Striking the Perfect Balance: AI Tools and Human Talent in Content Creation and Content Localisation

Striking the Perfect Balance: AI Tools and Human Talent in Content Creation and Content Localisation

In today’s swiftly evolving digital marketplace, SMEs expanding internationally are increasingly confronted with the need to produce and localise content that speaks effectively to diverse global audiences. This challenge, while daunting, is now being met head-on with the application of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for content generation and content localisation. At the forefront of this digital transformation are two distinct, yet complementary, AI methodologies: AI automation and AI augmentation. AI automation harnesses technology to autonomously generate and/or translate content, offering significant gains in efficiency and scalability. In contrast, AI augmentation incorporates a human element into the creative process, enhancing the AI-generated content through review, revision, and post-editing, ensuring it resonates on a more authentic and culturally nuanced level.

For us in the SME sector, especially those of us venturing into international markets, the ability to leverage these AI-driven approaches effectively can be a game-changer. It’s not simply about adopting new tools; it’s about strategically deploying them to bolster our existing capabilities. Whether it’s utilizing automated content generation for speed and scale or employing AI augmentation to refine output and ensure it aligns with our brand voice and meets the cultural expectations of our target audiences, the ultimate objective is clear: We seek not only to enhance our efficiency but also to preserve and amplify the authenticity of and engagement with our brand.

This article aims to unravel these two AI approaches and explore pragmatic ways to integrate AI into our global content strategies. By doing so, we ensure that the journey into the international marketplace is marked by success, keeping us a step ahead in the competitive global arena. Let’s delve into how we can make AI work alongside us, enriching our connection with audiences around the globe.

AI Automation for Content Generation and Localisation

In our journey to engage with international markets, AI automation has emerged as a pivotal ally, especially in content generation and content localisation. Imagine the process of drafting news articles or generating reports — traditionally time-consuming tasks — now streamlined with AI. This isn’t futuristic speculation; it’s happening today. Automated news writing tools are already being utilised by major news outlets, where AI algorithms pull together information from various sources to create coherent, timely articles. This capability isn’t just impressive; it’s reshaping how we approach content creation, allowing us to publish more content, faster, and in a more cost-effective manner.

The realm of automated machine translation further exemplifies AI’s role in breaking down language barriers. Tools like Google Translate or DeepL have transformed from simple sentence translators to sophisticated systems capable of translating entire documents or webpages in seconds. This scalability and speed mean we can now think about global expansion in ways we couldn’t before. For instance, an Irish SME looking to tap into the German market can translate their entire website or product descriptions almost instantaneously, making initial steps into new markets much more accessible.

However, while the efficiency and scalability of such AI automation are undeniable, it’s crucial to recognise its limitations and risks. Automated content may not be correct and often lacks the nuanced understanding of target audience, local culture or misses the mark on brand voice subtleties, all of which are key for successful marketing. In machine translation, while the gist is often reasonably accurate, inaccuracy on specifics and lack of contextual understanding is still a big issue. In addition, the subtleties of language are often lost, leading to misunderstandings or diluted or inappropriate messaging. In both cases the potential negative impact on building a trustworthy brand, which presumably was the main goal in the first instance, can be very detrimental.

A more harmless example of AI’s prowess and its limitations is seen in social media platforms using automated translations to allow users from different countries to understand each other’s posts. While generally effective, these translations can sometimes be awkward or misinterpret nuances, highlighting the need for a human touch in certain contexts.

As we navigate the balance between embracing AI automation for its vast capabilities and acknowledging where human intervention remains irreplaceable, it’s evident that AI is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, it is a new powerful tool in our arsenal, enabling us to scale our content creation and localisation efforts like never before, provided we stay mindful of when, where, and how to apply it.

AI Augmentation for Content Generation and Localisation

While AI automation opens doors to new possibilities in content generation and translation, it’s the augmentation through AI that truly enriches our storytelling and connects more deeply with our global audience. AI augmentation tools act like a creative sparring partner, offering suggestions, insights, and even inspiration that elevate our content. From suggesting ideas for blog articles or compelling headlines to creating a draft or optimising sentence structures for readability, these tools empower our creativity, allowing us to produce not just more content, but better content.

