Whether you are writing an email to a business partner, news for the media, a contract, a book, an academic article, a project proposal or a response to a question from your student or a client, you always want to be understood. You want to communicate your ideas effectively.
But writing in a foreign language can be stressful if your vocabulary is not rich and you cannot write fluently. Translators and language editors cost a lot and are not available in real time.
This is why artificial intelligence (or AI for short) is so important. It can help you improve your writing skills and write really good content with confidence.
Understanding natural language
Nowadays, authors rely on many tools in their daily work, such as spell checkers, grammar checkers, paraphrasing tools, plagiarism checkers and so on. The most sophisticated tools on the market must actually understand the texts (and the context!) – at least to some degree.
The most important pillar of all writing tools available today is natural language processing, or NLP for short. It’s a special branch of AI-based tools that help machines understand human language.
When you paste your content into any writing tool, it’s through NLP that a computer translates it for its own convenience. To understand natural language, both semantics and syntax must be analysed.
AI needs to be developed to the point where it understands how human language expresses ideas differently. For example, when you propose a toast to the bride and groom, you’re probably wishing them health, happiness and success for the future and asking the others to raise their glasses. It really has nothing to do with the other, sandwich-like toast, right?
Improving writing skills with AI-based editing
The academic community and the writing community enjoy various AI-based services from AI-based tools, such as grammar correction, paraphrasing, rewriting, plagiarism detection, readability checking, keyword density detection, and even text generation or text summarisation.
AI-based editing goes one step further. It involves interaction between a human writer and automatically generated feedback in real time.
So how can AI help improve our writing skills?
“One of the most important reasons is the immediate feedback that the AI-based editor provides. In areas where problem solving is involved (e.g. mathematics and physics), several studies have shown that immediate feedback is very effective in improving one’s skills,” explains Dr Matej Guid, founder and CEO of InstaText and one of the creators of InstaText Editor.
“Editing and improving texts can also be seen as problem solving in some ways. It is therefore not entirely surprising that receiving high-quality feedback in real time can improve our writing skills,” he continues (see the entire interview).
InstaText is a prime example of how NLP and AI work together to improve content and help authors increase their writing skills. Let’s take a look at the following example.
A closer look reveals a clever rewording that reflects the program’s deep understanding of the underlying text. The words “is more connected with each other” just don’t sound like native English, but it’s not easy to quickly find a better phrase. That is, before you move on to the next paragraph.
Of course, the “solutions” to the problem of text improvement are rarely clear-cut – it is very likely that a text can be improved in a number of ways. InstaText will try to optimise the readability of the text in a way that takes into account the context of the surrounding text. To avoid decision fatigue, the user is only shown the “solution” with the highest internal readability score.
The tool is designed to help you overcome various editorial challenges. It could be argued that InstaText Editor in some ways increases a writer’s persuasive power by constantly offering better alternative word combinations and clever synonyms, removing fluff and redundancy, improving content flow and writing style, and so on.
Let’s take a look at a few more use cases.
Improving translations or paraphrased content
Have you ever felt frustrated after copying your text from a translation tool or a paraphrasing tool?
When the content doesn’t stick after paraphrasing, it’s called lacklustre or uninspiring content. In other words, the reader feels nothing that connects them to the written content. This is a bland style that uses big words but lacks big meaning, and this is often the case with paraphrased content.
That’s one of the first things AI editing tools can help us with. It’s often the human-computer interaction that adds meaning to the text and leads to effective messages.
Detecting and removing plagiarism
Detecting plagiarism with a plagiarism checker isn’t difficult nowadays. However, you must remove plagiarism properly before you can use the content.
InstaText maximises the readability of the text in a way that avoids plagiarism. The ability to rewrite articles is one of the most important skills to master in order to avoid plagiarism in the text.
Improving content flow
For content to stick, you need to make sure that the text is easy to read and understand. This means that you shouldn’t use empty phrases, complicated terms, or jargon.
Here’s an excerpt from a student’s assignment. The original text (on the left) isn’t bad if you use it in a blog or conversational style email. However, it’s not remotely acceptable for academic texts.
Can you see how the words marked in red disrupt the flow? Now compare them with the green words suggested by InstaText.
Developing a trademark writer’s style
An AI-powered editing tool should allow you to rewrite based on suggestions that don’t take away the essence of your text. You never have to sound like a machine.
Moreover, every writer wants to keep words and word combinations that are part of their professional language or personal style. With InstaText’s Personal dictionary, you can do just that.
“InstaText has completely changed the way I write and communicate in academic papers, social media, and other areas. I definitely recommend this tool for non-native speakers who usually struggle with their English skills. I wish I had learned about InstaText sooner.”
— İbrahim Niftiyev, PhD Student
“This looks amazing. As a professor of Neuroscience who has gotten old publishing 75 papers, I wish InstaText were available during my times. Love it.”
— Lawrie Rajendran, University Professor
“For me, InstaText has been a life changer. It’s way more than a writing and editing tool. It’s an experience. InstaText doesn’t have a multitude of functions, and that’s the beauty of it. It only does what it claims to do, and that’s to help you write more like a native speaker. And it does that in the best possible way.”
— Elham P.Mohammadi, Freelance Journalist, Writer and Editor