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Exploring Use cases and Limitations of GenAI in Technical Writing with Rene Santana, Box

Category: Podcast

In our recent episode on the Knowledgebase Ninjas Podcast, Rene Santana, Technical Writer at Box, discusses various use cases of Generative AI (GenAI) in technical writing and how it has influenced the way documentation is created. He also shared insights on ethical concerns that technical writers should be aware of when using AI for the documentation process.

Watch the Video Podcast here

About Rene

  • Rene’s LinkedIn
  • He completed his Bachelor’s in English and began his career in an editorial role, but he always had the desire to work as a technical writer.
  • After a few years, he landed a content writing role and then took on temporary gigs after being laid off during the pandemic.
  • Later, he joined Box in a contract role and transitioned into a full-time position, leading some of their top products such as Box AI and DocuSign.

Key Takeaways

  • “A few years back I read about Notion’s AI capabilities and was really amazed by the results it produced. Later, a company like OpenAI made it something bigger and accessible to everyone. Initially, technical writing applications were scarce, but now there is a whole lot. Especially in API documentation, I was able to generate not just code but also documentation”, says Rene.
  • Rene mentioned that Summarization and content generation have been two key players that have influenced the space of technical writing. ChatGPT and Anthropic Claude can be used to summarize content and preview documents.
  • “AI works almost like a personal assistant, helping to review and revise the content and understand it better,” adds Rene. Technical writers can get more ideas from it, not just content and brainstorm with it. For example, they can ask, “This is the information I have, what does it mean? How can I say this in a different way?”
  • In order to ensure that AI-generated content aligns with their documentation style, Rene emphasizes that technical writers should follow a style guide and make sure the output matches what they are trying to communicate to the user.
  • “AI adds its own flair and ideas when too much free rein is given. When prompting or asking a question to AI, it is important to stay focused on the text you are working on. Keep the formatting consistent and avoid deviating too much”, adds Rene.
  • Rene highlights that the biggest concern for technical writers is relying too much on AI-generated content without proper review, they must thoroughly fact-check and review AI-generated content to minimize hallucinations (factually incorrect outputs).
  • It is important for technical writers to actively participate in AI adoption to understand its capabilities and limitations.

Also read: The Responsibilities for Technical Writers in the GenAI Era

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