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?
I believe the biggest problem is not with AI but with people and there short term memory.
A.I. is simply the next boogey man or excuse for the Chicken LIttle’s of the world to cry, “The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling”.
AI is NO different than any other disruptive technology that we have enjoyed over the last 50 years. Case in point…
The Music Industry cried and whined about MP3 digital technology. Now they make billions on the same technology they fought against. Did some people lose their jobs, yes. The vinyl record producers lost their jobs.
But how many of you would rather wait in line at Tower Records to buy a new record instead of downloading 1000’s of song on your phone? What, None??
In the 1980’s the movie industry actually sued Sony Corporation which was referred to as the Betamax case. Now Sony owns a huge majority of motion pictures and the industry makes billions from streaming video services.
Anyone want to go back to Blockbuster to rent a VHS tape? What, No??
I could go on and on with example after example of how every single person who protest against AI would never go back to using the previous generations of technology.
Is anyone other than me old enough to be around in 1981 with the introduction of the IBM PC? And how this toy was never going to be able to compete with mainframes and minicomputers.
AI is not about copyright, or art or even replacing talented writers. It is about the ability to develop and manipulate data models in new and unique ways. Just like Google and Yahoo organized data on websites, things like GPT and other data models will be able to do the same PLUS PLUS PLUS for law databases, Math, History and hundreds of other sources of information.
It is December 17, 1903 and we are currently witnessing Orville and Wilbur Wright’s demonstration of flight, not the Space Shuttle. Lets look back before we get all upset about something that NO one can predict. The Future.
The point of ALL of this boils down to one simple point. STOP LOOKING DOWN AND LOOK UP AND OUT. Everyone likes to complain about how something will be but the problem is they only look down and do not see the future. They only see the spot they are standing on, not the potential of what will or could be.
Sue-Ann Bubacz says
Thanks for your perspective. I love how you are looking forward to the ride and considering what can be…
I find the whole thing, the discussion and the tech, fascinating. I’m always up for trying things and experimenting, though:) Thank you for taking the time to comment and check out the post.
I’m asking the questions, but certainly don’t have the answers, and this is another relevant position to consider, so thanks again. Sue-Ann
Ryan Biddulph says
The infringement thingee is one of many problems with AI Sue-Ann. What’s worse? The upsides of using it create even worse problems because relying heavily on AI simply makes people dumber, less emotionally intelligent and more easily manipulated.
Mind is a muscle. Use it or lose it. If AI does your work, you lose your mind because you stop thinking each time AI handles an outline, brainstorms or writes an entire post. This is madness. This is nuts. People brag about something that is making them more scared, lazier, dumber and less emotionally intelligent. I cannot fathom even trying to make sense of it.
As always my friend, great post! Keep up the inspired blogging work.
Sue-Ann Bubacz says
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, and I can tell you I’m in complete congruence with you on working one’s mind. I feel enormous satisfaction in thinking, organization, research, and writing. Until it blew up so much lately, it never occurred to me to need or want to use an AI tool. There’s pleasure in the doing over the outcome to an extent in this trade.
There is no doubt I am slower. More reflective. Sometimes, designing the visuals and creating copy, or headlines, take longer than writing for my projects. But they will always be original, not pulled from the generated list. I don’t know. I’m sure AI is useful for productivity-based businesses. On the other hand, content for content’s sake doesn’t help anyone, the business, or their visitors.
One thing hanging in my crah is this question… will anything ever be genuinely original again if there is a part, any part, of AI writing in the process? Even an outline is feeding (persuading?) the content’s direction and not originating from the writer/publisher, right?
I haven’t used any AI for writing, as yet, except to play around by myself, testing functionality. I kind of prefer to do the writing myself when I put my name on it. But I do think there’s a lot of AI all around us, often unrealized, in this age of technology. Hang on to your hat, my friend!
Ryan Biddulph says
Interesting to check back in 2 months later Sue-Ann.
The originality thingee is food for thought. I do not feel clear on it right now so would not use it. I also know that the only thing ai does better than Ryan is increase output but if output put rear ends in the seats and money in the bank account we’d have been replaced by computers 50 years ago. Alas, the human spirit still makes the most bank and gains the most exposure, by being truly helpful.
The ai movement has changed from a collection of “set it and forget it” bloggers who seemed to dominate the narrative to more bloggers who embrace their mind power and work ethic, first, then see artificial intelligence for its supplementary powers.
As for me, with each passing day, I learn that life and blogging success are not about time, speed and trying to increase output but allowing love manifest as creativity and connecting, to shine brightly. If ai helps in either regard, go for it. If not, you can be just as successful by being truly helpful and tapping into the human spirit by making friends at every turn.
Lisa Sicard says
Hi Sue-Ann, I have a love-hate relationship with AI, LOL. But I do use it from time to time. It helps me get started to write in a more concise way. I use it to redo old paragraphs as well from time to time.
But what I do not use it for is research. I learned that early on as you mentioned it is biased. I wrote about wind turbines and the AI would not reflect any bad effects from them, only the “environmental brainwashing” stuff you see everywhere and every day.
So that’s my biggest fear with it.
I’ve also learned when I’m really passionate about what I’m writing I can write almost as fast as the AI. I can certainly tweet faster, LOL.
But on the other hand, AI has saved me a lot of TIME with my blogs and generating content and even higher quality emails than I can produce.
It’s like any tool – it helps us but doesn’t take us away. Imagine a mechanic without any tools.
We have been using AI for years now, a high school dance back in the late 70s found matches for us vs a computer after we inputted info. Google has been using AI for everything and GPS. And everyone’s favorite blogging tool Grammarly uses AI. Even Canva is getting into the picture with it.
AI all has its plus and minuses just as technology and everyone being on their phones 24/7.
We have to go with the flow, grow with technology, use it right, or get left behind in the dust.
Sue-Ann Bubacz says
Thanks for taking the time to comment…I know you’re crazy busy!
But I love your attitude in that we have to embrace and grow with change, especially when it comes to business. AND isn’t it interesting how much AI is in place that we are so used to we hardly notice.
For me, it’s a reminder that technology is an important bridge to help people connect with people.
I’m sure we’ll keep experimenting, Lisa, and thank you, again,
Erika Mohssen-Beyk says
AI is everywhere, and if we use it with awareness, it can be good. 🙂 For example, I use Grammarly, which also uses AI, and recently I realized that it wants to change my sentences in a way I do not want. So I do not let it do this. 🙂
I think, AI can not write as you would do; it has no intuition and feelings and not your unique experience. And like with everything, there will be people who follow the trend without criticism and think it is cool, but many will also be aware and follow people with integrity.
You are right, it also needs regulations, as all is only recycled out of content that already exists. But maybe it will take time until people get really aware of this and demand to do something about it.
Unfortunately, also moronization will continue. Maybe now it is not allowed to use it in schools, the same as before calculators.
We will see how it goes, and observe it.
I think it should be discussed to identify areas in which we need to raise our awareness.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about AI
Sue-Ann Bubacz says
Grammarly is a perfect example of AI we don’t even think about and use.
But you are soo right. I keep my eye on it as it will mix up what I really want, mean, or feel like using as a creative choice. I also override it a lot, it seems. But I love having it catch other things. Editing is a several-round situation, anyway! lol
I have concerns about the lack of critical thinking, social (educational) and cultural implications, and even things like dexterity and physicality with the human-to-technology lifestyle of today. Artistry. Handcraftsmanship. But changes in how we do things are not new, of course. How this pans out over time will be an exciting ride!
Thanks so much for stopping by to read and share and especially for taking the time to comment, Erika! Take care, Sue-Ann