Sue Mizera reflects on the ever-changing tech landscape and if these new developments are a scifi dream, dystopian nightmare, or the latest bandwagon. Part III.
Dare we look ahead? There must be an emoji for this!
Midterm: 3-5+ years
It is hard to know how to measure or predict time in these outrageously, fast-paced periods of AI development. But let’s assume that in 3-5+ years from the time of your company’s implementation of whatever AI, ChatGPT or other system they opted for, things are well in place, up and running, company-wide. This is critical as there is no way you can fully know, or accurately predict, what these systems will mean for your company until they are live.
Ideally, B2B Marketer, you have been looking at your company’s embrace of AI as an evolving strategic moment. As we discussed above in reference to (4) Brand, it is hugely important for you to continue to formulate points of view for your management about what you think this all means for your company. We advise that you keep your eyes wide open, and that you continue to think strategically at macro and micro levels. Consider keeping a diary in which you log your close-in observations, plus and minus, for how AI and ChatGPT systems are impacting your company. It is fair to pose some of your observations as questions, as the situations and results will still be very fluid, much in “form” and “storm” mode; little will as yet be “norm.” As shifts in BAU are inevitable, positive and negative, areas of critical impact to closely monitor, we suggest, include the following:
- Competitive frame: Theoretically (and hugely cost-dependent,) everyone will have similar opportunities for employing AI across their business, marketing and communications. In this scenario, antes will be raised; personalization will be the standard expectation; and differentiation via innovation will be difficult. Have we not just re-opened the age-old, endless discussion of “sea of sameness”, now in a new medium? Have we not come but again to the unique power of your brand to differentiate your company; to keep it relevant and distinct? Don’t ever let anyone undermine how critical your brand – personality, vision, positioning — to distinguish you and set you apart. How prescient to enter this new brandscape with your brand maximally strong, authentic and visionary.
- The humble white paper: AI and ChatGPT can doubtless generate a very credible version for you, should you want it. But this raises a bigger issue. We are already in a world of a digitally enabled customers and buyers; with AI, we are soon to move to digitally enabled companies and sellers! How does this affect not just traditional sales enablement, e.g., the humble white paper, but sales itself? What do you observe? Does this potentially signal a downside for sales staffing, others? What will be the human role in a more or less totally digitized selling and buying space?
- SEO: What has been happening here? Is proliferation unbridled or controlled, as certain predictions forecast even today? Do we have a handle on this, and a path forward to quickly identify any nefarious offerings, and legally pursue, regulate and properly legislate against them? What kinds of scams might you have witnessed or gotten market intelligence on? How do we know if we’re on a real website or not? The same questions can be posed of privacy issues and the use of personal data? Are we getting this right, and if not, what are the downsides?
- Partner networks: It’s not just agency partners, but the whole range of company suppliers, from strategic and technical consultants through value chain partners, that are likely to be affected by the advent of AI. Are we moving to ecosystems of interconnections, co-working and seamless co-sharing of communications, learnings and common information– within companies and across partnerships? Or has there been an across-the-board reduction of staffs among all partners due to costs, necessitating ever more reliance on AI and ChatGPT performance and potentially redefining what a partner network really means? Oh-la-la.
Longer term: 5-10 years
By now, if not long before, the new “norm” should be evident. We should know what the new AI landscape means for companies, markets, customers, and the world: Utopia or Dystopia? Cherubim and Seraphim? or Armageddon and Apocalypse? When Captcha asks, Are you a human? will ‘Kinda’ have become an option? Long-term concerns might well direct the spotlight on us humans and what roles we assume going forward. E.g.,
- Personnel: Because of reduced hiring, especially of entry-level positions, will invaluable skill-sets be lost? Will future generations of talented young people remain unprepared through lack of being taught relevant skills?
- Who’s in charge — the system or you? Chat bots can create their own bots, code themselves, and offer wholly new, unexpected things. Speculation is that at some point, they will be able to run functions themselves. This skews to some catastrophic thinking, but if this happens, will companies just be skeleton crews tending to HAL? What corporate culture? What brand?
I still remain optimistic. I was reminded recently, thinking way back to Xenophanes, the 6C BCE philosopher famous for saying, If horses had gods, they’d look like horses. I wondered, if AI had gods, what would they look like? it occurred to, they’d always look like the next-gen AI, which maybe identifies the paradigm for technology as a whole.
Here is what ChatGPT created in response to my request for an appropriate emoji for these times. Skews to “boy scout”, but I have to say, a pretty good start.
Create an emoji that reflects a reaction to looking ahead into the future that AI and Chat GPT will offer.
