Breakthroughs in technology are often thought to be a driver of job losses, but these fears can easily be exaggerated owing to concerns about job security – especially in the economic disaster we face today. While technological advancement brings the potential to automate many procedures and replace the jobs of people, it also creates jobs and roles that previously never existed.

Conversations surrounding this have increasingly entered the mainstream since ChatGPT – an AI-powered chatbot – was launched. Students, professionals, salesmen, software developers and several others in my social and professional circles have been trying their hand at this new platform which has godlike abilities of ‘knowing it all’ and articulating itself as if it were a human. Whether it is writing an email or programming the code of a complex game – ChatGPT has managed to woo even the harshest skeptics with its supposedly brilliant abilities.

However, these capabilities and their widespread access beg the question of whether the recipients of certain texts would appreciate them being written by an AI chatbot. Think of it as the same thing as receiving an acceptance letter from a company or university you applied to – the satisfaction of receiving an email from a real human being is far greater as opposed to an automated email.

Generating ‘Original Work’ Through AI Tools

The concept of originality is often debated when it comes to creativity, posing questions such as whether today’s concepts, even if human beings develop them, are original. By its definition, originality refers to the creation of ideas that have not existed before, but we judge it in relative terms. If a person has not been exposed to an idea that already exists and comes up with it on his own, then they are displaying originality in thought.

However, given the popular notion of creativity being a process through which new connections take place in the mind among existing ideas, another question comes to mind – is the creative product really original or just the outcome of manipulating already existing ideas?

Extrapolate the same logic and apply it to the creative output of AI tools – whether it is AI-generated pictures, sounds or text. AI systems are fed with a database of information and programmed to build connections through a logical process. This is what gives them the ability to reason, but it also implies that all outputs generated by an AI system will be some rendition of the ideas that already exist in its database.

In view of this, although AI lacks the capacity to generate entirely novel concepts autonomously, it can facilitate human creativity by acting as a catalyst. By emulating creativity and generating content based on pre-existing works, AI has the capacity to supplement human ingenuity. However, since it relies on existing data, AI still shows that it is unable to read underlying human emotions other than their tangible manifestations or create content that may fully integrate deep and currently undiscovered human insights.

Some creatives argue that despite the power of AI, it might never be able to match human creativity or generate ‘original’ content owing to some qualities that are specific only to human beings – consciousness and the ‘human touch’.

Creative Intelligence Comes from Humans

When Midjourney first hit the streets, people were all praises for the potential of AI’s creativity – so much so that artists whose work is purely a result of AI systems have emerged. With this evolution, however, one cannot ignore the fact that this creativity still necessitates human involvement. All of the content – whether text, sound or images – produced by these artists so far has been based on past human creations, which were made using human emotion and awareness. This makes it evident that AI cannot replace the authentic creativity of the human mind but still has what it takes to produce creative work at some level. This becomes a reason to believe that while the creative output may not be fully original, it may very well be the birth of a new kind of ‘original’ altogether.

Artificial Intelligence was originally created to assist with tasks that require accuracy and precision and thus does not serve as the best creative partner. Despite this, AI tools have evolved enough to provide inspiration for many creatives who intend to use them for assistance rather than a system to generate creative work for them.

Outsmarting Your Audience: Not a Good Idea

While the use (and abuse) of such platforms can be discussed at length, it is important to consider that for marketers who have taken full advantage of ChatGPT and other AI-based tools, their audiences are ultimately receiving messages from a machine. In an age when consumers are more conscious than ever of forming meaningful connections with brands, some would say that sending them machine-crafted messages would be like a disservice to their intelligence.

However, if the machine is good enough to write like a real human being, then one could argue that the audiences never really need to find out who wrote it. Despite this notion, the same audiences who are being marketed also have access to the same AI-powered tools. This makes many of them smart enough to use those tools for their utility as well. Such audiences may eventually develop the ability to identify whether something has been written with the help of an AI tool or by a real human being.

The same brands working hard to make the experience more engaging for their audiences risk losing that connection by revealing that they might not represent a human connection after all.

Additionally, while marketers may not be developing full campaigns using the AI tool. Small creative assets such as social media posts and caption text or descriptions generated from AI systems may very well be vulnerable to detection by audiences.

Creativity taps into the one thing Artificial Intelligence cannot – human emotion. Humans use several aspects of thinking when coming up with ideas, and many do not necessarily need to be logical. Artificial Intelligence, however, has been designed to solve problems through logical reasoning and still stands miles apart from human creativity.

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Muhammad Ali Khan is AVP/Manager of Communications at JS Bank. He has previously served as Associate Director of Strategy & Creative at Synergy Dentsu and Spectrum VMLY&R.