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AI in marketing - Fascination, terror, liberation

AI in marketing - Fascination, terror, liberation

Using AI for SEO, Marketing and Content Creation? - Just keep hold of the stick

Artificial intelligence is currently (Feb 23) shaking the world of SEO, content creation and marketing to its very core. From my experience so far however, I'd say it's vital to assert yourself firmly as the pilot and not the co-pilot when you take one out for a test flight.

Fascination - Wow!, it's capable, willing and fast

The ability of AI to research, categorise and classify data far exceeds any traditional methods. It's understanding coupled with its speed and 24/7 availability has made it an irresistible attraction for time-hungry writers, editors and researchers in every part of the industry.

From a one-line tweet to the transcript for a novel, the first wave of commercial Apps running on the NLP (natural language processing) algorithm is impressive. The first time I asked ChatGPT to write something I was, as most are I suspect, fascinated by the experience. I sat there, mouth agape as it effortlessly filled my screen with endless paragraphs of relevant content.

Terror - Oh no, maybe the machines will take over?

Next came the sci-fi film moment. Will it laugh at me as it learns all there is to learn at an exponential rate and then, with all knowledge at its synthetic fingertips, connect to the world's defence networks and reduce us all to nuclear ash, or maybe batteries? (I watch too many films)

The paranoia passed to be replaced with the slightly more realistic, hmmm... maybe we'll all just lose our jobs as our employers and clients subscribe to AI services and gradually automate their needs for a fraction of the current cost? But then I really studied its output. Something is missing.

Liberation - Hang on, it's helpful and fast yes, but it's also soulless

As the mighty Nick Cave recently commented on ChatGPT's efforts to write some song lyrics in his style, "this song is bullshit".

As exciting as AI content generators are in early 2023 they essentially act in the same way that a classroom full of hugely enthusiastic, 11 year old grammar school children trying to impress their English teacher would.

Having taken down the brief, they tear off to the library and read a few hundred books in a matter of seconds. They get writing and then rush back to dump a pile of related, grammatically correct but nearly always ill-considered paragraphs on the desk. Then they fall asleep.

There's lots of material and potential in the pile, yes. But without the infinitely more amazing and intuitive liquidity of a human brain to filter, edit, direct and then polish the output, their efforts, as Nick pointed out, can become just a big pile of incohesive poo.

Yay! - We've all been promoted

But hey, this is a good thing. The human being calling the shots now has a research assistant, a junior copywriter, a general gofer or whatever else they need the AI to be.

Always keen, always on call and always happy to do the donkey work. Good I say, let them do it whilst we humans have a cup of tea, plan the piece we need and when we are ready, turn the sow's ear into a silk purse.

AI is already saving me a ton of time and I'm slowly learning to love my ridiculously prodigious co-pilot. But he'd best get comfortable in the right hand seat. I can't see me trusting him to sign off on our flight plans for a long, long time.

Hopefully never.

Michael & Jasper (in that order)

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