May 30, 2023
This is not a story about ChatGPT. At least not exclusively.
I won’t be sharing any clever queries and puzzling answers, nor will I offer any deep societal revelations about how Artificial Intelligence is both reshaping our lives and terrifying us.
This is a story about content marketing and AI tools.
OpenAi recently unveiled ChatGPT-4, an even more powerful version of the chatbot tool that went viral at the end of 2022 for its ability to generate complex responses from simple prompts. In early testing, the latest iteration was able to build a Web site from a hand-drawn sketch, pass exams, and draft lawsuits.
While AI continues to develop, this is a chance for those working in content marketing to take advantage of its powerful capabilities. While AI continues to develop, this is a chance for those working in content marketing to take advantage of its powerful capabilities. The company says ChatGPT can now provide longer, more detailed, and more reliable responses.
It’s part of a family of content marketing-relevant AI tools that also includes VALL-E (which can take three seconds of someone’s voice and replicate it for long periods) and [DALL-E]3 (a text-to-image tool).
Do they replace humans? No. At least not yet. But there are ways we are, and will be able to, use them to our advantage. This is by no means a comprehensive list; it’s a high-level look at some of the things we’ll need to consider over the coming years.
A human content curation team has three main advantages over AI: experience, expertise, and creativity. These are also the wells that writers can draw from when interviewing their subjects, whether they come from their own companies or from third-party sources.
AI can comb and compile existing information in real time. Humans create net new. That will remain our advantage over time and a value proposition with clients seeking content marketing services.
But there are areas in which we can use AI in the form of chatbot tools to our advantage:
To supplement story briefs and outlines.
Automated keyword generation.
Research in place of, or adjacent to, search queries.
Starter scripts for things like videos and podcasts.
Improved voice-to-text translation.
Improved language translation.
The caveat: Edit everything and rewrite in your own voice. Don’t assume all the information is accurate, and do assume some of it may be copied directly from other writers.
Custom photography will remain a unique selling proposition for premium content marketing; again, net new “real life” pics will always trump existing or collage-style reproductions. However, the current process of photographic discovery is highly dependent on search capabilities from third-party providers and on the creativity of the human searcher.
As AI develops, tools will become available that allow for semantic search requests revealing a relevant group of images from a curated list of sources based on photo recognition, not text search.
OpenAI has released DALL-E 2, which creates realistic images and art based on queries or descriptions.
The caveat: Legal issues abound. Where are photos or the elements of images sourced, and what copyrights might be infringed? As the inputs improve, these concerns may dissipate.
Audio and video
VALLE-E is one example of AI that can mimic human hosts, which could cut voice actor costs and vastly reduce production times on ads created for clients for insertion in podcasts. Or, in theory, if a podcast host gets sick, they might be temporarily “replaced” by an AI-created, scripted version of themselves.
On the visual front, Facebook has developed Make-A-Video, an AI system that generates moving images from text. It’s the best known of several examples of platforms able to disrupt the cost and production times related to video.
For current content creators, the best early use cases will be for explainer-style videos, basic-but-plentiful video content to populate Web sites, and potentially for cutdowns and other social media extensions.
The caveat: I appreciate this snippet from a headline by Wired, which nicely encapsulates my thinking: “AI Videos Are Freaky and Weird Now. But Where Are They Headed?” Ethical and copyright concerns aside, we’re still in the early stages of effectiveness.
There is no conclusion, and none is in sight. AI is also going to impact content design, insights, data, project management, and distribution, including social media promotion.
We’ve witnessed equal parts excitement and concern. Before ChatGPT made headlines, most content marketers assumed their jobs were in a creative industry and therefore disruption proof. Now that the bubble may burst, they don’t want to be perceived as fighting change, but they may need to re-establish their unique selling propositions.
We’ll see where it all leads.