Suddenly, generative AI is everywhere. (If that isn’t literally true, it soon will be.) You’ve probably heard of the technology through coverage of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s dialogue-driven interface, and might have even used it. Perhaps you’ve seen AI-generated pictures of friends on social media. You might have seen the AI-assisted op-ed in these pages or, if you’re a CNET reader, perused an AI-written article (before the publication decided to tap the creative brakes on the project.)
To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, AI has arrived two ways: gradually, then suddenly. One way or another, we’ve heard for years about the forthcoming AI/robot revolution, but it seems like the machines didn’t so much rise but as blink into our lives: The revolution will not be televised but is being produced generatively by “learning” from huge datasets and then drawing upon that knowledge to produce something new.
We are on the cusp of a revolution whose scope and effects we won’t fully appreciate for a generation. But in 2023, marketers need to decide not only how to leverage the new technology but also the extent they should publicly disclose that decision. In some ways, to borrow from Marshall McLuhan, the method is the message and admen will have to carefully consider how to use it.