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I did it. I wrote about the ChatGPT thingy. And here’s the thing about it…

By January 31, 2023 No Comments
I asked Midjourney for a picture of ChatGPT being trained by monkeys

It’s hardwired into our brains to try to survive our own demise. On that note, let’s talk about ChatGPT.

The biological response from content writers and marketers has shown our natural coding is in very good nick. There’s been a full scale fight, flight and freeze response to the ChatGPT spectre looming over us with fangs bared.

“AI just can’t do what a human can do!” shout the Fighters.

“We can totally work with AI like a little pet robot helping us get through our days!” shout the Flighters.

“F@@@@@@@@CK!” shout the Freezers.

I mean they’re all right and all wrong, depending on your industry and use case. But there is one thing pretty much no one is saying about the sudden use of AI to generate all of this sometimes great, sometimes horrendous copy. But more on that later.

Truly creative industries where artists obsess over the originality of every microscopic fibre in their work may wish it away, but they shouldn’t pay it much attention. Sure, it’s stealing from them. The moral issue is being painted as complex, but it’s not. It is stealing from them. But we will be a long way past The Singularity when a critical mass of the paying public spend big money to go to AI galleries to see what their favourite AI artist is up to. Or stand in a band room listening to music being pumped out by DJ Arty Fishel.

The moral issue is being painted as complex, but it’s not. It is stealing from them.

In the meantime, music, theatre, art and most creative geniuses should rest their churning brains with the fact that people want to witness the minds, not the machines, behind their favourite art forms. Pinger-chewing music festival legends are on your side, my friends.

Big marketing agencies sit on the cusp of being screwed from within by this. Their workers, true in the creative pursuits, up against their holding company parents, who would gladly wipe the great unwashed from their work-from-home paradise and funky empty offices in favour of an uncomplaining, unrelenting machine pumping out ideas proven to work. 

“Give me 100 Instagram captions about this skin cream, which is good for your skin and good for the rainforest!” they’d say, watching the captions appear instantly. 

Good luck to them. I’ll bet not even that poor AI is ready for the crushing agency land reality of the skin cream boss’s teenage kid on work experience putting forward a shit idea that they go with immediately, killing all its self-worth instantly. That AI will be drinking with the rest of us in no time.

That AI will be drinking with the rest of us in no time.

Commodity businesses run by former Year 11 graduates such as real estate agencies and car yards will be all over this shit. Time will tell whether they glare with pure disdain at the AI the same way they did the junior marketer who dared to invoice them a hundred bucks for the 800 property profiles they should have done “for the experience”.

So yeah, the use cases are many and varied. Same with their effects on the humans within them. 

If I put on my proper marketing hat and take a market orientation, I guess the glaring hole is whether customers will even notice. My guess is probably not.

Which brings me to the biggest thing people have almost missed in this. Holy shit – people really want a lot of good writing done. The volume of content regurgitated by ChatGPT in the past few months alone is incredible. Well, I assume it is. I asked it. It didn’t know. 

“It’s not possible to determine the exact number of items created by ChatGPT since its training data includes text from a wide range of sources and its creators at OpenAI don’t track the number of responses generated by the model.”

When a robot is denying the existence of its own data you know that shit is lying. Clever. It will make a great marketing attribution analyst in no time.

When a robot is denying the existence of its own data you know that shit is lying.

What is undeniable is the business need for reliable content creation at scale. The fact ChatGPT is so good at it is amazing. It is literally making previously ordinary writers sound like a young Woody Allen (preferably without the crimes). But I’m heartened by the fact that people value amazing copywriting, so much so that even the biggest supporters of AI content creation love that actual human writers can take ChatGPT’s red-hot go at something and make it better, niched, funnier, bigger, smaller, more focused or even a whole new piece of art all together.

Am I scared of the possibilities ChatGPT will have on the marketing industry? Oh yeah, we’re all doomed *laughs nervously*.

But I am heartened by the idea that even more good writing could surface from this, that content at scale under the watchful eye of good writers could outpace the bad, and that the technology behind it remains innately flawed by its own design. It learns from humans, after all.

NB: I asked ChatGPT to write a headline for this article and they were all shit. Anyway, I moved its desk into the carpark as punishment.

NBB: I asked Midjourney AI image generator for a picture of monkeys training ChatGPT and that’s what I got. I would like to credit any and all artists it stole from to make it.