You would have to be living in a hole (that doesn’t have WiFi) to not have heard the increasing buzz surrounding all things AI and ChatGPT over the past few months. As the technology moves on apace and the wider implications of generative AI are further explored, here is why it is time to get on board.

Catching the curve

We are all used to fads …think Rubik’s Cubes or Pokémon Go! However, ChatGPT - the generative AI chatbot which had 100 million monthly active users 2 months after launch[i] - signals the popularisation of something that is far more than just a passing fad.

For a bit of background, Alan Turing (famed for his wartime code breaking work[ii]) first began to theorise about thinking machines and machine learning back in the 1950’s. Since then, we have seen chatbots develop and spread their wings (think email spam filters and ecommerce buying recommendations, as well as online customer service tools).

However, a new era of generative AI is now upon us. Moving on from making predictions based on data, generative AI allows for the creation of entirely new content based on data. A case in point - type some text into ChatGPT, DALL-E 2 and other generative AI’s and you can create a story, code for programming, a poem or a work of art.

The potential for generative AI is only just being realised with more and more text-to-text, text-to-video and text-to-image iterations coming online all the time. But as the CEO of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Sam Altman, has been recorded as saying, AI could be "unbelievably good" or mean "lights out for all."[iii]

Generative AI - a tool or a solution?

So, is generative AI a tool or a solution for us marketeers and producers? Well, let’s have a quick refresher of what the definitions of these two words are:

  • Solution - the answer to a problem[iv]
  • Tool – something that helps you to do a particular activity[v]

Although many are presenting generative AI as a solution to all their content and other problems, it is in fact only a very clever and powerful tool, that can be used for good …or for bad. As one commentator said on a recent Mintel Little Conversation podcast about new AI trends[vi], “AI is only a tool, and you need a human to use the tool. The person has to decide what to use the tool for, what questions to put into the tool, and even if you want to look for new insight, AI is basically rooted in the past, so can’t come up with something genuinely new. The human needs to be able to make sense of the tool and use it appropriately.”

Using generative AI as a tool – things to be aware of

Double check the output - A lot has been written about the present potential for inaccuracy and biases when using generative AI. This is because it works by trawling the internet for content and a lot of that content can come from unsubstantiated sources. Without doubt, these issues will be minimised at some point in the future, but at present anyone using this tech must apply quality control throughout the output generation process. Also, it’s worth noting that at present most text-to-text generative AI’s don’t include source referencing as of yet in their output.

Who owns the output? – There are various legal cases ongoing at present, as challenges about ownership of AI generated output are being contested in the courts. For example, under current US law ‘no one owns AI generated art’[vii]. In fact, the US Copyright Office has already refused copyright registration for AI-generated art because, as it stands, it requires human authorship. While legislation catches up with this brave new world, marketeers and producers would do well to be cautious about how and where they use their AI generated content.

Beware Google’s spam policies - Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of Google’s spam policies. Google’s concept of E-E-A-T is outlined in the “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page, which has been updated with additional guidance. If automation has been used to create the content, then Google wants you to be transparent and explain why it was used.

Using generative AI for good - It can be used as a ‘virtual colleague’ to give viewpoints and responses that you might not have previously considered. It can also be used to free up time from process work (text for emails etc) and ‘ease the mental load’ in some areas, freeing up time for more strategic activities.

Whether you count yourself a tech whizz or a troglodyte, generative AI will have an ever-increasing impact on all our work, rest and play. So, recognising its potential and getting on board is something we all must do – even if we don’t quite know where the bus is going yet!









By | April 13th, 2023 | Categories: Digital Marketing

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