Snackable content is content that would go on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, maybe on a banner. The “old” way is to read pages (and pages) of copy, try and find something in that copy to highlight, find a clever statistic buried in the content or in related content, and get it into the market. When you have to do one, it can take hours. If you are trying to create multiple versions of snackable content — and you have to for this short-attention market — it can take an entire day or more. And that’s time that we just don’t have.

You may have met the SDL Content Assistant at our SDL Connect 2018 show. We introduced this as a prototype during the “Content will Create Itself” session. Well, this capability is coming of age and we are looking to take this to market to all those that have been waiting for AI to help them get past the blank page.

You may be wondering how a product built for a marketer fits into the same portfolio as some of the SDL products you are already familiar with such as SDL Trados Studio, SDL Language Cloud, etc. This product was born out of our Linguistic AI expertise. This expertise is evident in SDL’s state-of-the-art work in the field of machine translation where we have brought NMT 2.0 to the market and were able to crack Russian and set a new industry standard for fluency. SDL Content Assistant illustrates our deep expertise in building for next-generation content challenges. The future is here and in the future, content is autonomous.

Linguistic AI can help the busy marketer avoid the nightmare of the blank page. If you’d like to learn more about SDL Content Assistant, then click here to try it for yourself. And if you're heading to Content Marketing World, stop by and say hello!