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What this digital agency is doing with AI

23/01/24

“Do we have AI? Should we say we have AI or that we are working towards having AI?”

 

Overhead in a Dublin office space, November, 2023. It seemed to sum up AI in 2023, which was everything, everywhere, all at once, and if you weren’t on the train or getting on it you were in trouble. The launch of ChatGPT, Bard et al caused doom, huge excitement and outrage. The possibilities were many: never having to work again? All white collar jobs lost? A decent meeting notetaker? And while lawsuits over copyright build up serious steam, we’ve seen AI platforms, tools and teams spawn rapidly in diverse sectors.

 

What we do with AI in Ebow digital

 

Do have we AI? Of course we do. As well as the standalone platforms where we go to use it such as ChatGPT, it’s being increasingly built into the platforms and tools we use everyday like Gmail, Google Drive, and META Business Manager. We’re seeing AI being built on top of the machine learning we were used to. That way we don’t need to go anywhere to take advantage of it. We’re seeing new creative features being added to tools we love, supercharging them in some cases, and cluttering them in others.

 

“Will AI take my job?” “No, but someone who knows how to use it might”.

 

That pearl of wisdom was overhead at the Irish Consulate in New York last year. It’s true that you need to learn how to use these tools to get the best out of them. AI generated headlines can be awfully easy to spot while AI generated images of hands are legendarily bad. Learn how and when to use AI to do better work and understand its strengths, weaknesses and biases. It can’t walk into a room and network, do emotional intelligence, handle grey areas, subtleties or draw hands. It also amplifies human bias and stereotypes which matters as future tech is being built on it.

 

“What are you doing with AI?”

 

In late 2023 as offices wound down for Christmas we were asked this question. I didn’t admit that I failed to replicate the incredible outputs touted by excited LinkedIn influencers (a podcast, slide deck, term plan and lessons in 7 minutes!). But we did agree that AI is super useful and awe inspiring sometimes, as an ideas generator, proofreader, meeting note taker, meta tag writer, code checker or ad planner.

Yes, sometimes AI is the other brain we need as we try to articulate things in different ways. Other times it’s cheesy and overegged. But then look at what it’s trained on, the content of the internet isn’t exactly Shakespeare. Although The Taming of the Shrew is in there along with every content farmed article, marketing deck ever written. Proceed with excitement but also caution.

Ebow is a creative digital agency. We use the tools we believe will help us do the best job, think strategically, creatively and differently and keep us on the edge. We’ve always trawled the internet for inspiration. Steeped our brains in ideas and culture, both on and offline. Mainly human generated, occasionally machine assisted. Our job is to read, watch, absorb, understand, puzzle, strategise, present and persuade. If we don’t use our powers of critical thinking we can’t connect with our clients or their target audiences. We haven’t outsourced our thinking and we never will.

So to answer the question about what we are doing with AI, I’d say lots. We are using it to work a little differently, some of us more than others, to make things. Much the same way we absorb any technological breakthroughs. We look forward to all the wild rides, overheard snippets of conversation and questions it brings us in 2024.

Our weird robot image is a bizarre blend of AI and a Robot Emoji Vectors from Vecteezy

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