INBOX INSIGHTS, May 24, 2023: Harmful AI Choices, AI in the News

INBOX INSIGHTS: Harmful AI Choices, AI in the News (5/24) :: View in browser

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Are Your AI Choices Harmful to Your Business?

Are your AI choices harmful to your business? Let me explain.

As you likely know, AI is still dominating the news cycles (see Chris’ analysis below). This means that companies are trying to stay relevant, join the conversation, and embrace the technology. The challenge here is that AI is evolving at such a rapid pace that doing so means that by the time you publish, your article is out of date.

This is not an anti AI post. Not in the slightest. This is a…you guessed it…5P post. Ah, sneaky sneaky.

AI can do a lot for your company. That should be a given. It can help you operationalize tasks, make processes more efficient, and even fill in the gaps where you’re lacking staff.

There is a flip side to all this though. With AI changing so quickly, it can feel daunting to keep up with all the new bells and whistles. Just a few short weeks ago, major companies were hiring for prompt engineers. Now, a lot of these roles are already obsolete.

So, how do you keep up with AI and not waste a lot of time and resources?

Be clear on your Purpose.

As stated, AI can do a lot for your company. But that doesn’t mean it needs to do everything all at once. Introducing too much change can do the opposite of what you want. People can feel overwhelmed and easily become disenchanted with the new technology. If it’s “one more thing” to think about for your team, it’s not helpful.

Start with your user story. As a reminder, a user story is a simple statement with three key parts.

As a [persona], I [want to], so [that].

For example: As a [CMO], I [want to use ChatGPT], so [that we can increase our content production].

That statement tells us that the CMO wants to use AI to increase content. Pretty straight forward. You can use AI to do this a few different ways. This is where you need to get more specific with your purpose.

If we start picking apart the user story we can ask follow up questions like:

  • Is ChatGPT the right tool?
  • Do we want AI to write the content or just a draft?
  • Do we want AI to edit the content?
  • Do we want AI to replace the writers on the team?
  • Do we want to increase headcount?
  • Do we want AI to factor in SEO?
  • Do we want AI to have a specific voice/tone?
  • Do we want the content to increase awareness, engagement, or purchase?

There are a lot of different factors to consider. By making your user story super specific, you’ll have a better chance of success with the other 4Ps.

The next P is people. This might be the most difficult P when we’re talking about AI. If you don’t have a team with technical skills, introducing AI will be challenging. If you don’t have a clear purpose, you don’t know what you’re hiring for. Additionally, if you’re trying to take on too much at once, you could be hiring for the wrong skill sets.

After people is the third P, process. You need to have a clear purpose and the right people to set up an effective process for your AI. More on this soon.

Which bring us to platform, the P of the hour! AI is a piece of software and at the moment, there is a lot of options to choose from. This is where you go back up to the top of the Ps and make sure that you have a very clear, very specific purpose for using AI. If anything, you choose the platform last, not first. ChatGPT, for example, is a great piece of software, but it may not align with your purpose. You might not have the skills on your team to operate the software. Which means that developing a process around the software will be painful. The point here being, don’t choose the platform first. It’s the last thing you should be considering.

Last but not least, you have the fifth P, performance – did you solve the problem. If we refer back to the user story, we see that the purpose was to generate more content. If the user story stays general, then sure, a lot of different AI tools can generate more content. You can say that you’ve solved the problem. However, if you took my advice and created a more specific user story, you’ll know exactly what you’re measuring and if it had a positive impact on your company or not.

All this to say, if you make smart choices about AI, you can do great things with your team. The way to make those smart choices is to be clear about your purpose. Then evaluate your team’s skills. Develop a process for using and measuring AI. Then you pick an AI platform. Lastly, measure your efforts. The goal of AI is to make things easier, not harder.

Are you making smart decisions with AI?

Reply to this email, or come join the conversation in our Free Slack Group, Analytics for Marketers.

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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In this week’s In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris explore the three necessities for starting a new business. What three things, if you had to start over from scratch, would you need to make your business successful? You’ll learn what those necessities are, why they matter, and how to apply them to your business, whether it’s new or not.

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Data Diaries: Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, let’s go look at the news. Specifically, let’s go look at how much AI is in the news. This is… well, just crazy:

AI in the news

What we see is that AI as a topic in general has been of interest for years; thousands of stories in the general population news as far back as 2016. Until you get to January 2023, when the general public got wind of tools like ChatGPT. Suddenly, interest skyrocketed in AI as an overall topic, and people working in the field found bountiful interest in the technology.

So, what do we learn from this? You may recall that ChatGPT launched in November of 2022. It took several months for the mainstream media to notice it, and once they did, it was all anyone could talk about. But this is the critical part: the early adopters were in months before the general population.

For companies looking for strategic advantage, especially in anything that’s technologically related, when was the best time to get involved in AI, especially if you want to be part of the news cycle? The answer would have been November or December 2022.

But how? Looking at the chart, we see that there was no detectable activity outside the norm, in terms of volume, until January 2023. So how would you have known to jump on something? The answer is in careful listening within your communities. If you belong to communities like the many Discord servers for AI and tech companies (Discord is the preferred choice for much of the tech community due to the low annual cost) or a community like Analytics for Marketers, you would have heard much excitement in November when ChatGPT launched.

This is the operational “secret” that marketers should be looking out for – being members of active communities in your industry, in your field of study. Communities are where trends pop up earliest, as people get wind of something and ask others about it. Sure, you’ll see some of it in public social media like LinkedIn or Twitter, but you’ll see much more behind closed doors where people feel comfortable asking “silly” questions in safer spaces.

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