nyone with a Twitter or LinkedIn account will surely be aware of how generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools like Chat GPT have exploded on to the scene over the last few months. Just recently, Chat GPT was even featured on the front cover of Time magazine.
But Chat GPT is just one of literally hundreds of generative AI products currently disrupting the ways in which we interact with technology. Already, it looks like the traditional method of typing a keyword into a search engine and scrolling through websites to find information could be obsolete in a few years.
And generative AI doesn’t stop at written text, either. It’s also transforming how people approach tasks like graphic design, video production, data analysis, and so much more.
With seemingly endless possibilities and use cases for this technology, many people are quite rightly concerned about what this means for the future of the workplace. If a low-cost computer programme can perform a task in seconds, how long until that person is replaced for a fraction of their salary?
Ironically, until recently, most people assumed the first jobs to be threatened by AI would be the low-effort, low-value ones. It seemed sensible that roles like copywriting and graphic design would be safe from AI because of that special element of human creativity and emotion they require.
As it’s turned out, the complete opposite has happened. Businesses are recognising the immense value in asking AI to write 10 variations of the same marketing email in 10 different styles, and having that done in the blink of an eye.
There are two reasons for this surprise trend, both of which may offer some comfort to those of you fearing for your job security.
1 – Firstly, it’s because using AI technology to automate mundane, time-consuming tasks is nothing new.
We’ve all been using this technology for years, even in the workplace, with apps like Grammarly, Surfer for SEO, and even parts of Slack and the Microsoft suite. This new wave of AI products is just taking things to a whole new level in 2023.
2 – The second reason is because AI writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece, is unexpected, controversial, and news-worthy.
Having AI automate data-driven processes is boring and doesn’t catch the eye. The creative capabilities of generative AI are getting all the attention because they’re the most shocking examples.
Also Art / creativity is the apex of human expression and it is psychologically threatening to have technology encroach on this area. This therefore grabs headlines.
Really, though, this technology is about to change almost every job in the world in some way. That includes the role of B2B event production.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to take a forward-thinking approach and explore the technology in more detail, to help you understand it better and know what to expect over the next year or so.
What Exactly is Generative AI?
Generative AI is a type of technology where a set of algorithms allow a machine to learn a certain function, and then generate content based on a set of parameters or prompts it’s been trained to respond to. For example, Chat GPT has been fed large volumes of information scraped from the Internet, stored it, learned it, and then been trained to answer prompts with relevant content.
Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing search engine, on the other hand, is actually connected to the Internet and searches pages based on your question to provide you with a relevant answer.
Basically, whatever “prompt” you input into a generative AI system, it will provide you with an answer, whether you’ve asked it a question, instructed it to do a task, or given it direction to create an image or a video.
Please note – generative AI is a complex technology, and exploring how it actually works in detail won’t be something we can achieve in this article. If you’d like to gain a better understanding, this very helpful article from McKinsey is a great starting point.
What Can Generative AI be Used for?
Well, generative AI can be used for pretty much anything in the realms of content creation – in whichever format you desire.
From a written text perspective, AI can answer almost any question you can think to ask it. That could include providing you with a framework to solve a complex physics problem, planning out a business strategy for you, or writing up a legal contract.
For example, when opening the Chat GPT home page this morning, some of the example prompts it provides included:
“Explain quantum computing in simple terms,” and, “Got any ideas for a 10-year-old’s birthday party?”
But generative AI is much more than just Chat GPT. There are AI-based programmes which can be used as virtual assistants, allowing you to work vastly more efficiently and automate time-consuming processes. You can also use it to build presentations, create images, write software code to build apps, and even create music.
In the workplace, some of the most common and popular use cases are:
- Brainstorming and ideation
- Drafting written content
- Building templates
- Automating processes
- Creating graphics, videos, and other visual content
- Gaining support from a virtual assistant.
As the technology continues to evolve, and more people adopt generative AI, the possibilities for how we use can leverage it in the workplace are developing at a staggering rate.
Why is Generative AI Such a Big Deal?
When put into practice in the workplace, this could be the most valuable technology ever created.
For example, earlier this year, a marketing agency called Codeword hired two AI interns to work for them. With the amount of online buzz this generated, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was more of an exercise in publicity than anything else.
Even more recently, a leading law firm has announced a deal for 3,500 lawyers to be given access to an AI programme from Harvey, an AI start-up backed by OpenAI.
