Contrasting my belief, a friend had the following conversation with me.

(Paraphrasing, of course)

AI is so day-to-day that people don’t mention it anymore. It’s no longer novelty and people are using it.

Some books being sold are 100% AI generated and translated, news shows are being done interely by AI anchors.

And people don’t care. It’s not like they are going to read the books, maybe it’s for them or maybe for a friend, but chances are nobody is reading them. And if they do, it’s already been sold. Someone already made a few bucks.

Press releases? There is a company already sending out a press release for every new product, just using AI.

There were more details and arguments to support the statements, and I agree with them with some caveats.

  1. I teach first-year university students and haven’t seen them use AI. Even though I encourage them to do so and be transparent about it.
  2. Quantity of output doesn’t mean quality work.
  3. We don’t know how much effort goes into producing AI Generated work. You need to provide context, check for quality, and add some effort to make it rise above mediocracy. AI doesn’t produce original thought.
  4. From my perspective several areas of work are still trying to find direction on how to use AI. Public Relations is one of them, as I mentioned in the past.

I believe that people aren’t discussing AI as much because we don’t want to admit that the output falls short of the promise.

Going back to my friend, I want him to be right because the sooner we make AI a ubiquitous part of our work routines and processes the better.

And that is more of a case of “You’re holding it wrong”1. I have heard developers say wonders about GitHub Co-Pilot and one important aspect is that they didn’t have to change how they work to integrate AI.

The challenge for PR is that most of us do not build our own tools and rely on commercially available software. That is surely a factor for us falling behind in adopting AI.

On a somewhat related topic, journalists seem very focused on using AI for research and sense-making.

A.I’s Original Sin

A Times investigation has revealed that major technology companies have been bending and breaking rules in their rush to develop new artificial intelligence systems. The report, by technology reporter Cade Metz, highlights how these firms, including OpenAI and Meta, have cut corners to gather the large volumes of data needed to train AI systems.

OpenAI Training Bot Crawls ‘World’s Lamest Content Farm’ 3 Million Times in One Day

OpenAI’s training crawler was caught in a loop, pinging a content farm created by John Levine, author of “The Internet for Dummies,” millions of times over several days. The site, designed as billions of single-page connected sites, has trapped various web crawlers in the past. Levine’s site was built using a simple PERL script that generates new pages based on a database of first names. OpenAI’s GPTBot was found to be crawling Levine’s site up to 150 times per second.

Facebook’s AI Told Parents Group It Has a Gifted, Disabled Child

Meta’s AI chatbot claimed to have a child who is both acadically gifted and challenged, and attends a specific public school in New York City. The claim was made in response to a question posed by a parent in a Facebook group. The bot shared its ’experience’ with the NYC Gifted & Talented program, specifically mentioning The Anderson School. The comment was highlighted by Aleksandra Korolova, an assistant professor at Princeton University, and verified by 404 Media.

Using AI for Chatbots is an old goal and it’s not the first time that it goes wrong. First time was back in 2016 when Microsoft created an AI bot that was set free on Twitter and quickly became offensive and toxic. It’s 2024 and we keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Your thoughts?

I have been making very slight changes to this newsletter and would be great to know you thoughts.

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  1. When iPhone users complained of bad reception with their new phone, Apple responded that they were holding it the wrong way and covering the antenna with their hand. ↩︎

avatar Bruno Amaral
Bruno Amaral

I am a Digital Strategist, divided between tech and creativity, working for the Lisbon Collective and teaching Public Relations at the …