, April 22, 2024

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Why I'm Not Afraid of AI Replacing Me

  •   3 min reads
Why I'm Not Afraid of AI Replacing Me
Promotional material of MadMen
By Vincent Pozon

A question surfaced in a Reddit advertising community: "With more and more companies using AI for their branding, will this just result in generic, look-alike marketing? AI can analyze what's popular and create content quickly. This might mean brands all start sounding and looking similar, as they rely on the same AI-driven insights. If everyone's marketing follows the same formula, it could be a huge challenge for individual companies to break through the noise. What do you think?"

Allow me to respond with an imagination exercise. When one is asked what a Martian could possibly look like, the description will come exclusively from a human-centric perspective. The extraterrestrial will have three eyes or none, a pouch instead of a mouth, wheels instead of limbs, or be gaseous instead of solid. Attributes imagined will be restricted to what is in the bowl of knowledge and collected experiences that is the global human brain.

In a sense, that is AI.

By design, AI harvests words, images, and examples from the world. Its knowledge, taste, and ability to generate are dictated or influenced by what it finds out there — the work of people, the craft of the best of us. The more it finds, the more influences it absorbs, the more it will reflect the best of the world.  It cannot inherently create entirely new ideas, only process and manipulate and combine existing knowledge. The future is in collaboration: true innovation and groundbreaking ideas will require the unique aspects of human thought and the ability to think outside established patterns. 

Now equip everybody with AI, and everyone is made better, able to write better and faster, until everyone is as good as the other. In the same way affording the typewriter or the computer made us all equal. And as Syndrome sneered in the movie 'The Incredibles,' "When everyone is super, no one will be."

AI will be as good as the best of the world. When every AI-enabled ad agency competes with other AI-enabled agencies, no one stands out.

The Reddit question actually answers itself. AI can lead to the homogenization of content if everyone relies on similar AI-driven strategies. However when advertisers cannot stand out because AI provides hackneyed work, they will demand unique, more aberrant creative products. We can rest assured that the Power of Commerce will require better. Sales is an unforgiving god and it will not be denied harderworking output.

Until the day AI can lean back, push aside what you and I have come up with, until it can generate a fresh idea by itself, our jobs are safe. AI can make everybody world-class, but you need man to do New Class.

Here's Gary Kasparov on how to embrace and use AI:

Vincent R. Pozon

After a year of college, Koyang entered advertising, and there he stayed for more than half a century, in various agencies, multinational and local. He is known for aberrant strategic successes (e.g., Clusivol’s ‘Bawal Magkasakit’, Promil’s ‘The Gifted Child’, RiteMED’s ‘May RiteMED ba nito?', VP Binay's 'Ganito Kami sa Makati', JV Ejercito's 'The Good One'). He is chairman of Estima, an ad agency dedicated to helping local industrialists, causes and candidates. He is co-founder and counselor for advertising, public relations, and crisis management of Caucus, Inc., a multi-discipline consultancy firm. He can be reached through vpozon@me.com.

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