AI-Assisted Technical Writing

updated on 09 May 2021

Background

The process of automating agriculture took over 1,000 years. The outcome today is a thriving and highly-efficient agro business. AI is to a writer what a tractor is to a farmer. But unlike tractors, AI continuously updates and improves.

Automation that drives efficiency is the #1 technology trend for 2021 by Gartner. Automation combines AI, sentiment analysis. data visualization, chatbots, and smart workflows to help you simplify tedious tasks and refocus on creative pursuits.

A new generation of software-based automation is on the verge of bringing a potential renaissance to the world of writing. AI can help to automate some parts of the thought processes writers use to write. It can give writers superhuman capabilities. Analytics can help writers improve their writing skills over time.

How can AI help write technical docs?

In a world of fake news, where the Internet  has eroded the credibility of all information, people want to hear the story of a product from the people building it. Who's telling the story of the product and why are they telling it, context and source, are more important now than they have ever been.

AI can help everybody in an org overcome any imposter syndrome or apprehension they might have about writing and contributing to user documentation.

The role of technical writing will switch to deciding what’s a good representation of your thoughts and not as much the low-level work of picking words. With this switch, you'll write better and faster.

AI can help by:

  • Increasing your weekly word count. Between writing and editing, a person using an AI assistant can potentially write millions of words in a month. Like, more than five million. 
  • Helping lighten the load. A draft by AI is better than no draft. 
  • Speeding up the writing process. Scrappy startups will use AI assistants to write docs fast.

For developers who don’t like writing—which is probably most developers—AI works really well. As a dev, you can write in bits and pieces and let the AI give you sentence options to choose from.

Will AI replace technical writers?

Not the good ones. 

In today's world, we're awash in data. But good writing is not data. Users turn to documentation not just for information but also for context that's written in a clear and a consistent voice.

Technical writers can borrow the strategies of storytelling. Reports convey information. Stories expand our experience. 

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