If you work in the online space it will be hard for you to have missed all the chat about artificial intelligence (AI) and particularly ChatGPT. In the interests of staying on top of all things impacting an online entrepreneur’s capacity to be visible, I recently conducted an experiment with said software, asking it to tell me about the AI implications for entrepreneurs trying to be more visible.
‘Artificial intelligence (AI) has a significant impact on entrepreneurs who are trying to be more visible. Here are some implications that entrepreneurs should consider:
In conclusion, AI presents both challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs who are trying to be more visible. Entrepreneurs should stay informed about the latest AI developments and technologies, and be proactive in leveraging AI to enhance their visibility and improve their customer experiences.’
You’ll notice that this is not a collection of half formed thoughts. It’s not a set of links to articles on the topic which I then need to read, synthesise and pop into a logical sequence.
It’s a clear and concise articulation of ideas. Perhaps it doesn’t address all the points I would have focused on, but it definitely brings forth valid and interesting points.
And at the moment, this is what makes AI the content creator’s best friend.
It solves the problem of staring at a blank screen wondering what to write about. It gives you a framework, content ideas, prompts. Which, over the course of a week or a month, saves you potentially hours of thinking time.
Nevertheless, I have my concerns.
First and foremost I’m concerned with the potential this has to move us toward a singular perspective on all topics. Given that it operates like Google on steroids*, when you search for an answer, who decides that the answer provided is accurate or definitive or correct?
As content creators, this is important to be conscious of; if you’re going to use AI as part of your content creation toolbox (and I think it will be all but impossible to avoid it in a really short period of time) then it’s imperative that you think of it as the first layer of information you’re working with, not the last.
As we step further into an AI world, the potential for cultural imperialism to be imposed via technology is pretty strong. Let’s hold tight to the idea of multiple perspectives and keep fighting to ensure that as AI software is produced, the coding and content reflects a genuinely global perspective which is not patriarchal, racist, classist, ableist, heteronormative, northern hemisphere-centric, or English speaking dominant+.
The potential intellectual property implications of this seismic shift in the way we use information makes my mind feel like it’s melting. Are you creating content by engaging with AI like ChatGPT? Does the AI software itself own the intellectual property? Or the software company? What if the software throws out copyrighted property and you use it without realising it?
I’m sure a great many legal professionals are wrapping their minds around these very issues as I type, and while they do that, for those of us in the content creation game, here are some things to keep in mind:
It seems clear that the production of content marketing is about to speed up exponentially. How can it not? A significant barrier to creating content just fell away. Suddenly we’re on a much more even playing field and people who didn’t have the resources before to produce content, will now be able to. It’s like Roger Bannister has just broken the four minute mile, we’re all going to be running the content marketing game far more quickly than we ever have before.
But is that a good thing?
As a proponent of the tortoise rather than the hare, I’m not particularly interested in speed for speed’s sake. I do however, like speed which alleviates burdensome and clunky tasks (like the washing machine, which according to my buddy ChatGPT ‘saved women an average of 9 hours per week on laundry-related tasks. This translates to around 468 hours saved per year, or approximately 20 full days.’).
If we can produce content more quickly and in so doing, free up time for other tasks, this will be a wondrous thing. If we just fill it with producing ever more content, then that probably won’t be great for anyone.
To use technology to our advantage, we have to change as people. We have to redefine ourselves, not as industrialised automatons trying to keep pace with technology, but as infinitely creative beings who use technology effectively in order to create more time for thoughtful, creative, inspirational content.
Which leads me to what is most exciting about this technology; the potential for content creators to lean more fully into their creative selves. When I first started making videos in the noughties, it was so labour intensive that there was as much effort being put into the production side of things as there was into the content itself. As technology has advanced in the last 20 odd years, the production side of things has become very simple, which means that most of my time can now be spent on playing around with content – the concepts I want to share and the way I want to share it – or on something else entirely.
AI software now provides an additional level of support to entrepreneurs; in record speed, it’s able to deliver a baseline set of concepts for you. You can then turn these into something fun, inspiring, creative, different, unique, and original.
Rather than seeing everyone pumping out the same content thanks to AI software, I’m hoping we see an explosion of really creative and unique forms of expression, made possible because the time that you might otherwise have spent on research or structuring ideas, has just been freed up.
Which brings me to the most important thing when it comes to the visibility of you and your brand; thanks to this new baseline of information we have access to, unique thoughts and means of delivering content are going to become important differentiators when it comes to content creation. (I suspect that anyone who has built their business on collating facts or tactics might have to think carefully about the implications of AI software on the way they present information to their audience in the future.)
Storytelling, building genuine connections with your community, supporting the growth of emotional intelligence and intuitive wisdom, creating networks of human beings who can inspire and support one another, these skills are all going to be enormously useful in the coming years.
AI is going to change the content marketing game forever. Sharing useful and easily digestible information around a niche topic – a tried and true content marketing strategy of the past – may not be the golden ticket it once was to building your community. Something different is going to be asked of you in the coming years.
Something more human and less mechanical.
And I’m 100% here for that.
*For example, I asked ChatGPT whether it has any creative ideas for a 7 year old’s birthday (fellow Mum’s take note – this could be your new best friend) and here’s what it came up with:
‘Sure! Here are some creative ideas for a 7 year old’s birthday:
Remember to prioritize the safety of the children and follow all necessary precautions when planning and hosting any activities.’
(Given the 7 year old in question, I’m leaning toward a science experiment party with a DIY pizza station on the side.)
+To test this I asked ChatGPT to name three great leaders in history and three significant contributions to humanity.
Here are the names it produced; Julius Caesar, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. And the three significant contributions to humanity were; the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg, the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming, and the development of the internet (to which three men are noted as playing significant roles).
The common denominator that all these examples have in common may not have escaped you…
And whilst I agree that these are absolutely significant contributions to humanity, were I asked the same question, the number 1 thing that comes to my mind is the contribution of parents, and specifically, mothers. Firstly that of pregnant people – primarily women – who keep humanity going and then primary caretakers – primarily women – who build entirely dependent human beings into creative, intelligent, empathetic people capable of contributing to the society in which we live.
The second thing that comes to mind is the contribution of teachers (a profession that happens to be dominated by women), for taking up that mantle of responsibility for human development and turning small people who are barely toilet trained into fully competent adults able to articulate their own thoughts and desires and, from time to time, even think about the needs of other people.
(And let’s face it, the printing press, penicillin and the internet wouldn’t have been invented at all had the men involved not had the benefit of caretakers keeping them alive and educators encouraging them to think.)
The third thing that comes to mind is effective contraception. For reasons that should be self evident, but because a man’s ejaculation habits have always been deemed a woman’s responsibility, is still seen as ‘a woman’s issue’. In truth, it’s enormously important to the whole of humanity, now and into the future, and has wildly important wellbeing and economic implications for both individuals and for countries.
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