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The robots are coming! LinkedIn brings AI into posts.

One of the most common questions and fears that people have on LinkedIn is posting – what should I post, how often, when, will anyone read it, or care?

To make it easier LinkedIn has decided to release an AI to help you post. When you hit post you will see a little draft with AI and a little wand that you can select, see below:

LinkedIn will then ask you to write 30 words or more to give the AI something to learn from, latch on to, and use as the basis for its suggestion of what you could post. See the example below:

So, we had a little play, starting with something simple, and gave LinkedIn’s AI the following:

One of the best additions to #LinkedIn recently looks quite innocuous but has been a game changer for me – the gold star on a message.

If you look at any message on LinkedIn you can add a little gold start, and you might think OK James has lost the plot now but wait.

You can use the gold star to highlight any messages that you have to come back to, any messages you need to action, and it simplifies your message management.”

What was interesting was what came back, which you can see below:

Immediately you can see the difference in tone, style, format, and hashtag selection and placement – all of which we thought might highlight quite quickly to anyone that knew us that AI had created the post. Interestingly a little pop up from LinkedIn suggested we edit it more before posting too. In this instance we didn’t even post it.

So, next we thought we would give it a challenge and gave it a prompt of:

“What are the pros and cons of writing a post using AI on #LinkedIn?

  1.  If you have no idea, it will give you an idea within just 30 words”

And it came up with a quite good post:

All the points are generally right, it’s OK and our view on the AI is OK. Now OK is not positive or negative, it is just OK.

As the AI suggested in its own post it is good if you have no idea what to post or how, then if you can give it 30 words it can give you the core of something you can edit or post. It could embellish and expand on an existing thought or idea you had. But I don’t think it will save you time writing as you need to spend as much, or more time, editing and correcting the post for style than if you just wrote it (if you can).

Thankfully the AI was honest, and it also highlighted the lack of personality, the inconsistent word choice, style and tone. Personally, I wouldn’t have included the hashtags at the end as they work so much better in amongst the text too.

So, we had to let the AI post go into LinkedIn to see if anyone spotted it was AI, so we simply posted it and added a comment “If you think this post is AI or me can you comment and let me know”.

Now it gets interesting! Every single person that commented correctly identified that it was an AI written post because of the disconnect between AI and personal style, and this is where it came unravelled.

My view is quite simple, is a post written by AI better than no post, yes of course, but the challenge is going to be coming up with the 30 plus words you need first to “train” it to write, and if you can come up with 30 plus words you could probably write a full post and that will always be better than AI (at this time!).

24 July 2023