Why AI is Scary, Complicated, Marvelous, and Going to Change the World of Marketing

Recently, we’ve all seen our Facebook feeds filled with custom, colorful likenesses of our friends generated by Lensa AI. We’ve heard how ChatGPT can generate A+ college essays, Netflix-worthy scripts, and even computer code. We’ve also noticed how these technologies can produce whitewashed images and content. So, can artificial intelligence (AI) change marketing for the better? We break down what you need to know about generative AI today.

*Note: One paragraph in this article was written with the help of ChatGPT. Let us know if you can tell which one.

The basics

While AI has been around for decades, it has become increasingly mainstream and much more advanced. Today, AI is made up of two components: instructions (aka algorithms) and the data that teaches algorithms. The data fed to AI programs helps the software “think” without human interference. Like humans, the more information they are given, the more innovative and better AI programs become. These AI algorithms can create content, analyze patterns, propose strategies, and create imagery beyond our wildest imaginations.

The ramifications

The more we rely on technology, the more problems are brought to the forefront. No, you aren’t actively giving away your privacy when you use generative AI. (You gave away your privacy long ago when you started using the internet.) But carefully drafted federal regulation in this space written by those who understand the technology would not be a bad idea. There are many questions to be considered, like, “Who owns the rights to the content and images being produced by AI?” “Should there be limits coded into algorithms before they are released?” “Who is going to monitor AI as it moves about our world?” Hopefully, new laws will address these questions while separating fact from fiction.

The repercussions

AI can seem scary. After all, AI now begs the question: What is a “creative” person? Most creative individuals have centered their life’s work around the output of their efforts. Maybe you pride yourself on being able to come up with a metaphor on the fly or dream up a landscape that never existed. As such, AI can make us question how we view ourselves. Where is the divide between art and the tools used to create it? While there will always be opportunities to flex your creative muscles, this pivotal moment will force creators to evaluate the tools they use to get the job done.

The options

Unsurprisingly, as with all technology, not all AI is created equally. The options for writing content and creating images are seemingly endless. One popular choice is GPT-3, developed by OpenAI. It’s a huge language model that can generate convincing human-like text. You can use it to create content, translate languages, and even build chatbots. Another option is DALL-E, also from OpenAI. This one is all about generating images from text descriptions. So, if you want to see a three-legged flamingo standing on one leg, type that into DALL-E, and it’ll churn out an image for you. There are plenty of other tiers of AI programs and tools out there for creating content and images, using techniques like machine learning, neural networks, and evolutionary algorithms. From Jasper.ai’s basic writing to Midjourney’s amazing imagery creation, the results are pretty magical.

The path forward

The bottom line: AI isn’t going away. Simply put, now is the time to get in front of it. Putting these tools to work for you is in your best interest. Think of AI tools as ways to complement your strengths, bolster your weaknesses, and save money. For example, AI can help you cut out the middleman before pitching an idea. You can use AI to do a mock-up that you can then share with your marketing team, guide your marketing agency, or hire the right person for the project. Your time and budget are better spent on the tasks you enjoy and are good at doing.

How can you put AI to work for you?

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