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Opinion: ChatGPT is not the terminator; it’s more like R2D2 from Star Wars

Clapboard’s Varun Katyal discusses the realities of AI while explaining how technology isn’t a monster, shedding light on how creativity will always find its pivot.

Futurists can dish out some downright scary visions for the future of machines. How AI will replace activities and take away jobs. But there will be many stages before we get there (if ever we get there). Technology will augment human endeavour. The fear of sentient AI taking over our jobs will only push us towards picking up new skills. Borrowing a word from the startup lexicon – creativity will find its “pivot”.

Speaking a different language called Python

Every company is a technology company, no matter what product or service it provides. The ones who’ll embrace this fact are the ones who’ll shape this world.

If technology is going to impact every aspect of our lives, it is important we understand where this tech is coming from. The advent of computing, over seven decades, has seen 4-5 cycles.

There was the mainframe era, then the client-server era, followed by the dot-com era and the last decade or so ushered in the age of cloud computing. After Cloud, what we are now witnessing is just the beginning of the AI revolution. 

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Like it or not, code written in Python and other AI languages will impact how we buy our groceries, how we network, how we reach our customers, how we build communities and how the advertising industry evolves.

We’ll be experiencing some turbulence

In these past few years, the creative industry has undergone seismic change. Part of that change is the growth in freelance. A standing army of creatives makes little sense for brands. Access at the right moment to the right skills in an ever-changing environment has become an absolute necessity.

By 2030, 50% of those working in the advertising industry will be doing so on a freelance basis. Employing and managing these creative professionals will become even more challenging. These turbulent times will call for out-of-the-box thinking. 

If we look at the playbook of some of the gig-economy startups, we have the perfect ingredients for disruption. These are tried and tested business ideas and technologies. We just need to put a spin on these and coin new business models for our industry. This can transform how creative workforces are constructed, and networked and how careers in our industry are imagined.

“Lateral thinking with withered technology”

Let’s say we want to reinvent the agency offers. Where do we begin? Does this mean instead of having physical offices, we invest in a new workflow app or a new website. Or It means understanding how technology can organically flow through every aspect of what we do.

Cutting-edge innovation does not mean cutting-edge technology. Back in the 80s, Nintendo coined a  product-development philosophy called “Lateral Thinking with Withered Technology.” Nintendo didn’t have the budget to push the technological frontier at the time, so they used old technology to innovate. 

Like Nintendo, we can learn from the innovations and digital transformation stories of other industries. We just need to pick up their playbook and make it relevant to our business. By blending human intelligence, artificial intelligence, and a deep understanding of the creative industry we need to find smarter, more efficient ways of working.

Fear no robots

Every time there’s a new innovation, Futurists conjure up images of armies of evil droids invading humanity. They trigger the paranoia of terminators knocking at your door to take away your livelihood. Why not conjure up positive images of the subservient R2D2 from Star Wars that does everything that we don’t want to do ourselves? 

Chat GPT is not the terminator. It’s more like the R2D2 from Star Wars.

It assists the budding copywriter Luke Skywalker, helping him churn out reams of SEO content and 500 branding options on a very tight deadline. The calculator didn’t take away the jobs of accountants and mathematicians. Chat GPT is surely not going to take away ours.

In fact, creativity, and real out-of-the-box thinking, will be required even more so now. We just need to reorient ourselves. We create disruptive ideas for our clients. It’s time we used the same talent to disrupt the agency’s offers. We don’t have to be afraid of technology. We need to embrace it to write a new narrative for the future of our industry.

The article is penned by Varun Katyal, Founder of Clapboard.

Disclaimer: The article features the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the stance of the publication.

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