Volker Smid, Acrolinx: “as with any technological advancement, there are challenges that we need to navigate”

Keeping up with advancing technology in the cyber arena is the ultimate challenge. As companies strive to deliver trusted content that resonates with audiences, AI is fast becoming the most practical content-generation tool.

As the use of AI technology increases, so does the quantity of published content. But, as experts note, increasing content volume is only beneficial if it's any good. That advice is heeded now more than ever by enterprises across varying industries. Especially as the age of AI integration helps streamline content output and productivity.

For more insight on the impact of AI technology in the content creation field, we spoke with Volker Smid, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Acrolinx – a content company that uses human and AI-generated resources to help govern and improve enterprise content.

What inspired you to start Acrolinx, and how has your vision for the company evolved?

Before joining Acrolinx, I worked at HP, Novell, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics specializes in SEO services, working to enhance content visibility. During my tenure, I gained an understanding of the pivotal role content plays in today's business landscape. I became well-versed in the intricate workings of the content assembly line and supply chain.

This experience led me to Acrolinx. There, I’ve been able to integrate my expertise and data-driven approach. Recognizing that SEO is only one part of the content supply chain. The key focus should always be on crafting relevant and impactful content. Drawing upon my extensive knowledge, I’m committed to helping Acrolinx drive success for enterprise companies. We do this by transforming how they improve and govern their content.

Tell us more about what you do. Can you explain the key features and benefits of Acrolinx's content governance platform?

At Acrolinx, we've been pioneers in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space long before it became a part of daily conversation. Since 2002, our mission has been to revolutionize enterprise content using the power of AI. Our software design works to elevate the quality and effectiveness of your content.

Imagine how effortless aligning your content with your organization's style guidelines is. That's exactly what our Enterprise Content Governance Platform achieves. It ensures consistency and meets brand standards. It keeps your content aligned with the needs of your audience.

The writing process can pose significant challenges for businesses. That's where Acrolinx comes in — to save you time and effort. We streamline writing and provide automated feedback on content quality. Our AI-powered platform helps improve your content growth. Over time, it ensures your content continues to resonate with your audience.

We've had the privilege of serving Fortune 2000 companies. Assisting them in eliminating editorial bottlenecks, enhancing quality, and reducing costs. Also in mitigating compliance risks in their content supply chain. Acrolinx has become the trusted companion of over 180 of the world's most valuable brands.

How do you leverage linguistic analysis and AI to improve the quality and consistency of written content?

Acrolinx leverages linguistic analysis and AI to enhance written content quality and consistency. Our NLP technology comprehends language nuances, grammar, and style. AI algorithms provide automated feedback and suggestions, going beyond grammar and spelling.

We adapt to each organization's unique content requirements, ensuring audience-aligned recommendations. Acrolinx helps maintain consistency across content and improves clarity. It aligns style, tone of voice, and terminology with brand guidelines.

Streamlined content creation and automated feedback save time and effort, reducing manual editing. Acrolinx helps improve quality and consistency in business content. All so they remain empowered to engage their audience through impactful written content.

How do you think the recent global events affected your field of work? Were there any new challenges?

The introduction of ChatGPT has had a major impact on our field of work. It has opened up new and exciting possibilities for us. As with any technological advancement, there are challenges that we need to navigate. The current situation presents an opportunity to enhance efficiency in various domains.

At Acrolinx, we firmly believe in the symbiotic relationship between AI and content creators. We realize that humans will always play a crucial role in the content creation process. By embracing the collaborative potential of AI and human ingenuity, we can unlock creative possibilities across industries.

What role do content creation and improvement play in the marketing strategy of an organization?

Content is one of a company’s most valuable assets. So it must align with your business goals and content strategy. Acrolinx elevates your content’s potential by checking and scoring it against your style guide goals.

It offers suggestions for improvement. It also analyzes the quality metrics of your content against its performance data. It identifies where you can make improvements to drive better engagement.

What tools and technologies do you use to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of content creation and optimization?

Acrolinx gets used across our entire organization. Every one of our employees contributes to content in one way or another. We have product teams that need to create technical documentation. We have support teams transcribing that technical content into customer-facing, informative articles.

