LinkedIn’s spate of “collaborative” articles begins with AI prompts

LinkedIn launched a feature called collaborative articles, which uses “AI-powered conversation starters” to start discussions between “experts” who use the platform. In an announcement post on Friday, the company says it will “match each article with relevant member experts” based on its skill chart and invites them to add context, additional information and advice to the stories.

The company believes the system will make it easier for people to contribute their perspectives because “starting a conversation is harder than joining one.” People can judge the experts’ contributions with an “enlightening” reaction.

According to LinkedIn spokeswoman Suzi Owens, “the main parts of the articles are powered by AI” based on prompts “created and constantly refined” by the company’s editorial team.

The company has already used the technology to issue almost 40 articles in the last two days, which is a pretty intense pace – I personally don’t think I could create that many prompts in a week. They range from topics like showing instead of telling when writing or overcoming a creative block to using feedback and semicolons.

According to an email sent to users The edge by social media consultant Matt Navarra, LinkedIn selected a “select group of experts” to contribute to the articles, saying it could help build their reputation and grow their following. The articles also end with a note telling readers that they can request access to the post by “liking or reacting to this article”.

Given AI’s reputation for sometimes getting it wrong, it’s perhaps unsurprising that some of the AI-powered content has garnered mixed reactions from contributors. While some sections received comments like “Excellent advice” or “Very logical starting point” which then added context and other information, there were more critical answers. “I’m not sure what’s being said here,” one replies, while another states, “I disagree.” To be fair, you could probably find similar opinions in the comments sections for many human-written articles as well.

(I also found at least one example where someone promoted their book in a reply, which is probably the most stereotypical LinkedIn behavior of all time.)

It’s not exactly surprising that LinkedIn uses AI, at least in some way. Parent company Microsoft has poured billions into ChatGPT’s developer, OpenAI, and has worked to add the technology to many of its products. Additionally, the idea of ​​collaborative articles aligns with LinkedIn’s overall drive to become a place where professionals learn, not just show off or offer ideas. The company also has its LinkedIn Learning division, which was formed after the company purchased e-learning site What better way to complement it than with an avalanche of crowdsourced articles covering every topic an AI can dream up?

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