Why is proofreading still essential?3 min read
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an invaluable ally in the creation of online content, because it has enabled us to bring texts dealing with the most diverse topics to life automatically and, consequently, extremely quickly. However, AI is still a tool in its infancy: for this very reason, it needs a certain level of human control.
Machines (computers, smartphones and electronic devices in general) are proving to be increasingly efficient and precise when it comes to replacing humans in their activities, including creative ones (such as writing). However, despite the speed of technological development, these tools have not yet been developed to such an extent that they can completely replace a ‘flesh and blood’ brain.
Proofreading, therefore, represents at this historical stage an essential trump card for those who want to produce content that is not only thorough and structured, but also grammatically, orthographically and morphosyntactically correct.
What is proofreading and why is it important
The concept of proofreading is quite intuitive. When text content is produced automatically by an Artificial Intelligence, there is a need for a proofreader to edit it, correcting errors large and small within the text itself.
The workload for the proofreader usually depends on the type of source text: in the case of more technical texts, it will usually be less and involve a relatively low number of edits; it is a different matter for a literary and more creative text, where human intelligence still proves far superior to AI.
As a rule, the proofreader deals with:
- correcting misspelled words
- correct formatting errors
- modifying punctuation, if incorrectly used
Proofreading work is therefore essential for the publication of a text that is free (or almost free) of imperfections.
The limits of proofreading
It is quite evident that manual proofreading of texts has its pros and cons. Compared to Artificial Intelligence, a text generated and corrected by a human being takes much longer to produce.
Moreover, proofreaders are to all intents and purposes professionals: as such, they must be paid for their work. A company that intends to publish quality content must therefore be aware of the budget to be invested (also) in this type of activity.
Finally, there is the issue, so to speak, of ‘perfection’. It is indeed evident that total and absolute perfection does not exist: this is a principle that applies both to computing devices and, a fortiori, to human beings. Any person, even the most experienced, can make a mistake. The most trivial oversights (they tend to be typos) remain unchanged precisely when a text has been read and re-read dozens of times, and when the proofreader’s brain has become so accustomed to the same text that it can no longer notice certain errors.
In conclusion, it is worth weighing the costs and benefits of proofreading, first analysing the type of text you will need and assessing to what extent you are willing to rely completely on Artificial Intelligence, with all its limitations.
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