AI, baby. From BladeRunner to HAL 9000, super-smart bots have been lurking at the back of our consciousness for a while now. Sure, sure, we thought it would cure cancer or drive our cars or help us colonize Mars (or, like, kill us all), but it turns out that one of the early areas that AI is excelling in is generating content.

Yep, I heard your ears prick up at that. But hold up, buster. There’s more to this brave new landscape than just generating some content and whacking it up online. Here’s where we are right now (caveat – tech moves fast, so none of this might apply tomorrow!) 

One Art, Please

A few weeks back, there was a ton of discussion around AI art generators. Basically, you type in a search string, the way you would on Google, and the generator spits out an image in response. One art, please, As Futurama’s Zoidberg would say.

Now look, some of that art looks great. And it’s instantaneous to generate…and FREE! BUT. Big ol’ BUT here. There’s a ton of iffiness around who owns that art. See, all AI is “trained” on data. And the data those AI art bots are trained on is all the art available on the web – which isn’t necessarily licensed for commercial use (or training purposes). 

And artists are MAD about it, y’all. And fair enough. So my takeaway around AI-generated art is this – be super careful about using it in your social media or related campaigns. You might land yourself in some hot copyright-related water. Be safe. Head to Canva instead.

Chat GPT (not a car)

Okay, so we’ve talked about AI-generated images. But what about AI-generated text? Yep, Kurt Vonnegut was prescient about this whole thing – Player Piano is here, baby. Anyway. So, there are a bunch of AI-backed text generators out there, from naming tools to tagline generators, but the one that’s getting a ton of attention right now is Chat GPT. Released to the public by artificial intelligence firm Open AI, Chat GPT allows you to type in questions and queries, and then responds with some pretty solid, usable results. (And by that I mean solid enough that students are using it to write essays, and jobseekers are using it to write cover letters…hoo boy, fun times await!) 

It’s a super amazing piece of tech, BUT (yep, another BUT for ya) it’s got its own problems. The Chat GPT crew readily admits that the tech can exhibit biased behavior or produce problematic answers – remember, it’s been trained on the internet, friends, so…IYKYK. You might also get content that sounds good, but that doesn’t actually make sense, or that’s confidently incorrect. Kind of like talking to a frat boy. 

I think the copyright iffiness of Chat GPT isn’t quite as troublesome as the AI image generators, but relying on an AI for your written content totally raises questions around:

-Accuracy – is it putting out clear, accurate, relevant info?

-Tonality – is it creating content that fits your voice and perspective?

-Originality – is it creating fresh, new content, or just rehashing what’s out there? 

Where I’d personally use Chat GPT is in terms of content ideation. Ask it to come up with 10 ideas for a certain social media platform for a certain audience. Have it generate small stuff like captions, hashtags or headings, or basic body copy…but then jazz up the results so that it fits your tone. (Need help generating ideas using your real human brain? I gotcha.)

Like, sure, you could probably use Chat GPT to write perfectly serviceable content, but if everyone else is doing the same thing, welp, you’re just gonna have to be that much better to stand out. Think of it like the key-stuffed web pages we used to see everywhere. They’ve gone the way of the Dodo because people want to read stuff that’s actually good.

So, takeaways? 

-AI is doing some cool stuff, and it’s good to keep your finger on the pulse.

-AI art copyright is iffy – do the right thing, and don’t steal!!

-Think of AI as a support, not your main approach. 

-Great content is going to matter MORE as the pool of AI-generated content grows.

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