Embracing AI: Don't Forget Your Humanity!
Lay of the land and practical tips
Celebrate the holidays with our limited-time FestiveStories special offer! Get 30% off our paid membership forever
How are you? I hope you’re doing well.
If there is one thing, as a visual storyteller, I bet you’re likely thinking about these days - how can I adopt AI to my visual storytelling the right way?
True! It’s not easy. Especially since all you hear is a cacophony of conflicting opinions.
You’re right! There are two clear camps:
As you may know, the Godfather of AI, Dr. Geoffrey Hinton, just left Google, warning of AI’s potential risks, including false photos, videos, and text, that the average person will “not be able to know what is true anymore” (NYT).
In this camp, you’ll also find tech leaders like Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and others, urging a six-month pause in the 'out-of-control' artificial intelligence race.
Echoing this sentiment for taking it slow you’ll find in the excellent presentation The AI Dilemma by Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin, underscoring a glaring survey result:
50% of AI researchers believe there’s a 10% or greater chance that humans go extinct from our inability to control AI.
Here, you’ll also find a long list of risks:
Rising misinformation, deepfakes, cybersecurity threats both at the individual and country levels (get used to a new AI arms race), biased data, occasional falsehoods (aka hallucinations), copyright infringements, privacy concerns, and hyper-automation that can result in job losses, and most importantly losing that precious human element in our storytelling. And that these systems may be on the march to developing intelligence (aka Artificial General Intelligence) that reaches or even exceeds humans.
On the flip side, as you probably have noticed too, there is a wild tech gold rush right now, which is a bit misleading.
On one hand, the global AI market size is expected to increase by 39.73% from $67,412.73 million in 2022 to $501,813.57 million by 2028 (MarketWatch).
Yet, despite notable generative AI mega-rounds and unicorn births, AI investment could not escape the overall investment gloom with global AI venture funding plunging 43% in Q1’23 compared to last year (CBInsights).
There is not a passing day that you don’t come across a new hot [name].ai startup boasting achieving a new productivity height, bearing that distinctive visual grammar.
These folks are singing AI praise ranging from explosion in entrepreneurship due to low entry barriers, boosting productivity, better customer service, finding life-saving cures in healthcare, cost reduction, creativity, and new career paths - to the net outcome; giving us all more time back to enjoy our lives spending time with family and hobbies.
Like anything else in life, you want to apply a balanced approach here, taking into account the pros and cons, while sticking to your goals and visual storytelling strategy.
The marketing picture
By now, you may think, ok this is all nice, but how are marketers responding to this AI tidal wave?
And more importantly, how can I take part in this AI revolution and still retain my unique human voice?
All great questions!
According to the 2022 State of Sales and Marketing AI Report:
51% of respondents said AI is critically important or very important to their marketing success over the next 12 months
41% of respondents said they were creating personalized
consumer experiences at scale as their top use case
Yet, nearly half (45%) expressed a lack of confidence in implementing AI in their ongoing marketing, classifying themselves as still “beginners”
The top reason for not adopting AI, was lack of training; 63% and 52% quoted a lack of awareness about AI capabilities
So, as you can see an AI training gap is the core challenge marketers are facing today as no matter how you flip this, AI is still considered a novelty.
AI’s lay of the land
Before delving deeper into the importance of retaining your human superpowers when using AI, let’s look at the generative AI landscape.