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Q&A with the ‘too dangerous to release AI’ about marketing trends for 2020, political ads, and the current tech backlash

Introduction

This weekend, I stumbled upon this tweet by neural networks expert Adam King. Adam built Talk to Transformer as an easier way to interact with OpenAI’s machine learning model named GPT-2. Initially deemed “too dangerous to release”, GPT-2 can predict and complete full paragraphs of text from minimal inputs.

Obviously, this technology could have a major impact for marketers. This article includes some selected conversations I had with the tool and my initial thoughts.


Q&A

Note: The following answers were all AI-generated

Input: “The main marketing trends for 2020 will be”

Output:

The main marketing trends for 2020 will be the global demand for renewable energy, the global trend towards a low-carbon economy and the need to support the needs of the most vulnerable.

“There is great excitement about the energy industry in this year’s G20 summit,” said the chief executive, Dr Peter Larkins. “We are already seeing strong growth of the solar industry, for example.

“It is clear that renewable energy is a big issue for the global economy and it is very clear that the world will need a secure supply of energy.

“The clean technologies sector has been the fastest growing sector for over a decade, and we know that we have a lot to learn from emerging markets.

“This year, we want to see innovative projects such as ‘Solar on the Moon’ – to build a small solar power plant on the moon – being brought to life in our own backyard.

Input: “Q: Should Facebook ban political ads?”

Output:

A: No. As a public forum, the internet allows the most diverse of ideas to be discussed freely.

B: Yes. A ban on political ads would be a good way to limit the amount of misinformation that can be spread on Facebook, and it could lead to the development of a social media network that is more civil and responsible.

C: Yes. The U.S. Constitution already gives the government a limited role in regulating social media, and such a ban would likely be constitutional.

D: No. Facebook would not be violating First Amendment rights in the United States.

Input: “On the current tech backlash”

Output:

In my opinion, the tech industry is in the midst of a crisis of legitimacy, and it is not just because of the high-profile controversies over sexism and racism and the various other issues facing women and minorities in tech. What we are seeing today is a profound, systemic crisis in our own hearts, and this is not a problem of isolated bad apples. It is an endemic, societal crisis in how we view ourselves, our place in society, and how we understand the world around us.


Thoughts

🤯My first impression? Mind-blowing!

💯I was then curious to investigate if these texts were unique and not just partially plagiarized from existing ones. I entered all the texts above (and many others) on duplichecker.com and yep they are all 100% unique. Will students start to use AI to complete their assignments? Will lazy copywriters leverage this tool to get more work done? Will marketers use tools like this to create an insane amount of SEO pages?

😱What about these quotes, references, and sources? They are also all made up. Fake news! For example, there is no ongoing project called ‘Solar on the Moon’. Dr Peter Larkins is a real person but he isn’t an expert on sustainability but sports medicine. The F8 Developers Conference is real but it was held on April 30, 2014 (not April 5) and there were no public Q&A on political ads. In my opinion, that’s the scariest part (short-term) as your name or organization (if you have an online presence scraped by the AI) could surface in contexts that you might not want to be affiliated with.

🚧Every new technology can be used for good or evil. There is no doubt that some people will use text-generating AIs like GPT-2 for malicious purposes and OpenAI also released its GPT-2 detection models in an effort to preemptively combat misuse. This technology is a work in progress and still in its infancy. Will this enhance our creativity or will our work move towards controlling and curating AI-powered creations? I’m personally excited to follow the use cases that will come from this.

😎Oh, by the way, I’m a street artist now!


Thanks for reading!

Erwan Derlyn is (not a street artist) but an independent growth marketing consultant based in Stockholm. This post was first published in my newsletter featuring personal observations and shared thoughts on marketing, tech, and startups. You can sign up below, it’s sent monthly.