Like many others, this experiment began with a business problem to solve: how might I accelerate my ability to get to a first draft? I was looking for something beyond spell checking, but less expensive than a human copy editor. Could AI help me to improve my writing?
There is an AI for that. I tried an AI-powered grammar checking tool called Grammarly. This tool is useful for all types of text editing: from small snippets of email text to full chapter manuscripts. The user interface is interesting, instead of just reading your text (like the grammar checker in word), it evaluates as you work and suggests improvements based off goals that you have set.
What Worked for Me?
One of my favorite features is the way they gamified writing improvement with statistics and performance scores. I found it motivating to see my score improving as I continued to use the tool. Gamification is a great way to learn and build good habits.
Another useful feature is the plagiarism checker. This is very handy — especially when working on content that was started by someone else. The AI can check your text against billions of websites and flag passages where you may need to cite a source. It gives you a link to the source and the appropriate format for the citation.
The drawback of this tool, like most AI tools, it that it’s cloud-based and you have to be online to use it. Therefore, Grammarly isn’t an option for off-line work sessions or when you are flying with unreliable WIFI.
I’m still using it. This tool has become a normal part of my workflow and I use it for a variety of writing tasks such as proposals, reports, high-stakes emails, customer communications, blog posts, articles, and more.
After using this AI application for a while, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that even when writing without Grammarly, I was beginning to catch and correct myself on the things that the AI would often catch. AI positively impacted my writing habits.
How could this type of AI application help you?
If you want to improve your writing for write-ups, reports, or any type of written communication, this is a great tool to add to your professional toolkit.
To view short presentations on each of these experiments, see my video series Everyday AI.