If you’re old enough to remember, and congratulations if you are, you know our generation grew up on the best of the best!  OK, with the exception of the mullet, big hair, and leg warmers, the 70s and 80s brought us such greats as Calvin Klein jeans, Rubik’s Cube, Super Mario Brothers and last, but not least, MTV.  You may even recall the popular Memorex VHS tape commercials with the unforgettable catchphrase, “Is it live, or is it Memorex?”

Long gone are the days of the VHS tape.  However, we are still part of an ever-evolving, tech-driven culture that provides the ease and accessibility of tools enabling professionals to save time and increase productivity. Such is the case with AI-generated content.  Although the product differs, the concept remains the same, “Is it live or is it AI?”

The decision to use AI-generated content or not can be influenced by a variety of factors, including individual preferences, needs, and concerns.  To determine those instances, we conducted a survey to LinkedIn PR and Communications professionals: “If you’re using AI to generate content are you incorporating original ideas?” An overwhelming 944 individuals participated, and the results revealed that 52% include original ideas, 14% solely rely on AI-generated content and 34% responded they don’t use AI at all. Several folks commented and provided thought-provoking feedback that they use AI because it helps with writer’s block, significantly cuts down time it takes to write a press release or article, helps builds a framework, and aids to create content when building websites.  While we received positive results and feedback, we realized we were not quite finished with this topic.

Due to additional comments centering around copyright and plagiarism when relying on AI-generated content, we composed a follow up poll: “When using AI content generator, are you also using a plagiarism checker?” Of the 459 participants 69% replied if plagiarism was detected content was edited for originality, 25% claimed they didn’t make changes and just ran with it, and 6% clicked, “Plagiarism, What’s that?!” Not to assume, but hopefully the 6% were just having a little fun.  As with our first survey, individuals commented and provided insight that, there is no way to check if the information is accurate, why AI isn’t programmed to check and not include existing text, and one individual, who is interviewing educators, stating, “Plagiarism checkers are garbage…wildly inaccurate and will not be able to keep up with the generative solutions.”  

Looking at the numbers of professionals who participated, it’s noteworthy to mention the majority prefer originality and adhere to the rules on plagiarism. That poses a new question as to whether or not it’s a generational preference. At the end of the day, the decision to use AI-generated information or not depends on a person’s values, needs, and the specific context in which the content is being used. It’s important; however, to keep in mind when using AI, to weigh the benefits and drawbacks and make an informed decision based on one’s circumstances.