Skip to main content

They Ask, You Answer Mastery

A coaching & training program that drives unmatched sales & marketing results.


Sales Performance Mastery

Improve the competencies and close rates of your sales organization.

Web design

Website Mastery

Web design, development & training for your team.


HubSpot Mastery

Everything you need to get the most from HubSpot.

AI Mastery

AI Enablement Mastery

Unlock the power of AI in all aspects of your revenue operations.

Discover how IMPACT’s services can help take your business to the next level. Book a free 30-minute coaching session Book a free 30-minute coaching session
Learning Center
Learning Center

Learning Center

Free resources to help you improve the way you market, sell and grow your business.

[NEW] The Endless Customers Podcast is now available everywhere. Learn how to earn trust & win more customers in the age of AI. Listen Now Listen Now

Free Assessment: How does your sales & marketing measure up?


Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Liz Murphy

By Liz Murphy

Jan 4, 2019


Content Marketing
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our weekly newsletter.

Get the most relevant, actionable digital sales and marketing insights you need to make smarter decisions faster... all in under five minutes.

Thanks, stay tuned for our upcoming edition.
Content Marketing

Forbes Is Using AI to Create Content & (Surprise!) Now I Want My Own Robot

Liz Murphy

By Liz Murphy

Jan 4, 2019

Forbes Is Using AI to Create Content & (Surprise!) Now I Want My Own Robot

Forbes now uses a CMS called Bertie. Bertie uses artificial intelligence to suggest headlines and propose topics for contributors based on their publication history. 

"That's nice."

OK, here's the "big deal" news.  The team at Forbes is currently testing an AI-driven tool within Bertie that gives Forbes writers a very rough draft to build upon, instead of having them start a new article from scratch. 

In addition to starting copy, this "rough draft" might include links to other resources -- both internally from Forbes, as well as other sites -- and images. 

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

What do content marketers, publishers, and media companies need to be thinking about and doing now to future-proof their content creation infrastructure?

And what new questions do we now need to answer?

Why Forbes' Use of AI in Content Is Good

I have the reactionary temperament of a hormonal teenager not getting asked to prom by her crush whenever I learn about massive shifts in our industry -- particularly those that involve robots that may or may not try to take my content job from me one day.

That said, I find myself positively elated by this AI development for two big reasons. 

#1: It Solves for Common Pain Points & Makes the Writing Process More Efficient 

Given that more than a handful of writers and content creators -- myself included -- have spent so much time wringing our hands about how robots are conspiring to replace us, we've never given much thought to how robots can help us instead.

"The tools (within Bertie) are not designed to produce something that a contributor or reporter would feel comfortable publishing as is. Instead, (Forbes Chief Digital Officer SalahZalatimo said, they are more like thought-starters, designed to get contributors’ creative juices flowing. That’s partly a function of artificial intelligence’s limitations, and partly because reporters and contributors would rather make the pieces their own.” (Source)

The rise of artificial intelligence doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.

In fact, what we're being told about Forbes' Bertie shows us that we can become better, more efficient writers and content publishers with expanded strategic capacity through a supportive, symbiotic relationship with robots. 

How many of you find your biggest roadblock in writing a piece of content is the fact that you have to create something from nothing?

Now, imagine that -- instead of a blank screen that mocks you with its neverending nothingness -- you are given a rough draft that already has some completed research included, links to articles on the same topic that you've already published on your site (and may have forgotten to include), and more?

Rather than having to create something from nothing, we begin with raw materials that provide immediate inspiration. 

#2: AI Can Empower Publishers to Increase Output 

Whether you're a publisher or a business who understands they also need to be a media company to be successful, we're all facing the same challenge. 

The 24/7 news cycle has created a ripple effect that has crossed over from the newsroom to the marketing department. 

There is a built-in consumer expectation now that when "news breaks" -- from the government shutdown to (in our case) HubSpot changing the name of a tool -- an individual will be able to get almost instantaneous contextual feedback from trusted publishers and resources. 

For example, when the political world explodes, I find myself immediately refreshing my podcast feed over and over until a new episode of NPR Politics appears. And even though I know I'm being ridiculous, I'm annoyed when my immediate need for content gratification isn't met. 

So, we need to be creating more content. Faster. 

The Washington Post has been using AI for a few years now to produce more content faster. In 2017 alone, WaPo robot reporter Heliograf published more than 850 stories

Of course, those 100% robot-reported stories weren't complex in nature, nor were they designed to be.

"Media outlets using AI say it’s meant to enable journalists to do more high-value work, not take their jobs. The AP estimated that it’s freed up 20 percent of reporters’ time spent covering corporate earnings and that AI is also moving the needle on accuracy. 'In the case of automated financial news coverage by AP, the error rate in the copy decreased even as the volume of the output increased more than tenfold,' said Francesco Marconi, AP’s strategy manager and AI co-lead." (Source)

Again, although this use case suggests taking human writers out of the equation entirely for certain types of stories, the end goal is to free-up their capacity to create more high-impact stories, articles, and features. 

