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Anxiety or Innovation? What’s the Deal with AI

Posted on: June 28, 2023

Posted by Ashley

No doubt you’ve been hearing the same buzz we have around the idea of Artificial Intelligence. And from most of the reports we’re seeing, AI is about to take over every industry! But what’s the truth behind the hype? Is AI the way of the future? Is it as scary as it sounds? Or can AI be a tool to help your business thrive in the future? Today we’re going to unpack the myths and help you understand how Artificial Intelligence may transform your business.

So what is AI?

AI, as previously mentioned, stands for Artificial Intelligence. It is essentially a computer program that has been taught to self-learn. Yes, it does sound very Blade Runner-y. While we’re not quite to the point of needing to redefine what makes something human, the technology in AI has recently lept forward, allowing for some incredible advancements. 

Though truth be told, you’ve been using AI for longer than you think. The most famous “voice” in AI is your little lady robot friend “Siri.” While you might not think of it as anything other than a voice that answers the weird trivia questions you think of in the middle of the night, Siri is, in fact, a form of artificial intelligence. As is “Alexa,” the feature on your favorite streaming platform that recommends shows based on things you’ve previously watched and even your internet browser’s search bar. And so is autocorrect! 

Y’know how every time you get a new phone, it feels like your autocorrect is “ducking” nuts? Well, the AI behind autocorrect hasn’t learned your unique way of speaking yet. After a few weeks, though, your phone has begun to recognize your patterns of speech so it can make more accurate predictions about what you’re trying to say. In fact, the document I’m writing this in right now does the same thing. AI has been a part of our lives much longer than we think and has done so much to make our lives easier and more efficient. 

So why are we hearing about it all of a sudden?

Well, there are a couple of reasons. One of the biggest ones is the Writer’s Guild of America Strike. 

This strike is about many factors that have been building for years, but one of the elements is that certain streaming services have been turning to AI rather than their writers for content. Writers haven’t been paid a living wage for their work (another reason for the strike), and because there aren’t a lot of regulations around streaming services, the royalties many writers receive (the primary source of income for many in the business) has been reduced to pennies. Literally.

Because it is cheaper for one person to program a bunch of keywords and for a computer to spit out a complete, albeit lacking, script, production companies can cut their costs and production times in half. Except the results aren’t great. But they are fast and cheap!

Another reason we’re hearing about it is that certain programs, such as Photoshop, have recently updated to include an AI feature. Rather than creating a picture on your own, you can now send in a few keywords, and Photoshop will render the image for you. Sounds like a total time saver, right?

Well yeah, but there are two problems with it; The first is that while the technology exists and works, it’s… not great. You have to be incredibly specific in order to get a result that makes sense. So specific, in fact, that it’s a waste of time; it’s actually easier to create the image on your own. A favorite example of mine was watching a video of someone trying to get AI to recreate antique portraits where the image it generated involved a woman sitting in a chair and was also somehow part of the chair. A technology that claims it’s meant to make the artistic process faster and more efficient isn’t really up to the task, so what’s the point?

Another big complaint in the area of AI is where it’s doing its learning. I’ll use the earlier example to explain; If I asked AI to create a painting of a woman from 1500, the AI generator is going to scour the internet for every image pertaining to a woman in 1500. As a learning processor, it’s teaching itself what makes something a painting, a woman, and from 1500. The source material is wide, so the resulting image I’ll be given is going to be an amalgamation of all the info AI learned along the way. But it’s learning. It doesn’t know. It has no ability to make nuanced judgment calls based on logic, which is why the end product isn’t usually great.

But the ethically grey part of that is that because AI is scouring the internet looking for source material, that means it’s also ripping off that source material. That might not matter to most of us when it comes to a 500-year-old portrait, but it does become a problem when it’s ripping off an artist today. AI doesn’t limit its searches. So if it finds an online shop listing for a modern portrait done by a modern artist in the style of a painting from 1500, it’s going to use that information to learn, which means it’s using the intellectual property of someone else. And (at least for now) AI isn’t sentient, so who is responsible for the technical theft?

See how the waters of AI can be rather murky?

I get it, but what does this have to do with my business?

We’ve talked a lot about the drawbacks of AI in the creative sector, and that’s predominantly because the reason AI has been in the headlines is because of this new “creative” frontier for AI. When it comes to business, we’ve been using AI for a lot longer and, for the most part, with better success. 

A great example of this is programs like Grammerly or Jasper. Both of these are examples of AI that have helped thousands of people work smarter. Grammarly is a tool that primarily helps make your writing more clear and error-proof. Jasper, on the other hand, uses keywords to write content such as blog posts, ads, or captions. But AI for business comes in many forms. Any kind of data retrieval programs you utilize are run by AI. In fact, you probably use AI in your business more than you think. 

Does your website have a chat bubble where customers can ask questions and get live-time responses? That’s AI. Do you use a mail service that sends automatic replies? Again, AI.

As business owners, it’s important for us to not only recognize how much we already use and rely on AI tech to run our business but also to areas where AI is missing the mark. Being aware of both these areas allows us to use the technology better and streamline our business.

So is AI good or bad?

Like most things in life, AI is neutral. It’s only good or bad when it’s used for good or bad. One of the biggest business benefits of AI is that it has the extra-human ability to be unbiased when it comes to data collection. Where human data collection has the potential for several areas of error, AI data collection is going to give you the cold, hard facts, which is great for raw data collection. Taking away the potential for skewed data is absolutely helpful. But data still needs to be interpreted through a human lens. If you are using AI data to ignore human nuance, that’s probably not going to serve you well. At the same time, ignoring AI-collected data because it’s un-nuanced is also prone to biting you in the backside. 

Where AI stands today (and the direction specialists recommend it stays!), it’s meant to be a tool that helps boost your productivity, not replace it. AI programs and apps should be used to eliminate workday interruptions, free up your and your employee’s time, and do menial tasks that you repeat every day. Using the technology available to help with these areas means less room for human error and more room for humans to do what only humans can do.


At the end of the day, Artificial Intelligence isn’t the scary thing Sci-Fi movies have made it out to be. While there are definitely jobs that AI will eventually replace, for the most part, the technology is still in its infancy. One specialist said that the AI development community has been promising Human level Artificial Intelligence was only 20 years away for the past 60 years. 

We’re already using so much AI technology that has genuinely made our lives easier and opened the door for innovation. The technology will improve, maybe to the point where Science Fiction becomes Science Fact, but probably not, and definitely not in our lifetime. 

That being said, if there is an AI technology that works for your business and helps your business work better, why wouldn’t you utilize that?


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