I like the term solo personal publishers, and it's possible that with chat bots, young people will write less and think differently. I guess we already saw that with mobile in a sense. It makes me wonder how cognition has changed in a world of algorithms. And a social environment where factions and division itself is monetized.

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Look for Google to work with content providers to kneecap AI forays into search via litigation. Assuming that AI’s evolution of search skips us ahead from choosing from a spread of links to AI simply

providing us with the “answer” to our question...i think AI is gonna have to owe payment to any and all of the content providers referenced in assimilating its “answer”. A bunch of choices provided by search is not a new product. An AI “answer” that by definition uses and repurposes the existing work of others while threading it into a new product and monetizing it is just not gonna be allowed to stand without some sort of rights payment/agreement. That’s gonna be a hell of a fight

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I'm not so sure I buy the idea that AI will hasten the demise of the open web, at least not in the short term.

Knowledge begets knowledge. It is ever expanding and in large part depends on human analysis and insight to be added to the world wide library that is the open web.

AI will depend upon human-generated knowledge for training data, at least until we have artificial general intelligence.

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> “Generative AI is a holy-shit technology. When you use it the first time, you end up thinking this is going to change a whole bunch of things.”

Yes, this was my initial reaction as well. But then, a couple gin & tonics and one panic attack later, I actually took some of these tools out for a spin. Copy.ai was one of them, as was ArticleForge (real subtle, these guys 🙄)

Let’s just say, I wasn’t impressed. Uncannily monotone prose. Repeat sentences galore, sometimes barely a paragraph apart. More mistakes (grammatical AND factual) than I cared to count. Superficial and hyper-SEO’d content that’s a mile wide and an inch deep, and clearly written for search engines (ie, other machines) instead of for people (which I realize is kind of the point). Try to prompt the AI to go deeper or add nuance, and the facade falls apart, returning incoherent and scattered writing about things that are *at best* peripherally-related to the main topic, and that’s if the content was factual (which was a VERY big “if”).

The highlight of my “research” was asking ArticleForge to write a long article explaining why AI writing tools are overrated, and it spat out a Billy Mays-esque sales post recommending its competitors! 🤣

After an hour or so, I’d seen enough. If THIS is the ultra-eloquent AI that’s supposed to destroy my livelihood, then why was I fretting so much? I slept very well that night, secure in the knowledge that a robot’s not going to put me out of work, after all. (At least not in the near future; far future, maybe, but I have time to prepare for that)

> “AI will displace a lot of work that’s mundane communication. It will end up putting a premium on the human connection.”

I was recently thinking about this, too! Because I do want to make clear: GPT really IS going to change and shakeup a lot of things—for instance, I have a small bet with my wife, a middle school teacher, over when she’ll spot her first GPT-written homework assignment (I predict 2 weeks).

I also agree that the writing/comms work that the robots actually WILL take over, is... really crappy, exploitative, and arguably detrimental (to the individual and to society). You mentioned ad copy, and as a former agency copywriter, I can’t say I’m shedding a tear. Content mills will no longer have to overwork and exploit naive aspiring writers to create clickbait “articles.” I say, good riddance! Those jobs are rote, creatively sterile, highly demeaning, and insultingly underpaid; they’re digital sweatshop jobs that are far below ANY writer, regardless of experience/proficiency or lack there of.

There’s also the chance that GPT and its ilk will shut down the content mills in the first place: by making Google, the corporate blogs it links to, and the content that feeds the blogs obsolete (which is deliciously poetic, as so much of that content is so excessively SEO’d that it already reads like a robot wrote it, anyway).

Sure, this would unleash a tempest upon publishers, content strategists, and MarCom professionals generally, as they scramble to revamp their content strategies to account for this Brave New World. But as someone who works or has worked in each of those roles, I’m willing to brave the uncertainty if it spares far more writers the torment of starving their souls and dignity by churning out 4,000 words of deceptive clickbait everyday for $0.0001/word (I’m clearly exaggerating that rate... geez, I certainly HOPE so, at least...).

And I’m even more willing now that I’ve stopped worrying and realized that an AI isn’t going to make me obsolete anytime soon. Hell, if anything, it’s actually very useful for ideation and (careful) research, so I can even see it making me MORE valuable by saving me precious time and creative energy to add even more of my personal, human touch—value that, as you alluded to, a machine can never take away from me or my work.

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Great points on AI and ChatGPT (though I don't have time to address them now!) but I still think your intuition re: NFTs was on point and that there is something to the whole token/web3-based collectible thingamajob. My suspicion is that we haven't heard the last of people paying large sums of money for conspicuous digital consumption than doesn't exist IRL--and curious to see how that turns out.

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