Navigating Emerging Technologies, Starting with Marketing and Communication’s New Darling: Artificial Intelligence
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the news… AI is here.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not a particularly new technology, but recent advances have disrupted the industry faster than Swifties broke Ticketmaster. As a transformative force across various industries, these new systems have offered unprecedented opportunities and parallel challenges. It is essential for marketers and communicators to embrace the potential of AI while understanding the pitfalls it presents.
In this blog, we explore the delicate balance between paranoia and innovation, the timeline of technological advancements since the development of the PC and the internet, the impact on journalism, the pitfalls of AI use, and the important role we play in establishing the use of technology responsibly.
So grab a cup of coffee– we’re about to unravel some of the complexities of AI and do what we marketers always do, innovate and evolve.
Timeline of Technological Advancements:
Since the development of the PC and the internet, technology has progressed rapidly. It has been nearly twenty-five years since WiFi was named. Only twenty years have passed since the Bluetooth headset was introduced and just a short fifteen years since the iPhone was launched. We now have all imaginable types of smart wear and are testing self-driving cars. AI is actually older than all of these technologies, but it wasn’t until recently that it truly emerged, enhancing the tools that we are utilizing and revolutionizing industries.
Paranoia vs. Innovation:
Historically, the fear of innovation has been the downfall of many great companies as they hesitate in the face of disruption and avoid adapting to new or changing technologies. These companies are not prepared for the Infinite Game, as Simon Sinek has labeled it, and instead laugh, doubt, or simply refuse what disruption could mean. The downfall of Blockbuster is a prime example. The scoffing at Netflix’s model and sheer reluctance to embrace online streaming resulted in a crash and burn that is the stuff of college business class “what not to do” legend.
As these new AI technologies continue to develop and emerge, there is a similar sense of paranoia and reluctance to adapt.
And we get it…
We are being fed stories of a reality where robots have gone rogue, and humans have become technologically tethered zombies being fed pings, dings, and notifications to meet needs we did not even know we have. Newsflash, we aren’t far off from this already.
Impact on Journalism:
As newsroom staffs continue to dwindle, AI is being considered as a source for supporting the generation of articles or even possibly replacing reporters. Aside from the impacts on jobs, this presents a true legitimate threat to local journalism and the humanity of journalism. What lacks in local journalism – the local – cannot be replaced by a tool that cannot capture the human stories that make journalism compelling. In fact, seeing little Johnny’s name in the paper or learning about the fifty-year success of the local diner might be the only thing saving local news, and an AI cannot replace the investigative skills, critical thinking, and storytelling expertise of good reporting.
One of the significant pitfalls when using AI is the potential for misinformation and outright plagiarism. As marketers and communications experts, we must be vigilant about giving credit where it is due and avoiding the misuse of copyrighted material. Proper attribution for quotes, statistics, and data is paramount to maintaining credibility, trust, and ethical standards.
We’re all about efficiency and process here at LMC–therefore we’re stoked about the potential of AI and what it could mean for our agency.
AI can be an amazing tool for automating various tasks and improving efficiency, however, it should not be solely relied upon. It is crucial to proofread and infuse your own opinions, perspectives, and creativity into your work. Let AI assist in generating draft content, but it is essential to review and add a human touch. Changing the material to reflect your voice or the voice of the company you represent and ensuring that the output aligns with your brand’s values and resonates with your target audience.
The Importance of Responsible Innovation:
As marketers and communicators, it is our responsibility to test the innovations, pushing the boundaries while ensuring that AI is utilized ethically and responsibly. This means considering the impacts, transparency, infinite access to data, and potential biases that can be inadvertently embedded within AI algorithms. By establishing and promoting a system of governance and policy and developing responsibly, we can contribute to the development of AI systems that benefit all of society.
AI presents vast opportunities, revolutionizing the way we approach communications and marketing, content creation, and customer experiences. However, it is essential to strike a balance between embracing innovation and remaining authentic. By understanding the pitfalls and being mindful of ethical considerations, we can navigate the evolving landscape of AI successfully.
Rather than viewing AI as a threat, we should recognize the potential for innovation and leverage this opportunity to enhance our strategies and strengths and create a new frontier. There will be new job opportunities, but there will still also be a demand for the trades and other crucial roles that just make the world work. And, while AI can type out impressive stories and responses to prompts, until this technology can understand the spectrum of human emotion – something even we struggle with ourselves – there will be no replacement for truly good marketers.