AI is all the rage, finding a brighter spotlight in the past several weeks as it continues to improve and promises to pave the way to faster and easier content creation with nearly unlimited applications.
From creating artwork to sales copy to song lyrics to fiction writing to blogging to tweeting, AI is getting a workout. And the more it’s used, the more it “learns.”
Who isn’t enamored with the idea of producing artwork when usually you aren’t able to draw a stick figure? Who doesn’t want to increase productivity? Many colleagues are swooning about the possibilities. Some have been using it for a while now.
Still, most agree, at this point, AI is a tool, not a solution. It requires human intervention, from critical inputs to fact-checking and more.
Anyway, I figure it’s about time I pipe in on this disruptive technology and, perhaps, call attention to a few problematic aspects I see.
But before I jump in with my questions/concerns around AI, maybe I should preface it with my initial reaction.
I’m sure my immediate response is biased and stems from a writer’s standpoint. Because first, I thought, who needs help with writing? Or ideas for writing, for that matter? I’m overflowing with both. I truly hate taking time to sleep sometimes because I’m
having fun writing working on writing projects.
Besides, each writer’s work is (and should be) unique. Your voice, take, and ideas are individual. They’re yours alone. And most importantly, you need to bring something original to the conversation. Your personal experience is part of this, too, as are your education, background, and beliefs. Humor?
Without a human view, all you have is an echo chamber. What’s the point?
Concerns With AI
And that’s precisely one of my top concerns. Will this morph into only one answer, one same voice, AI-generated out?
Could we next end up with groupthink? Can AI’s information/responses be manipulated like social platforms are found guilty of doing?
There are reports that AI sometimes gives jibber-jabber responses, delivers misinformation or false answers, and replicates biases in some topic results. So, who’s monitoring AI technology for accuracy and balance? Do we need legal guidelines? And where do the results come from?
This brings me to my next question. Where does AI cross the line into Intellectual Property infringement? For example, as a professional writer, I’ve had my proprietary work scraped, “borrowed,” (stolen), and otherwise used or misused with no attribution. (I love when you share my content, but at least credit me, please!)
- Will the rights-reserved work of writers and other creators end up getting pulled into AI results?
- Where are they gathering the data to crawl?
- Are results one-sided or biased on any topics?
- How reliable are AI information and data sources?
- Any criteria or fact-checking at all?
- Security or fraud issues? (Open Source software is a factor.)
Since we know unreliable results are occurring, these questions and others are even more critical.
One example I recently encountered was an art contest where an AI-created piece won 1st place over all the hand-crafted human submissions. Images that no doubt, when done by hand, took much longer to create, for starters.
This gentleman, Mr. Urbach, has a lot to say on the matter of Intellectual Property and comparing machine-based work to unreplicable human-centric capabilities, including a lot of unmeasurable stuff like thinking, creativity, and drawing conclusions. Further, worrying about much bigger implications after all the initial fun and games are over, he says of AI, “It’s global, institutional plagiarism masquerading as an interpretive process.”
In the case of an Art Show, are these apples to apples? Maybe AI’s influence forces artists into technology to compete, but then do we begin to lose skill sets? Dexterity? Certainly, whole industries (think paints or art supplies) may fall off.
Will fewer things be handmade or human-crafted? NFTs are an example of an art world untouched by human hands. Intriguing, right?
Despite a slew of questions and uncertainty around AI and its role in the digital landscape— for creatives in particular— I admit curiosity and skepticism mixed together made me want to investigate more.
I test new things all the time to stay on top of business and help clients. I like to
play work with digital tools, tech, and software. People won’t shut up about AI, so better check it out! At least a little.
(Maybe you can tell I had to talk myself into this!) Anyway, as I previously noted, AI is a tool and requires human interaction to work. Further, it needs monitoring. Not only for expertise but for correctness at every level. Edits and adjustments are a given.
Like all programs, tech, and machines, humans are the operators. At least for now. But is there a point where human intervention is no longer needed? Can AI learn to out-operate human operators?
Leveraging AI may be the differentiator between who cashes out and who loses out, especially for writers, artists, and content creators right now. However, ultimately, the question is how will its infiltration into the digital world (or the real world, for that matter) change all content outputs, creative, written, audio, video, artistic, and otherwise? How will it change, possibly deplete, human interactivity?
There are a few writers surfacing as AI experts already and promoting smarter and more efficient (accurate) outcomes by providing better-written input by users. Lisa Sicard of Inspire to Thrive has been testing the Jasper.ai tool for some time now and finds it quite useful in operating her many blogs, clients, and more for her thriving digital business. Lisa’s tool of choice is Jasper.ai, and she uncovers a lot to delight in if you want to test the tool for yourself! If you are going to adopt this tool, this makes perfect sense. I like the idea of getting “massively ahead” using smart productivity-enhancing tools.
But, you know, there’s a certain satisfaction and ownership in what I pull out of my brain, myself.
That said, I think this is pretty great advice from Rob, so here you go. Here are 10 techniques to get massively ahead using AI by Rob Lennon:
Still, the “learning” capability AI provides constantly improves. But we have to wonder, to what end?
Will everything debatable be neatly wrapped into a singular vanilla answer? THE answer as concluded by AI? Another Google SERP situation, only even more limited, in the results people will see, perhaps?