Global tech giants like Microsoft and Google have also begun integrating this technology into their range of products. This won’t only apply to their search engines. It will also be used to augment tools like Microsoft Teams with AI-powered assistants. Slack is also releasing its own built-in AI assistant, Einstein, which is set to have an enormous impact on how businesses and online communities operate.
When considering how many of us use either Microsoft or Google for our work applications, and Slack to communicate, it seems AI is something we’ll have to get used to sooner rather than later, whether we like it or not.
Concerns and Considerations
Of course, with technology as innovative and disruptive as AI, there are going to be some potential risks. It’s important to consider some of the negative sides of generative AI in its current form before launching head-first into adoption.
1 – Quality and Complacency
Remember that the answers you receive from generative AI will only ever be as good (or as bad) as the prompts you input. If you’re not inputting quality information, you’re only going to be able to produce low quality work.
This technology is not a substitute for intelligence, it’s a supplement for it. If you’re using generative AI out of laziness or complacency, without adding your own original input, you’re not going to be able to achieve much of value.
When it comes to something like shortening your time spent on research, you must realise that efficiency is not the same as effectiveness. While you may gain access to information quicker than you would researching manually, if you only use basic prompts then the information will not be particularly useful.
2 – Unreliability and Bias
Generative AI tools like Chat GPT and Bing Chat may not always be reliable. It’s important to remember that the world is full of misinformation, particularly on the Internet. If you’re trusting an AI programme that’s simply taught to regurgitate information, one that’s unable to think independently or check whether the information is accurate, you risk making some elementary mistakes in your work.
Don’t assume that all of generative AI’s answers are correct just yet. In fact, there are plenty of examples of this technology being wrong. You need to sense-check everything it produces and ensure you’re doing your own due diligence.
Some generative AI has also been proven to have a significant bias towards white males. Clearly, if this persists, it can’t provide a fair, objective perspective and could have negative consequences for the content being produced.
3 – Cost and Commercialisation
Eventually, technology this valuable will come at a high cost, particularly on a business scale.
Any businesses resistant to that will have to face the dilemma of whether it’s possible to avoid paying the money at the cost of falling so far behind competitors who are leveraging AI to drive enormous increases in efficiency.
Of course, it’s also inevitable that certain AI-powered search engines will become commercialised at some point. If, hypothetically, you’re asking an AI-driven search engine to give you a list of 10 recommendations on a certain topic, how trustworthy are those search results if three of them are only included because of paid product placement?
4 – Copyright and Other Legal Implications
It’s currently unclear whether what the legal implications are for AI-generated work, particularly in terms of creative assets like images and music.
If you use generative AI to create a logo for your company, do you have any legal ownership of that content, or can anyone take it and use it themselves freely?
Certain legal cases suggest that content generated by AI cannot be protected under copyright law, which creates a wide range of potential issues. We need to gain a clear and consistent understanding of how this will be regulated and governed globally moving forward.
5 – The Human Element
Of course, we’ll all have to deal with the issue of whether it’s morally right to allow generative AI to take jobs away from millions of people sooner or later. What will happen to the economy if everyone from copywriters and graphic designers to data analysts and software developers are replaced by AI?
The future is uncertain, and there are plenty of questions surrounding this technology. But here at OrangeDoor, we’ll always live and die by our team’s years of experience and specialist expertise in B2B events, and our passion for building close relationships with our clients.
Our personable, dedicated team will always be our greatest strength in our eyes. We craft unique, impactful stories tailored to your business, based on your values, objectives, and your target audience.
Granted, AI could help us accelerate and scale this service for you, to do it quicker and more cost-effectively. But we’re not going to use generative AI without a human element, because that simply won’t be good enough to deliver outstanding services to our clients.
Keeping a Close Eye on AI
This is almost certainly a seminal moment in history for technological advancement. 2023 could be remembered as the year the world changed forever thanks to generative AI.
It’s difficult to predict how industries will look in five years, or even next year, especially because the true potential of AI hasn’t even been realised yet. This technology is still in its infancy, which is perhaps the most mind-blowing thing about it. AI is already disrupting the workplace, and it will continue to accelerate at an exponential pace from here.
As a company, we’re always open to innovation. Not only that, but we proactively look for creative new ways to help us produce better events and deliver better experiences for our clients.
To continue exploring this fascinating technology, our next article will look at how AI is having an impact on the B2B events industry specifically.