03 Feb

Discover The Pros & Cons of AI in Marketing

Let’s take a look at AI in marketing as a whole. What are the pros and cons?

Many businesses will now have heard about ChatGPT the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that’s hit the press and sent students, marketers, journalists etc. into a spin. ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI. It has been trained on a massive dataset of text data to generate human-like responses to text-based prompts. It’s designed to be used for a variety of natural language processing tasks such as language translation, text summarisation and conversation.

To help make up your own mind about any potential benefits that this might provide to your business, we’ve compiled a list of both good and bad features we’ve found when testing the AI’s capabilities.

The Good

  • AI can perform a lot of the heavy lifting and manual work. Think of it like a shelf stacker. It can’t decide what to stock, it doesn’t know what consumers want and it doesn’t even understand what the products are, but it can lay them out neatly.
  • It’s a great gopher e.g. go for this and go for that. It can fetch you things that you know exist and put them in a list. Think social media sizes, landmarks in Liverpool or important dates for office workers
  • Whilst you shouldn’t blindly trust the output of the AI without at least proofreading, we’ve discovered that it can inspire new ways to think about a piece of work. A new angle on a piece of copy perhaps.

The Bad

  • AI gets dumber, not smarter. Computer learning is like a mirror. It can look at a big pile of data and reflect it back. The more it learns, the more we use it, the more we are just putting up mirrors. In the end, all we will see is a reflection of a reflection. Nothing new comes of it.
  • It can even get the most basic things wrong. We asked an AI to put a list of events in date order and it placed March after April.
  • It can sometimes give you dangerously wrong answers. They are dangerous because they seem right. But remember, it draws information from the internet, which almost everyone has access to and can edit. We asked “What is the Eurovision song by the woman in the mirror dress?” It told us “the song is “Toy” by Netta from Israel. It won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest”. Whilst it seems very plausible, Netta in fact wore a rainbow dress. It was Gina G that wore a mirror dress. Whilst this is just a silly example, would you trust it to give you the right answer when it mattered? There’s a real danger of the AI producing common misconceptions within its output or drawing information from biased sources.

What does this mean for branding and placemaking?

We believe that AI poses no threat to the world of branding and placemaking. In its current form, AI can’t replace local expert knowledge about a place. The idea of branding, placemaking and how a particular place can make one feel is quite intangible and can’t be extracted from the internet, especially when the place doesn’t exist in its fully realised state.

From our extensive experience, we’ve developed optimal processes for creating brands and invigorating places. Understanding your destination and how to make it work better is what we’ve done for over 30 years – something a text or image-based AI could never achieve alone.

We promote expert decision making which can only be successful when data, research, creativity and intuition overlap. Something AI cannot combine.

Whilst AI can become one of the many tools in our belt, it simply can’t replace human expertise and creativity – even the AI knows this! Upon asking ChatGPT to write a sci-fi novel, it admitted that it doesn’t have the capability to write a novel and that it is simply a text generation tool. It acknowledges that it may occasionally generate incorrect information, biased content or even harmful instructions.

AI is perfect when you need text or info in a rush but it’s not going to be anywhere near as groundbreaking or informed as something crafted or designed by an expert.