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AI is a Tool, Not an Employee


April 10, 2024

AI is a Tool, Not an Employee
Submitted by
Mark Whittaker, Whitmark Digital

Have you been paying attention to the artificial intelligence revolution?

I have, and many of us in digital marketing find it hard to talk about anything else these days.

It’s hard to summarize “AI” in just a few paragraphs, and new AI developments seem to emerge hourly. Here are my thoughts so far:

There’s so much more to come. Most of the conversation about AI over the last year and a half has been about generative AI  – large language models like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini (formerly Bard), and image generation tools like Dall-E, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion.

But word and image generation is just the tip of a mammoth artificial intelligence iceberg that has amazing implications for science, engineering, medicine, finance, and national defense.

Beware the fear. There is more fear than fact in mainstream media accounts about artificial intelligence. Do not rely on your favorite news website or the nightly news to learn about AI.

It’s a tool, not an employee. The use of AI language models will likely cause job losses, but “AI” will not replace humans. It’s a tool, like a pen, printing press, typewriter, computer or mobile device. If you learn to use the tool, you’ll be employable (or able to work for yourself).

Allow the data collection. Newspapers and other media companies are foolish to try to prevent generative AI models from reading their content. The models learn by digesting enough reading material to understand context and be able to predict what letters and words come _ _ _ _.

These AI models are not regurgitating whole articles or books. Generative AI doesn’t copy. It predicts.

Lots of legislation to come. Under current law, works generated by artificial intelligence cannot be copyrighted. It will be a long time before governments and the court system establish rules for the use of artificial intelligence. There will be many pros and cons to consider.

Adding to internet bloat. As if there isn’t enough junk content on the internet, AI language models will produce even more because people will be too lazy to edit and fact-check. Now, more than ever, be a critical reader of, well, everything.

I’ve been using ChatGPT to help with my work, and I’m amazed at what it can do.

It’s helped me identify topics for social media posts, write website content, outline a training class, and even write website tags for search engine optimization. It is a draft writer, not the creator of polished content.

If you want to learn more about AI language models and how they work, here are some recommendations:

  • Subscribe to Christopher S. Penn’s weekly newsletter, The newsletter contains links to videos and courses, some free and some paid, about various AI-related topics.
  • Follow the work of the Marketing AI Institute, its founder Paul Roetzer and its chief content officer Mike Kaput.
  • Read the book, “The Age of AI And Our Human Future,” by the late Henry A. Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Danie Huttenlocher.
  • And finally, pick a free version of one of the tools and play around with it.

Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce member Mark Whittaker, owner of Whitmark Digital, teaches local businesses how to use online marketing to attract more customers and increase revenue. This article was excerpted from his fortnightly email newsletter. Click here to subscribe.



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