Meet Articoolo, a writing robot designed to torture your over-zealous English 101 teacher.

By Alexander Jackson

It’s like the Soylent Green of writing.

You have a deadline, but now you need an outline. You need a topic, and some sources. But really, it would be a lot easier if someone else wrote this article. Isn’t there a robot for that?

Yes there is!

Meet Articoolo (rhymes with “gigolo”), an artificial intelligence that trawls the web for information to meet your writing needs. Feed it two to five words for a topic, and it will grant your wish for a 500-word article. You don’t have to wait for someone in Eastern Europe to write it, so it’s ready in minutes.

Oh, and you can buy 100 articles for $99. What a deal!

Articoolo’s video ad boasts the ability to create “unique, proofread, high-quality content from scratch.” How does a robot know what to write? Well, I’ll let you read about the “NLP engine for multi-level semantic identification” on the How It Works page, but it works! It produces, as advertised, a “completely unique, coherent starting point for your article.”

Wait! A starting point? That suggests you have something to finish. What happened to that “high-quality content from scratch?”

As it turns out, “high quality” doesn’t necessarily mean “complete.” Articoolo generates articles tailored to your industry, studded with keywords, and in desperate need of human intervention if you want humans to read them past the first two sentences.

Pause, if you will, and enter the world of such an article, like their example based on the keyword search “Best Car Insurance Quote.”

The sentences are legible, but it looks like several advisory blogs about crooked insurers were poured in a blender on the chopped setting. You can, however, find some gems. Here’s an excerpt:

Many common individuals fail to cut down the expenses of premiums because they don’t know their requirements. Well, the basis is to get best deal that suits your spending budget…

Use your common sense and try to perform rapid online comparison checks.

broke down car blog.jpg

A vehicle to satisfy your automated writing budget

That was certainly unique. Addressing the challenges of the lower classes—those “common individuals,” you know the type—Articoolo tries to teach people how to try to execute “rapid online comparison checks.” Yoda said, “There is no try.

Articoolo needs to watch Star Wars.

Is it true that “Articoolo’s content creator works like the human brain?” No. This Wired article (written by a human) can explain the difference between current AI and human brains.

Consider it from this angle. The software isn’t working with a creative, thinking mind. It doesn’t have ideas. It scrounges through the internet for human writing, runs the whole lot through a thesaurus, and then reconstitutes it for human consumption. It’s like the Soylent Green of writing.

You, on the other hand, learn and create every single day. You know good writing because it moves you, which gives you an advantage over a robot that can only be moved when it’s unplugged.

Consider the tools that help you choose your topics, such as ye olde swipe file, that repository of good ideas. Imagine Articoolo as another place to look for ideas, along with the refrigerator, Facebook, and underneath the couch cushions.

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