If you follow developments in the marketing, automation and even entertainment industries, you’ve probably heard about AI platforms like Lensa and Midjourney gaining popularity. You may have even seen artwork created using these AI systems, and incredibly realistic images of cute cartoon characters.
Hate it or love it, AI’s capabilities have made it a trend. As the popularity of AI-based tools grows, it is crucial for marketers to understand the potential of this technology and avoid potential barriers to implementation. To fully understand how much AI will be integrated into businesses in the future, we must ask ourselves this important question: “Is 2023 the year AI takes over marketing?”
A Short History of Artificial Intelligence
While many AI tools have grown in popularity over the past year, the platforms that support them have been in development for a long time. In fact, the idea of AI is far from new. Ideas about creating machines capable of learning have been around for centuries.
In 1863, British writer Samuel Butler wrote an article titled “Darwin in the Machines”. Butler put forward the idea that evolution applies to machines and predicted that one day they would become sentient and eventually replace humanity. This was also in his novel Erewhon in 1872. Erewhon; Or, Over the Range.
The concept of thinking machines may have been around for a long time, but it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that technology advanced far enough for us to start exploring the field of artificial intelligence. This marked the first steps towards the digital tools that are now part of the discussion.
The famous cryptographer Alan Turing published his landmark paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence in 1950. In it, Turing argued that a machine could maintain a conversation with a human (via a teleprinter) that was indistinguishable from a conversation with another human. It made sense then to say that the machine was “thinking”. This concept was developed into the so-called “Turing Test”, a benchmark for assessing the ability of computers to “think” independently.
You may have come across the notion that only a Turing Test can distinguish between humans and machines in popular science fiction movies. In the 1982 sci-fi action movie “Blade Runner”, the Voight-Kampff test is based on the test developed by Alan Turning.
By the 1990s, algorithms began to emerge behind the scenes as working forms of machine “thinking”. These programs have since grown and refined with the ability to continuously ingest and learn from new data. Today, the technology is found in many different uses and applications. For example, while you might not associate the algorithm that populates your Instagram feed with a robot that can write entire articles, the underlying technology is fundamentally similar. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Current State of Artificial Intelligence
Today, a wide range of free and paid tools bring AI-powered generation to all areas of creativity. Automated image editing software like Lensa can manipulate selfies and create them in a variety of styles, while authoring tools like Jasper highlight their ability to create everything from blog post drafts to scripts for YouTube videos. In fact, AI can not only assist in creation, but also produce renderings, as shown in the images below.
The potential of this technology is driving exponential growth in this sector and shows no signs of slowing down. A recent report by Fortune Business Insights estimated that the AI market will experience a massive 20.1% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) and grow to a staggering $1394.30 billion by 2029. Another report predicted that the AI market would experience a CAGR of 32.9%.
This unprecedented growth obviously represents a scope far beyond private hobbies. Business licenses are one of the most common ways to monetize AI technology. Companies can pay for service(s) that allow bots to perform basic functions, from creating images to responding to social media DMs.
The Dark Side of Creating AI
But these developments are not without their problems. The New York City Department of Education made headlines this January by banning ChatGPT on all department of education department networks and devices. ChatGPT is a popular AI-powered chatbot that can generate relatively natural, better-than-spoken-sounding text in response to human requests. Concerns raised by the NYC Department of Education Department were cited as “adverse effects on student learning” and “concerns about the safety and accuracy of content” generated by the program.
Other deeper concerns have also been raised, questioning the ethical issues around the process by which some AIs learn. The photo editing app Lensa has come under particular scrutiny for using art created by humans without permission. This has opened up many debates about the nature of creativity and art. But whatever the philosophical side of things, the marketing potential of these tools is undeniable.
Because the power of AI lies in its ability to analyze data and provide output much faster than humans, many fear that its incredible ability could be a double-edged sword for our own progress. The more AI is used, the more it improves. When more inputs are provided, more outputs can be produced. It is therefore not hard to predict that AI will one day declare the rest of us obsolete.
How Artificial Intelligence is Integrating into Marketing
On the other hand, the potential value of AI technology for the marketing world is quite simple. Effective marketing relies heavily on the ability to produce consistent, high-quality content. But creating this content – be it blogs, videos, graphics or social media posts – is a time-consuming process. If computers can handle these tasks effectively, implementing your marketing strategies will take less time and cost. For example, some sources claim that AI authoring tools can save up to 50% of the time it takes to create a blog.
This concept is far from theoretical. Marketers across all industries have already adopted various AI-enhanced tools to augment and streamline their processes. AI has revolutionized the way marketers approach their campaigns and strategies. AI-powered automation techniques allow marketers to recognize customer preferences, target specific audiences and develop more effective campaigns. AI technology also makes it easier to track and measure customer engagement, allowing marketers to make more strategic decisions about their marketing efforts.
As these tools evolve, so does their usefulness and quality of output. Still doubting the effectiveness of these tools? An AI wrote the previous paragraph!
How Effective Are AI Content Creation Tools?
Machine-generated content has already taken over the marketing community and identifying it has been one of the primary focus areas in recent Google Analytics updates. In fact, Google Search Spokesperson John Mueller even said that automatically generated content was considered spam last year, according to Google Analytics guidelines.
Of course, what counts as auto-generated content is far from simple. Different levels of AI assistance can be used. At the most basic level, almost all of us use some form of digital text editing software, from the ubiquitous spellchecker and autocomplete to the built-in programs that permeate all computer and smartphone keyboard apps.
These exemplary utilities are far from the full AI experience. Imagine a framework that can transform your draft of a very simple one-sentence prompt into a functional, fully automated system in seconds. With current advances, this kind of AI functionality is a reality in marketing and content creation.
Ultimately, the question is not only whether these tools are useful. Experts are both worried and excited about the bigger picture: Have AIs evolved to the point where they can effectively take over marketing from humans?
The simple answer is no. This is not to say that AI tools are not incredibly useful and even transformative, but as things stand, these tools function exactly that: tools for human marketers. Even fully-generated content from advanced AI writing bots requires a careful human eye to catch errors and edit out cryptic or nonsensical writing.
As tools improve and technology becomes more sophisticated, AI will continue to play a bigger role in marketing and beyond. Whether these systems will completely replace human marketers remains to be seen. In the meantime, AI-powered programs can be a powerful resource for any company when used properly.
What Does the Future of Artificial Intelligence Mean for Your Business?
One day, you might pay a subscription fee for a robot that will fulfill all your marketing needs based on your business model and advanced machine learning. But that day is not today. Whatever the future holds, robots have yet to completely eliminate humans.
Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the benefits of automation, whatever your industry. Like any other tool, AI is most useful in the right hands. Expert marketers have found ways to use AIs and other technologies to save time and create efficient, effective strategies, which means they can do more for you and your business.
At Mad Guns Digital, we combine the latest technology with our team’s expertise in market research, analysis, customer profiling, writing and design to create and implement an effective marketing strategy for any business.
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