An example for AI-augmented content generation is this very blog, where I have used AI for ideation and initial drafting of parts of this article, but then heavily post-edited and changed these AI outputs to remove inaccuracies, empty phrases, poor word choice and add personal perspective and thus make it authentic and more relevant to you, the reader.

In the world of content localisation, AI augmentation also can play a pivotal role. Tools that support machine-aided translation and PEMT (Post-Editing Machine Translation) are game-changers for increasing efficiency. They allow us, as creators and communicators, to start with a machine-generated draft and then having a native translator review and refine it, adding the vital human touch that ensures accuracy, SEO-focus, cultural sensitivity, and the all-important local nuance. This process isn’t just about correcting errors; it’s about enhancing the translation to a level where it meets its marketing objectives, i.e. resonates with our target audience, ensuring that our message isn’t just understood, but is also engaging and relevant to each unique audience.

In sum, this blending of AI’s computational power with human creativity and insight in the generation and localisation of content leads to content that stands out. By wisely harnessing AI augmentation for content generation and localisation, we’re not just expanding our reach and the speed with which we can do this; we’re enhancing the impact and relevance of our content, ensuring it’s as dynamic and multifaceted as the audiences we aim to serve.

Weighing the pros and cons of AI and non-AI approaches for content generation and content localisation

Navigating the landscape of content creation and localisation in today’s global digital marketplace presents a complex puzzle for internationally focused SMEs and the availability of AI-automated and AI-augmented solution approaches, while adding many benefits, has complicated the planning process. Typically, the solution doesn’t lie solely within a single approach but rather in a strategic blend of three: fully human, AI-augmented, and AI-automated content generation and content localisation. Each carries its unique strengths and limitations, making the task of striking the right balance or choosing the optimal method (and tools) for each piece of content a nuanced decision.

For instance, fully human content generation shines in creativity, originality, and emotional intelligence, making it indispensable for content that demands deep authenticity, engagement and cultural nuance. However, when we consider scalability, efficiency, and the need for speed in content production and translation, AI-automated processes step into the spotlight, offering unparalleled advantages, but are only suitable in very specific situations. Meanwhile, AI-augmented content creation and localisation often harness the best of both worlds, enhancing human creativity and accuracy with AI’s efficiency and data-driven insights. But even then, the question is, how AI augmentation is best applied.

The decision on which approach to adopt hinges on a careful assessment of each type of content in the light of your specific situation — resources, skills, budget, target market/s, language/s, content volume, content purpose and the urgency of content deployment. For example, a high volume of content requiring quick turnaround might benefit from an AI-automated draft followed by human refinement, particularly for technical or specialised materials where accuracy and brand voice are paramount. Conversely, marketing content aiming to connect deeply with a new cultural market may start with human creativity, supported by AI-augmented tools for fine-tuning language and SEO optimization.

Where next in the journey of AI adoption?

This strategic decision-making process is complex, requiring a deep understanding of the interplay between various factors, including the unique strengths and weaknesses of each content generation and localisation approach in a technical landscape that is constantly changing and evolving. Developing and implementing a tailored strategy that leverages the right combination of human creativity, AI augmentation, and automation can be challenging without in-depth knowledge and experience. Yet it is this strategic integration which holds the key to unlocking efficiency, scalability, and deep, meaningful, authentic engagement with audiences in different countries.

At Glocafy, we are committed to guiding SMEs through this intricate process. Our expertise is not just in recognising the value each method brings to the table but in our ability to harmonise and utilise these elements according to your requirements, thus creating a cohesive strategy that elevates your content and connects with your audience – at home and abroad – on a deeper level.

If you find this of interest and would like to find out more, contact us at Glocafy and let us guide you in crafting a content creation and localisation strategy that leverages the appropriate mix of human touch, AI augmentation, and AI automation. By understanding your business’s unique needs and goals, we’ll help develop a bespoke approach that maximizes the strengths of each method, ensuring your content is impactful, relevant, and aligned with your global aspirations.

Susanne Dirks

Susanne Dirks is an internationalisation consultant, specialising in website localisation, international SEO and international digital marketing.