The AI arms race, led by Microsoft’s ChatGPT App since its launch in November 2022, has just heated up with Google’s new venture Bard, its own version of conversational content generation. This could be another disruptive game-changer as Bard is powered by Google’s proprietary Language Model for Dialogue Applications, or LaMDA, which one engineer described as “bordering on sentient”.
Scary stuff. Well maybe. Inevitable. Definitely. With Microsoft investing billions into ChatGPT, its scope and depth will only improve. Developments are occurring at a rapid pace, with an example being ChatGPTs subsumption into Bing.com. However, with multiple millions of users per day using Google’s free search engine, Bard’s capability to scrape real-time information places it one step ahead of many competitors.
Obviously, these AI tools are a threat to those whose careers depend on content generation. In South Korea, AI newsreaders are already in action and a photo editor of an international newspaper recently told me he sat “through a demonstration on how my job will be redundant in a few years”. A colleague of mine is now a digital artist by just saying what he might like to ‘see’ in a picture. The results are quite astounding.
These apps cut the corners other tech cannot reach!
In the past few months, the Apps popularity have been jet-propelled via social media as the easiest way to write a 900-word essay on Macbeth without ever picking up a copy of Shakespeare. However, if the whole school is using the app, then every pupil will be submitting the same one-dimensional essay and I can imagine both teachers and parents are going to see right through this ruse pretty quickly.
But can AI ever replace the creativity and ingenuity of humans? The best description of how these tools can be integrated into corporate life is that the Apps are the enablers, but the human brings the strategy. Give Bard a list of questions on information needed for a campaign, and within seconds it has scraped the internet and all information is there, listed perfectly. But it doesn’t then tell you how to target the information, understand the audiences or put context around that information.
Companies that depend on marcomms strategy driven by content – speed and ‘agility’ to adapt the narrative are keys for success – will see the appeal. Though this strategy survives on stimulating the Google Analytic algorithm with ‘green’ content that has substance. The word is originality. Even if you were to type ‘originality’ into the app, my guess is that thousands of marketing executives have typed the same word too. Thousands of times!
Content creation needs a human hand. In fact, the human mind needs to be entertained. As musician Nick Cave said of the song that ChatGPT created for him: “This song sucks”. While copywriters who churn out copy for consumer-focused fintechs should worry, Apps cannot replace the human intervention of adding context and thinking about the future, not solely about the past. Communication strategy is not merely content generation but creation, and specialists help orchestrate this vision and specifically target the right stakeholders.
Humans must always be embedded to assist any AI driven projects that companies initiate.