Will AI take over writing?

by Ng Jie Qi Charmaine, Republic Polytechnic

SHARING TIPS: Industry experts Peter Ho (second from left) and Reene Ho-Phang (right) share tips on how to make a marketing campaign successful. The session was moderated by Mr Alan Lim. (Photo: Nurin Ismail)

The machines are coming, some have warned. And with the threat of Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over jobs in some industries, the prospect of machines taking over writing books and essays was discussed at a panel session during the All In! Young Writers Festival 2018.

Ms Reene Ho-Phang, one of the speakers at the Brand Consciousness and Unconscious Marketing: The Writing Experience panel session, said she did not think machines can replace humans as writers. Rather, she felt humans would learn to harness the technology to make their work better.

“Intelligent people will utilise the technology in a very intelligent way but people who are foolish will use it in a foolish way,” said Ms Ho-Phang, who is the Managing Director for BrandStory Asia.

Mr Peter Yeo, another panellist on the session, said a human touch is still needed. “Even though AI such as Storify can create compelling stories and content that is really good, a human touch is still needed in a story to connect to the audience,” he said.

Agreeing with the panellists, moderator Alan Lim said: “I believe that as long as the writers come out with their own unique touch, it will work.”

The All In! Young Writers Festival returned for its 10th edition on March 16, 2018 with a slew of workshops, panel sessions and fringe programmes lined up over the weekend.

Held at *SCAPE over three days, this year’s Festival also witnessed the use of larger rooms to accommodate a larger crowd.

Launched in 2009, the Festival serves as a platform for industry professionals and partners to meet and share their expertise with young aspiring writers between the ages of 12 and 25.

At the Brand Consciousness and Unconscious Marketing: The Writing Experience session held on March 17, panellists provided valuable insights into marketing and effective storytelling techniques.

Marketing is talking to an individual to connect to them on a more personal level, not a broad audience, said Mr Yeo.

He added: “You think you are always very alone, you are unique from other people but that is not the case, there are overlap with the others, this usually congregate into the audience to sell to.”

The panellists also felt that the audience and client should be taken into consideration during the conceptualisation of the campaign so that they would not get offended. The target audience is always changing and every campaign is different, added the panellists.

This news story was written by Charmaine Ng, a Diploma in Mass Communication student at Republic Polytechnic.