This emoji represents the feeling of excitement and wonder when looking into the future of AI and Chat GPT. The eyes and crystal ball symbolize the ability to see ahead, while the robot and rocket represent the technology and progress that AI and Chat GPT will bring. The star and sunrise signify the bright and limitless potential of this technology, and the person at the end represents the human element and the partnership between humans and AI.
On the somewhat more artistic end of the spectrum, here’s what AI art tool, Creator Nightcafe, created.
This demonstrates that it all depends on the LLNs you’re grounded in. These emojis are decidedly alien and otherworldly, more ponderous and foreboding than ChatGPT’s sunny optimism.
Conclusions: “Feed me”
Throughout this paper, I have been repeatedly reminded of Audrey II, the (gender nonspecific) plant in Little Shop of Horrors. If you’ll recall, Little Shop of Horrors tells the comedy-horror tale of Seymour and his love interest, Audrey (I), who work in a “seedy” flower shop and who happen upon a very special plant. Audrey II, it turns out, is an alien who requires human blood to survive and thrive, but if they get it, they promise limitless, all-tempting power, glory and fame. Seymour tries to provide his own blood to feed Audrey II, but he cannot keep up with demand, and needs to turn to human alternatives.
The first victim, Orin, a totally unpleasant dentist and Audrey’s abusive then-boyfriend, accidentally succumbs to his own nitrous oxide, and so provides Seymour an easy offering to Audrey II. But Audrey II continues to grow, needing more and more blood: “Feed me” is their famed demand. Seymour makes an attempt to kill Audrey II in order to save humanity, but he does not succeed. A morality play, the musical sits squarely at the intersection of culture and technology, heralding themes of unchecked ambition, unpredictable consequences of scientific progress, and exploitation of human worth.
Like Audrey II, who craves nourishment — blood for her is data for LLNs/AI systems and ChatGPT — the more, the better, the stronger. Bring it on! “Feed me,” indeed. But at the same time, the more treacherous and morally fraught become the stakes for their human stewards. There are so many parallels between Little Shop of Horrors and AI, this could be a separate paper. But one parallel that struck me the most is the ambiguous endings created for Little Shop of Horrors over time. Originally (1960 and again, early 1980s), the musical ended tragically with Audrey II gleefully consuming Seymour, Audrey and all others in the cast while Audrey II’s progeny go forth and consume people around the world. When the musical was made into a film in the 1980’s, after two failed test screenings, audiences rejected the original ending, and a happy ending was shot. Seymour and Audrey marry, Audrey II is destroyed, and all live happily ever after. A middle version has Seymour and Audrey marry, and retire to the suburbs, only to look out from their tidy front porch one day to see a new, little Audrey II smiling back up at them: “Feed me.”
Just when you think you might have discerned a way to see a clear path forward….
When I requested an introduction to this article concerning the most important differences of opinion today about what AI and ChatGPT actually do and impact, this is what ChatGPT generated, When I began reading it to my partner, James Risch, he stopped me half-way through and said, “it has no voice, no personality.” It is, indeed, soulless and anodyne; accurate but not the stuff of real copy-writing. Give it a read yourself, and if you glance back to the article’s opening, I hope differences will speak for themselves. As I said, copy-writers: chill. Your skills, at least, are not in question.
Write an introduction to an article on the state of AI and ChatGPT setting out the most important differences of opinion about what the systems actually do and what impact they are having.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly become one of the most transformative technologies of our time, with applications across a wide range of industries and fields. From self-driving cars to medical diagnosis, chatbots to personalized advertising, AI is increasingly shaping our daily lives in ways both visible and hidden. At the forefront of this development is the GPT language model, a cutting-edge AI system that uses deep learning algorithms to generate human-like language.
However, despite the impressive capabilities of AI and GPT in particular, there are still significant differences of opinion about what these systems actually do and what impact they are having on society. On one hand, advocates argue that AI is a powerful tool for improving efficiency, accuracy, and convenience in countless areas, from healthcare to education to business. They point to the ability of AI systems to analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns that would be impossible for humans to detect, leading to breakthroughs in fields such as drug discovery and climate modeling.
On the other hand, critics raise concerns about the potential negative impacts of AI and GPT in particular. They worry that the reliance on AI could lead to job displacement and income inequality, as well as exacerbate existing biases and discrimination in areas such as hiring and lending. They also express concern about the lack of transparency and accountability in AI decision-making, with potentially harmful consequences for individuals and society as a whole.
Given these divergent views, it is clear that a nuanced and informed understanding of the state of AI and GPT is essential for policymakers, businesses, and individuals alike. By exploring the most important differences of opinion about what these systems actually do and what impact they are having, we can begin to build a more comprehensive understanding of this rapidly evolving field and its potential implications for the future.