What Content Marketing Leaders & Publishers Need to Be Asking Themselves Now

This may sound like one of those, "Well, isn't that nice for them," stories. However, if you're a content marketing leader or publisher, this story should be forcing you to find the answers to the following questions:

  • How do we help our content people be more successful? We know we need to create content. But what can we be doing more of, less of, or differently right now to empower our thought leaders, business "beat reporters," and other various content writers to feel less friction in their process and be more efficient, while also allowing them to spend more time on the stories and tasks that matter?

  • What kind of content organizations do we want to build? The frequency of news-worthy change and innovation, especially within the context of AI and technology, is only increasing. So, before we react, we need to define what value we want to provide that meets the demand of our target audience and differentiates us from our competitors. If we don't define a clear mission and purpose for our content organizations, we will not be able to be strategic in our reactions and responses to change. 

  • And as we continue to architect and refine broader visions of the future for our content organizations, what should we be investing in? What types of technology and different tools do we need? What dimensional network of writers -- in-house and/or outsourced -- do we need to be building right now? What kind of talent do we need to be investing in? What should our content org chart look like?

(I'd like to think some of you were already asking yourself at least one or two of these questions, but let's just say if you weren't, now is the time to start.)

I Do Have a Nagging Question, Though

I said in the title I want a robot of my own. Adorable as that may sound, I'm not kidding. Unfortunately, I'm going to hazard a guess that this kind of AI-driven content technology isn't exactly cheap.

So, while this is a big deal for the Forbes and Washington Posts of the world, how long will it take for this kind of opportunity to scale down enough for small and mid-sized publishers to reap the same kind of rewards?

As things currently stand, only a few major players are able to enjoy the perks of having robot content assistants, while the rest of us twiddle our thumbs, as we wait for the accessibility of AI to appear. 

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.

Related Articles

Use AI for Your Content Creation (Without Losing Your Humanity)

February 21, 2024
Mandy York Mandy York

'The Big 5': Best Business Blog Topics to Drive Traffic and Sales (+ examples)

February 5, 2024
Marcus Sheridan Marcus Sheridan

The Story of 'They Ask, You Answer'

January 29, 2024
Marcus Sheridan Marcus Sheridan

20 Value Proposition Examples that Every Marketer Can Learn From in 2024

January 18, 2024
John Becker John Becker

How to Talk About Price on Your Website (+ examples)

January 17, 2024
Chris Duprey Chris Duprey

HubSpot vs WordPress: Which is Better for Your Business Website?

January 11, 2024
Vin Gaeta Vin Gaeta

Content Marketing Will Fail Without Help From The Sales Team

January 4, 2024
Anj Bourgeois Anj Bourgeois

TOFU Video: Reaching Early-Stage Customers with Your Video Content

November 13, 2023
Lindsey Schmidt Lindsey Schmidt

7 Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2024

November 2, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Content Managers: Use This Step-by-Step Guide to Create the Content Your Team Needs

October 12, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Is Content Marketing Dead in 2024?

October 11, 2023
Marcus Sheridan Marcus Sheridan

Authentic Video Marketing in The Age of Deepfake Technology

September 27, 2023
John Becker John Becker

What Should a 2024 Content Marketing Strategy Include?

September 21, 2023
Mandy York Mandy York

What Is a 'Learning Center' and Why Does My Website Need One?

September 14, 2023
John Becker John Becker

HubSpot Update September 2023: What’s New from INBOUND

September 13, 2023
Jessica Palmeri Jessica Palmeri

How To Create Sales Enablement Content Your Sales Team Will Love

August 17, 2023
John Becker John Becker

How to Create a Content Map To Solve Your Marketing Guesswork

July 6, 2023
Brian Casey Brian Casey

Marketing Without a Map: Why You Need A Content Mapping Strategy

July 5, 2023
Brian Casey Brian Casey

Content Manager Job Description for Marketing Teams (All Industries)

July 3, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing: What's the Difference? 

July 3, 2023
Brian Casey Brian Casey

DIY Marketing for Home Improvement: Building Trust and Bringing in New Customers

June 22, 2023
John Becker John Becker

LinkedIn Could Become Your Most Powerful Distribution Channel

June 22, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Your B2B Content Strategy Is Going to Need More Social

June 21, 2023
Nick Bennett Nick Bennett

How to Write a Persuasive Case Study That Converts (w/ free template)

June 1, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Top 10 Must-Have Qualities To Look For in a Content Manager

April 20, 2023
Marcus Sheridan Marcus Sheridan