A Real-World Test Gives Humans the Edge over AI (for now?)

A recent study by Marketing Insider Group, Renegade.com and CMO Huddles tested AI against humans in a head-to-head content challenge.

The core finding is that human-written articles substantially outperformed AI, driving 3x more site traffic on average. Human authors also improved search rankings far more than AI. However, AI was able to write much faster, at around 1/3 the time of humans. So while AI output lacked consistency and required editing, the speed advantage is significant.

There was also promise in a human/AI hybrid approach. While human-only content performed best overall, collaborative human+AI articles showed strong performance at points.

The study compared 60 blog posts: 20 written by humans, 20 generated by AI (ChatGPT), and 20 AI-written but refined by humans. Articles were published over a 10-week period on Renegade.com. Performance was tracked across search visibility, rankings, and site traffic. Time spent writing and editing was also compared.

The takeaway for B2B content marketers is that AI holds the potential to aid human creators through efficiencies like accelerated drafting. But pure AI-generated content falls short on quality right now. Human oversight is still required to refine and optimize AI output.

While advances in natural language AI are rapid, human creativity, nuance and judgment remain indispensable. For now, combining AI efficiency with human insight appears to be the winning formula.