Human Feelings and AI
Emotions are the X factor for humans, and you see behavioral psychology hone in on emotional triggers that incite behaviors over and over again. As marketers, we’re always asking, what makes a person take an action? Specifically, what motivates them to act?
But what other forces play on human emotional responses in a swirling world of upheaval? Are there also social, cultural, economic, political, and other factors at play that continually influence human emotions and, subsequently, behaviors as well?
What about technology overload? The digital space is vastly growing and at a head-spinning speed. People are already running as fast as they can to catch on and stay up-to-date. And it’s everywhere, spindling itself into aspects of daily life and transactions.
We are the keepers of integrity in our homes, industry, and the bigger world. We must view our tech stacks, software, and tools as extensions of ourselves to ultimately connect with people. (For whatever—good, not evil—purposes.)
When tech becomes the solution and not just the tool, the people-first focus for quality business relationships becomes more and more obsolete. It’s already happening.
Dumbing Down Education?
Educational ramifications are also side effects of the use of AI and other technologies. Are students slipping backward, as indications show, at least in the US? Are we all lazier in ways, trusting tech over research, or instead of experiencing things in person?
You have to wonder and worry, is technology removing the need (and ability) for children to learn and use critical thinking? Are educators able to leverage and teach the proper use of such tools? And so many more questions and perspectives in this area alone!
It doesn’t help that the whole educational system is antiquated and in drastic need of repair. However, some of the problems in education have already created a shift in attitudes about socialization, human connections, relationships, and face-to-face learning environments for our children. (Along with shutdowns, of course, and many other current safety issues (guns, metal detectors, and security, anyone?) curriculum or censorship concerns, and much more running amuck, alarmingly, in education.)
Here’s an interesting discussion around the New York City Education Department’s take on Chat.ai (they’re banning it) via a Twitter feed, with tons of points, pros, and cons about AI’s place in education. And a few say banning it from a school’s computers won’t change anything, anyway.
I know some of my questions and concerns, as you can see with the education topic, are sprouting treelike structures and planting a bunch of additional seedlings I’m very curious to watch grow! One question leads to another. AI is spreading. It’s growing fast and gaining prominence everywhere.
Now we need to know, who is the real keeper of answers?
What About Google’s Take?
Blog Aid’s proprietor, MaAnna, gives a few additional warnings about your AI approach, including a warning about “cut and pasting” from AI software directly to your site!
Here’s MaAnna’s synopsis with a few warnings for AI use on your website or to make products:
- “First, Google already has their own AI detectors running since this summer, and they are REALLY cracking down on sites with AI-generated content.
- Second, one person assembled a graphic novel with AI-generated copy and graphics. And the copyright office will not issue a copyright on the collected work. They want more proof of significant human creation.
- Third, if you intend to make videos using AI-generated voiceovers with those text-to-speech services, be SURE you read their Terms of Service and that you are using their commercially licensed product. Those voices and that service have a different license so that the generated material can be used on YouTube and other platforms for commercial promotion.”
One BlogAid blog commenter named Barney Davey mentions this big one!
“Another concern is recency. For example, here is a partial return from a query about an industry outlook for 2023 from chat.open.ai.
‘I’m sorry, but I cannot provide information about future events as my knowledge is limited to what has already happened up until September 2021. I also don’t have access to browse the internet or access current information.'”
Relevancy and currency are certainly issues to think about, especially for research and data-driven projects. And, let’s face it, human/machine unification is not new but is a big part of advances in human civilization for all time. Technology is the basis of the digital world we know and often love. But this larger and larger reliance on tech to do anything feels like it’s getting out of hand.
Still, the new term is “prompt engineering” for getting the most from your AI program. There are spreadsheet shares, YouTube videos, and more that are all aiming to educate you on how to educate the AI you work with to provide stronger, more accurate, and useful results. Still, in all cases, human intervention is mandatory.
People love it, and people hate it, but AI is here to stay.
Whether it turns out to be a blessing or a curse is still unknown as we witness a quaking disruption to how and what content is becoming. Will more automation bring less human contact? Will original and unique content dissipate?
One copywriter I read, Neville Medhora, posted this hopeful outlook on LinkedIn:
ChatGPT likely won’t take away a SINGLE job in the whole world…
…but it’s going to make some jobs a whole lot easier, and restructure what some job titles do.”
Morning Brew, on the other hand, questions the future of designers in this article, talking about DALL-E-2, the visual-creations sister of GPTChat.ai. Still, the tone feels hopeful with the following quote as an example.
If we can create a [symbiotic] relationship between humans and machines, that will only help us push our graphic-design forward.”Kyle Li, Assistant Professor of Communication Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design
Are writers, artists, and all creators in jeopardy? Will content lose value, becoming a sea of sameness with single vanilla answers? Still, I can’t help but jump to the word “fake” as my first response to the word “artificial.” And I know the real deal is always better than a fake, right?
If you’re like me and having fun creating all kinds of web content, you’re probably thinking, what will an internet of AI power over people-power feel like?
I often feel grateful that I grew up before computers and cell phones were known or used by toddlers and people, replacing all the things we did instead. I’m not sure reliance on anything so exponentially is good.
What’s your take?