If we are to believe all the articles currently being written on the subject of Artificial Intelligence, it’s highly probable that it will cause the end of humanity.
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David Jones, founder and CEO, The Brandtech Group.
Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, the most exciting platform of the moment also signed the recent “doomsday” letter, but he was in a more optimistic mood when I was lucky enough to be on a recent Zoom meeting with him, stating that with all new technologies humans go from, “That will never work” to “Oh my God, this is amazing” to “We’re all going to die!!” before settling into leveraging its potential.
One of the key reasons GenAI has exploded, creating all this concern and condemning Web3 to the digital dungeon (for the moment), is ease of use. I was chatting about generative AI with my 86-year-old mum, who professed to not understand it at all. Every year for her holiday “Christmas” card, my mum, a talented artist, draws a robin and writes some festive text. In under five minutes using ChatGPT-4 we created a charming seasonal poem and generated images of a red robin surfing in Antarctica on Midjourney. She immediately understood the power of GenAI!
But, beyond robins, what are the use cases in marketing?
The simple answer is absolutely everything! It’s a bit like asking what can I use electricity or water for.
A friend who is launching a hair care brand came round a few weeks ago and in under an hour we used GenAI to write his business plan (one of its more impressive features), come up with numerous taglines, product ingredient stories, visuals, pack design, hair shots, a press release, and a fun poem about his success. It is a great example of what one of my partners calls “unremarkable things done remarkably”.
There is little that GenAI does today that humans couldn’t do - it’s not what it does that is remarkable - what is remarkable is how it does it - in a matter of minutes and (currently) for free!
The Greatest Creative Revolution in History: Creator Economy AI
There is however this myth that all human creativity is amazing, and that AI is going to come along and make it terrible. Last time I checked, an enormous amount of human creativity was dull, boring, or even annoying. This year's Super Bowl ads were quite depressingly bad. Contrast that with the hypothetical GenAI Wes Anderson Star Wars trailer.
Rather than undermining creativity, Gen AI will, in my view, create the greatest creative revolution in history. The GenAI tools that we already have at our disposal are pretty incredible, and they are only going to get better.
One of the biggest impacts AI will have is on the Creator Economy. The tools give everyone incredible production capabilities they could only have dreamed of a few years ago. Imagine the Creator Economy to the power of AI.
We will also enter an era of hyper-personalization, where AI-powered storytelling will allow brands to deliver highly personalized individually tailored content at vast scale: cost will no longer be a barrier to the amount of content we can produce. Gartner said content was the biggest bottleneck in marketing this decade – not anymore!
Getting Ahead of the Issues
Beyond the exciting potential there are some big immediate issues for marketers to consider. From copyright issues, to avoiding creating offensive content, to ownership of AI model training data, to ensuring confidential information isn't being shared.
Finally, and critically, if you’ve watched the MissJourney video, you’ll know that if you ask most of the GenAI platforms to visualize a “professional” - less than 20 percent of the results are women and even fewer are people of color. There is an urgent need for the industry to come together. For us to harness the power of the world’s biggest brands to ensure generative AI is responsible. We acted too late on social media. We can get ahead on generative AI.
I believe that what generative AI is going to do to the world of marketing will be a greater change than we saw with social media and the mobile revolution. And that far from destroying jobs, it will create vast new opportunities for those people who are excited about how AI can augment them. And we will, in my view, witness the greatest creation of value and wealth we have ever seen.
Unless of course we’re all dead! 😉