We have marketing teams that must take product content and transcribe it into the industry. They also use case-aligned marketing assets. We have sales teams tasked with routine communication with prospects and customers. In short, everyone creates content.

No matter where you sit in our organization, your content gets run through Acrolinx. We require a score of 80 or above. We give everyone access to our tools to improve that content before it’s published or shared.

The rise of AI-generated content has grown concerns about authenticity and human touch. How do you address these concerns? How do you ensure that AI-driven content maintains quality? And resonates with audiences on a deeper level?

We understand the concerns about authenticity. We also see the importance of the human touch in content creation. Removing the human element from content creation would be a mistake. At Acrolinx, we value and emphasize the role of human creativity and imagination.

Our platform doesn’t drop humans, it supercharges them. It removes the challenges many writers face every day. For example, how to start an idea or how to propose a topic. Also, how to translate great thoughts and ideas into clear and respectful communications. We free the writer to create content without barriers.

Then give them the tools to align that content to the enterprise’s needs. Acrolinx keeps content authentic to a brand’s style. It customizes the content to engage its target audience. The Acrolinx editorial process follows your company’s guidelines, quality controls, and past content performance. It relies on the implementation of human-generated and monitored content and guidelines.

It can’t do its job without those things. It’s also up to each writer’s discretion whether to accept and rework content based on the Acrolinx suggestions. We recognize that the unique insights, creativity, and nuances brought by humans are essential for maintaining quality. It helps connect with audiences through content in a meaningful way.

How has the integration of AI technologies affected the field of content creation? What are some specific ways AI is being used to enhance content generation processes?

Since its start, Acrolinx has been at the forefront of AI-powered content creation. We recognized early on the transformative potential of AI. How it can revolutionize the way companies generate and improve content.

Our AI-powered platform is instrumental in empowering content creators to produce high-quality, consistent, and engaging content at scale. By leveraging the power of AI algorithms, we provide real-time suggestions and feedback that ensure content aligns with brand guidelines and style. This not only saves time and effort for content creators but also elevates the overall quality and effectiveness of the content they produce.

AI has played a crucial role in content improvement as well. Our AI-powered tools analyze vast amounts of data, including user behavior and engagement metrics. All to provide valuable insights. This helps our clients understand audience preferences, refine their content strategies, and drive better engagement and results.

The main benefit of generative AI is also causing a serious challenge to those who use it. Increasing the volume of content is only a benefit if the content is good. Creating low-quality content just pushes the bottleneck of the content supply chain further down. Editing and fixing generative AI content is quickly becoming a blocker in many organizations.

This is why content governance is even more important for enterprises. We’re seeing a lot of interest in enterprises looking to use Acrolinx to police AI-generated content. All to make sure it meets the enterprise’s writing goals and aligns with intended audiences.

In short, we help you understand why content performs the way it does. Then we guide you on how to improve it to meet your goals.

What advancements and innovations in the content governance field do you hope to see soon? Have you noticed any upcoming trends?

I can see a clear shift toward a greater focus on regulation and governance as we integrate generative AI into our daily lives. At Acrolinx, we understand the concerns surrounding this integration. We’ve developed our AI Enrich solution to address the need for risk-free AI adoption.

While navigating these changes, we expect advancements in content governance to become more widespread across the field. This includes the development of robust frameworks and automated governance systems. As well as a focus on transparency and accountability in AI-generated content.

Acrolinx commits to staying at the forefront of these advancements. We want to ensure that our customers can effectively navigate the regulatory landscape while harnessing the full potential of AI in content creation.

And finally, would you like to share what’s next for Acrolinx?

We're beyond excited about our recently announced AI Enrich for Acrolinx. It's a feature that brings generative AI capabilities to our platform. It's going to be a game-changer for our customers. This new feature gives our customers the confidence to know that AI-generated content will align with their content strategy and remains safe.

AI Enrich for Acrolinx allows your business to partition and fine-tune an AI language model on your quality content — and only your content. So it’s like having ChatGPT but tuned to content that reflects your enterprise standards and guidelines. The model learns from your best content, so you can be sure it’s accurate and risk-free.

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