The human mind is core to creative work, but as generative AI pushes further into everyday life, that may not always be the case. Dystopian? Absolutely. Why, then, are creatives not worried? To put it bluntly, people have a say.
The natural language technologies in generative AI services developed by OpenAI and its peers show promise for changing, perhaps even enhancing, the way society shares ideas. While the technology is far from perfect, it’s still undeniably useful. And adoption is well underway.
One barometer is how quickly journalists and newsrooms pick up technology. The Associated Press signed a two-year deal in July allowing OpenAI to access its archive, and while The New York Times left a group of media companies attempting to negotiate with Google and Microsoft’s use of their content, it may signal something brewing on a prolific level.
Outside the newsroom and into the corporate sphere, is another metric. For resource-strapped communications teams, or those with workflow kinks and backlogs, generative AI provides an intriguing resource. Companies are using it to quickly boost their SEO, identify content marketing topics, and scale communications programs. Yes, it’s impressive, but there are reasons to be careful.
Here are a few strategies to make the most of AI responsibly.
Develop Fluency in the Language of Prompts
Use natural language processing AI to develop your workflow and make what you’re already doing better.
Use these tools to help with research or use it as you would an interview. Take advantage of the numerous free courses available online to help you develop better prompts and gain better responses. Engage with these technologies as you would a conversation with another person. You have to figure out what words or phrases will unlock the information—or wisdom—you seek. Posing questions to ChatGPT can help you generate ideas or develop a natural flow or structure to your message.
Simple prompts asking the system to act as your customer persona or to suggest a better prompt, for example, can help you produce the results you need. Pro Tip: There are plenty of worthwhile free resources online to develop your prompt-writing skills. Vanderbilt University’s prompt engineering course is one of the most popular, with nearly 200,000 people enrolled.
At the same time, don’t neglect the value of human experiences, emotion and intuition in your marketing materials. ChatGPT won’t reflect the nuance you’ve learned through experience, relationships and time—or when the nuance changes in real-time. And, it cannot replace the unique perspective and imagination of your communications team.
For AI innovators seeking to shape the narrative around regulation and policy, check out our team’s latest thinking on how to influence the debate on AI regulation.
Eliminate Writer’s Block
Chances are your team already uses some kind of marketing AI. On the early side of the AI maturity curve, communications teams use it to support email automation systems and customer service chatbots. More advanced uses of AI can help teams provide product recommendations or predictive lead scoring. These capabilities are increasingly becoming standard in the marketing and communications world.
But, content is king and one of the most obvious uses of generative AI is in content development.
Where the writing process is concerned, the first draft is often the most difficult step of the process. Bard and ChatGPT can help writers get started by creating a draft to build from and develop.
This technology, in conjunction with human input, will help marketing and communications teams get more done faster—and potentially better. Whether it unleashes more creative solutions to society’s challenges today is yet to be seen, but what if we start with an experiment or a question? We can think of generative AI as one big “yes, and” exercise.
Watch Out for the Hazards
These technologies are still in the early stages of development.
There are numerous documented instances of ChatGPT producing hallucinations—false assertions. For creative writing and brainstorming, hallucinations can be useful from a creative standpoint because they’re essentially made-up responses based on real-world information.
But, for fact-based writing, these hallucinations pose a risk if a communications team doesn’t have an effective vetting process. For now, it’s not something to leave up to AI either. An opinion piece published by Harvard University’s Neiman Journalism Lab says AI fact-checking systems are “well-intentioned,” but that they may ultimately provide a false sense of security.
Generative AI isn’t perfect. Neither are humans.
There are still bugs and risks in the technology and even ethical issues to address. For example, what happens when the output plagiarizes a source or when it includes unwanted biases?
Marketers must be careful to cross-reference any AI response with reliable sources and understand the limitations of these models. AI doesn’t understand context beyond its prompts and patterns in underlying raw data. It can invent false or fictional information. Popular tools on the market today aren’t trained on real-time data—yet. Responses lack proper sourcing and citations. And, the training data can contain errors, biases, and outdated information.
How would ChatGPT wrap up this article?
In the spirit of this blog article, here’s a conclusion generated by ChatGPT.
The Prompt: I’m a communications professional writing a blog about generative AI and its intersection with human creativity in the context of marketing and communications teams. Write the closing 75 words for this article in a compassionate, thoughtful style without using buzzwords, passive voice or flowery language. The ending should be realistic of the challenges while also conveying a message of hope for what’s next.
The Response: In the evolving landscape of marketing and communications, generative AI stands as both a challenge and a beacon of potential. It’s clear that this technology is reshaping our roles and processes, prompting us to adapt and evolve. Yet, amidst the uncertainty, there’s an undeniable promise—a synergy between human creativity and AI-driven insights that could redefine our industry. As we navigate this transformative journey, let’s embrace the possibilities, learn from the hurdles, and keep our commitment to thoughtful, authentic communication at the forefront. The future holds the promise of a harmonious collaboration between human ingenuity and AI, and it’s within our grasp to shape it positively.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based PR agency with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government, healthcare, and social and environmental impact markets.