Why human intervention is critical for AI success
Hands up if you were secretly delighted when you found out ChatGPT has issues with lying to us or that Bard made the Google stock price drop. I was gleeful – however, in reality these AI setbacks are unlikely to last for long. In fact, AI will get better much faster than most of us expect.
Despite this schadenfreude, we shouldn’t be painting generative AI as some kind of supervillain, with Machiavellian motives and plans on world domination. Yes, we need caution, but these are tools formed out of a desire to make our lives easier – just like every other tech advancement.
It’s how you use it
When asked about which version of ChatGPT is the most important, Sam Altman, OpenAI CEO, explained ‘It wasn’t the underlying model that mattered, it was the usability of it’.
As someone who has spent a lot of their working life on UX and storytelling, this really struck a chord with me. Technology is only useful if you know how to use it. Us humans, we’re a bit lazy like that.
So, in the complex ecosystem of corporate communications, where and how do we use AI to add value?
Let’s say you already have a comprehensive content strategy. Building on that foundation, you’ve developed a few creative concepts and great ideas for content. AI can help you supercharge that. Imagine it’s your little superhero sitting on your shoulder: a mega-mind to simplify complex information or a bionic eye to analyse and connect vast numbers of data points. It can improve the delivery across different channels or challenge your own ingrained ways of working.
The secret to using these tools effectively is to know their limitations, where they can have an impact, and where human input is still unmatched.
The twin forces of human invention
Great content is always a combination of logic and magic. Science and art. Insight and understanding.
Logic is driven by data. Ideally, really good data and lots of it. It’s then about transforming that data to give some insight into your audiences, their preferences and behaviours. That starts with collecting the right data, and having clear KPIs and a traditional dashboard that makes sense of it. AI tools are brilliant for this.
The next step is to leverage that data. How do you create, translate, distribute, tweak and personalise your content quickly and confidently? Again, AI is providing more and more solutions and opportunities as we start integrating new systems with old ones.
The magic comes from creativity that helps you turn insight into understanding, and then craft content that connects with your audiences. It’s emotional intelligence about what makes us human and how we interact with our environment. Whether that’s a piece of written content or the design of an app. That’s the bit that the robots are still struggling with.
In the end, only humans fully understand humans. Humour, pain, joy. AI doesn’t feel the impact of consequences. We do. And that empathy is where magic resides.
Law and order
One critical area that cannot be ignored, however, is governance. From fundamentals like whether the use of AI tools is legal in the jurisdictions you are operating, or who actually owns the copyright to more practical questions around how you train people to use these shiny new tools effectively.
Those seem like dull questions, but there’s good reason why a lot of content creators and data protection regulators are starting to delve into these issues. AI needs something (data or creative work) to learn from. Its output pushes long-established boundaries in new ways. As AI grows in usability and use cases, I’m convinced it will very soon be AI vs The Law.
And I’m not the only one. A new 'Oasis' album featuring an AI generated Liam Gallagher (AISIS) recently sparked some serious debate around copyright issues and the future of music. A bot-generated ‘interview’ presented as being with former F1 driver Michael Schumacher has been condemned by his family and may lead to legal action. In such a rapidly evolving space, it’s crucial for individuals and businesses to stay informed and ahead of the game.
Accept no substitute
The context is set for using new AI tools effectively. They can supercharge, simplify and streamline, but they really are no substitute for a proper content strategy and human empathy. And (coincidentally) this is something we will discuss in our upcoming event ‘Beyond the hype: leveraging content strategy for better business’ on 17 May.
We can’t snooze through these developments. Generative AI is already here – and for companies, understanding is imperative before we can unlock the superhuman potential.
‘Beyond the hype: leveraging content strategy for better business’ is part of Emperor’s summer event series – for more information or to register your place, visit our events page.