Keeping My Eye on AI: Take 2

Digital Marketing Perks or Pitfalls?


In the last article, I talked about the many applications of AI in web design, from automation to content creation to making websites more accessible and inclusive.


Today, we’ll do a deep dive into the benefits and pitfalls of AI in terms of the creative space. As with all tools, AI can be great or terrible — it all depends on who is using it, why, and how. 



AI For Written Content

The big draw about using generative AI for content creation is that it can create a lot of content quickly. The content also comes out sounding like it’s been written by a native English speaker, which can be a big benefit for those who learned English later in life.


However, having a lot of content isn’t the same as knowing what to do with it. It’s important to work with a content strategist even if you plan to use generative AI to create content.


Also, AI-written content isn’t the same quality as a great (or even good) writer can create. There is often a lack of emotion and understanding of common cultural references. For example, one writer shared the difference between ChatGPT answering the prompt, “Can you describe meeting your firstborn child?” and he, the writer, describing the experience himself. 


First, ChatGPT: “Meeting my first-born child was truly a magical experience. It was a moment of joy and excitement that I will never forget. When I held my newborn for the first time, I felt a wave of love and warmth that I had not experienced before. I was filled with so much joy and pride that I was now a parent. My little one looked so peaceful and content in my arms. Seeing my baby for the first time was an unforgettable moment that I will cherish forever.”


Then, the writer and dad: “He’s so quiet,” I said, looking up at the nurse. She smiled behind her mask. We all wore masks. Gowns, too. Gloves and hairnets, too. “Is that ok?” I said. “Is it ok he’s not crying?” (I thought healthy newborns cried.) “It’s ok,” said the nurse, “he’s quiet but alert,” she said. “Just look at him looking at you.” I looked. “He’s looking right at you.” He was. He was looking into my eyes. “He’s saying hello,” she smiled. “Hello,” I said. I felt like crying. “Hello, son.” 


The two paragraphs are the same number of words, but one says volumes more than the other. 



Digital Art and Deepfakes

Another battleground when it comes to AI is the use of generative AI to create graphics. On one hand, this can be very helpful for those without a design or art background who need original art for their website or other creative projects. Images can be created with a lot of consistency and can be finished in mere seconds, compared to hours or days for a human artist.


However, there are ethical concerns. The reason the software can draw so well so quickly is that it was “trained” on millions of art pieces that are posted online — but the software creators don’t have the permission of the artists to use their work in that way. AI can only “do good art” because it copied human artists without permission. 


Also, AI can be used to make convincing fake images (deepfakes) that sway public opinion. For example, you can make a fake image of a politician engaging in a particular act and use it as proof of their heroism or evil intentions. Because these AI-generated images look very much like photos, they can be very convincing and dangerous.



How Generated AI Affects Our Creative World 

At the time this is being written, there’s a widespread actors and writers’ strike in Hollywood that was caused in part by disagreements about how AI will be handled.

AI can create images of Hollywood stars, movie scenes, and more without actors’ permission, causing them to lose control of who is sharing their likeness (and the pay actors get from that.) In addition, AI can create scripts and voices for movies and TV shows, leading Hollywood writers and voiceover artists to fear they will lose credit for scripts and even their jobs. 


Hollywood creatives are intent on keeping financial and creative control over their images and writing, and they want those protections in the contract, which studios have so far refused. It will be interesting to see how this resolves, and it will have a big impact on how creatives and AI work together going forward.



Is AI Evil?

Despite the many concerns, AI isn’t evil in itself. It’s a tool that can be used to make the creation of content, images, and sound, better — or push the creativity completely out of those fields and replace it with mass production.


As far as Straightfire, we’re in favor of embracing AI for fairly mindless and simple tasks that can now be completed quickly. Or where a creative human takes an AI generated image or text and molds it into a specific brands uniquely tailored look and feel. I’m ok with that.


I pray for our future.

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