While many people are excited by the possibilities offered by new generative AI technologies, some people have understandable concerns about what it all means for their career stability.
After all, not so long ago, it seemed improbable that computers would be able to take on many of the creative tasks that are core to marketing, such as copywriting and graphic design. Yet today, we see tools like ChatGPT, Bard, Stable Diffusion, Dall-E, and others doing exactly that and improving all the time.
Beyond content creation, we also see AI getting better at performing analytical tasks, such as extracting insight from marketing data or summarizing the content of large documents and huge volumes of social media posts.
So let's analyze the question: Will ChatGPT take my job?
Is it time for marketers to worry about their jobs?
According to a recent survey by CNBC, workers in the marketing and advertising industry are amongst those most concerned about AI, with 51% worried that it will take their jobs. Is this really a valid concern?
In its 2023 Employment Outlook report, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts that rapid advances in AI are likely to have a significant impact on jobs that are considered highly skilled, such as law, medicine, and finance. But at present, this is only a speculative observation, and the organization points out that right now, AI is changing jobs rather than replacing them.
This seems to reflect the reality of AI in the marketing industry right now. What happens if you fire all of your marketers and spend $20 a month on a ChatGPT+ subscription? Nothing. Somebody still has to make it all happen, and ChatGPT isn’t capable of doing anything by itself because it’s just a tool, not a skilled and experienced professional.
For example, Meltwater recently introduced an AI writing assistant in its social media management tool, Engage, which helps speed up the creation of posts. However this tool can only help a social media manager to produce content more quickly, and the process still needs a human to guide the AI and review its output, so it’s not a replacement for a professional.
Why would you still need humans in marketing?
Humans are good at adapting to changing circumstances and solving novel problems, whereas ChatGPT and other AI tools can only take on a fairly narrow range of tasks and require human oversight to perform them satisfactorily.
As Meltwater’s Guillaume Decugis, Head of Consumer Insights, explained in a webinar on the impact of generative AI in marketing earlier this year, “None of these things can be done by AI alone. All of these high tasks require human expertise to either guide the AI or be critical of what the AI suggests. The common theme is that AI can speed the work up, or identify things that a human may have missed, but human expertise is still required.”
So, for the foreseeable future, it’s unlikely that marketers will find themselves replaced by ChatGPT or other AIs. But does that mean the new technology is completely without risk?
What could be potential downsides of ChatGPT?
In the OECD report, the authors point out that a potential downside to tools like ChatGPT is that amidst all the talk of improved productivity, there’s a danger that too much pressure will be placed on workers to deliver more than they are capable of. So, as with any new technology, it’s important to thoroughly assess its capabilities and develop a realistic idea of how it can fit into your overall business as well as your individual role.
While most agree that the potential of ChatGPT in marketing is huge, inflated expectations only ever lead to disappointment and disillusionment, which is counterproductive and makes it more difficult to reach a point where the technology is used most effectively. This is perfectly illustrated by Gartner’s well-known hype-cycle concept, which highlights how new technologies are often over-hyped, which results in a backlash when inflated expectations are not met.
At Meltwater we’ve been careful to integrate ChatGPT capabilities into our solutions in ways that make sense for our customers, to help make their jobs easier and more productive. We believe AI can be a force for good, and that it should be deployed with careful consideration for safety and ethics so that it helps our customers, rather than placing additional burdens on them. If we all share this approach, then nobody should have anything to fear from AI.