Should AI attempt absolutely everything?

Artificial Intelligence is a wondrous thing.  While it’s been around for a long while, it recently has really started to enter our lives in obvious ways.  For instance, martech platforms are rolling out tools that allow users to generate campaign ideas.

However, this leads to an interesting question: Just because an AI tool can write creative copy, should it always do so?  There are certainly some AI ethical questions, but there are also other questions worth asking.

Drums, dinosaurs, and ducks

Recently, I was using a marketing campaign management platform.  It provides an AI tool through which one can provide a few keywords or prompts to generate text content as a jumping off point.  

The tool uses best practices from high performing material from past campaigns run by the company’s clients to inform its suggestions.  The tool impressed me; while the suggestions aren’t stellar, they’re not horrible either.  That makes it a great tool for brainstorming and overcoming writer’s block.

Intrigued, I decided to have some fun by entering keywords that shouldn’t have much to do with the context at hand.  I wanted to see what hotel campaign ideas could possibly come from a prompt of “drums, dinosaurs, and ducks,” and the tool suggested:

  • “Looking for a unique getaway?  Discover our themed hotels with drums, dinosaurs, and ducks!  Book now for an unforgettable experience.”
  • “Get ready for an epic adventure!  Discover the perfect destination for drums, dinosaurs, and ducks.  Book your stay now and make unforgettable memories.”

While I appreciate the effort, the results aren’t really usable.  

Dig deeper: Using AI to improve customer experience and customer journey orchestration

Harmless but largely useless

In defense of the tool presenting suggestions, there are innumerable scenarios, and in some edge cases, these seemingly unrelated keywords may have relevance (like the Peabody Ducks in Memphis, TN).  

Ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, escorted by the official Duckmaster.

Further, in the hotel space, some customers travel with pets and need pet-friendly places to stay.  So, while “ducks” may not make sense the vast majority of time, prompts like “cats and dogs” are relevant.

While such suggestions seem harmless, how much better would this tool be if it inquired more about a seemingly nonsensical prompt before providing suggestions or offering guidance?  For instance, if “drums” were in the prompt, what if the tool responded with, “Check out our guide for targeting niche audiences?”   Such a response would likely provide more value to the user. 

Ill-equipped for some prompts

It is also helpful to consider data.  Many data professionals will attest that data in untrained hands can yield ill-advised conclusions.  Sometimes some data in untrained hands can lead to disastrous results.  While there are certainly a lot of situations when someone who isn’t a data specialist can draw valid conclusions, that’s not always the case.

In this context, giving an AI tool prompts that it isn’t equipped to handle can also yield questionable results.  So, that’s also worth considering.  Don’t ask an AI tool to do something that it’s not trained to handle.   

Stop and think

One thing that I’ve learned during my career — and life in general, for that matter — is that sometimes it is wise to take a step back and think about something regardless of whether it is a question, task, or fork in the road.  While it feels good to provide a quick answer and check something off of a to-do list, a quick answer or decision isn’t always a wise one.

I think that this can apply here.  Granted, AI can “think” far more quickly than mere mortal humans, but perhaps AI systems should be trained to consider more than the obvious when producing output.  

As the example above illustrates, perhaps inserting random words in relevant phrases isn’t what the user truly needs.  Thus, a link to guide to targeting niche audiences would help more than trying to shove virtually anything into the sample campaign text just because it can.

Real intelligence

It is easy and fun to hand stuff over to an AI to see what will happen.  However, it is always wise to exert one’s own real intelligence.  

Is this task really suited for this AI tool?  Just because the AI tool can spit something back, is that output really what’s needed?  Asking and answering those questions certainly seems wise.

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Should AI Attempt Everything? Striking a Balance in AI Capabilities

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into various aspects of our lives has opened up a realm of possibilities, but it also raises the question: should AI attempt absolutely everything? While AI has demonstrated remarkable capabilities, there are nuanced considerations that call for a balanced approach.

The Versatility of AI
AI’s versatility is undeniable. It can process vast datasets at incredible speeds, automate routine tasks, and even excel in complex problem-solving scenarios. Its applications span industries, from healthcare and finance to entertainment and education. However, this versatility should be tempered by ethical, practical, and safety considerations.

The Case for AI Attempting Everything
1. Efficiency and Automation:
AI excels in automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks, freeing up human resources for more creative and strategic endeavours. This efficiency can be a compelling argument for expanding AI’s role.

2. Data Analysis:
AI’s ability to analyse vast datasets and extract actionable insights is invaluable for industries like healthcare and scientific research, where human capacity may fall short.

3. Safety and Precision:
In contexts where precision and safety are paramount, such as autonomous vehicles and medical diagnostics, AI can outperform human capabilities.

The Need for Boundaries
While AI offers remarkable potential, there are domains where it should not attempt everything:

1. Ethical Considerations:
AI should not be tasked with decisions involving human lives, especially in situations where ethical judgement and empathy are essential, such as medical diagnoses or criminal justice.

2. Creativity and Artistry:
Creativity, art, and cultural expression are deeply human endeavours. While AI can assist in these areas, the essence of creativity should remain a human domain.

3. Responsible Decision-Making:
AI should not make decisions that have profound societal implications without human oversight. Ensuring transparency, fairness, and accountability in AI decision-making is crucial.

Striking the Balance
The key lies in striking a balance between AI’s capabilities and its limitations. This involves:

1. Ethical Guidelines:
Establishing ethical guidelines and regulations to govern AI’s role in sensitive areas and ensuring that human values are upheld.

2. Collaboration:
Promoting collaboration between humans and AI, where AI complements human capabilities rather than replacing them.

3. Continuous Evaluation:
Regularly assessing AI’s performance, biases, and impact to refine its applications and ensure responsible usage.

AI is a powerful tool that can augment human capabilities and drive innovation across industries. However, it should be applied judiciously, with a clear understanding of its strengths and limitations. Striking the right balance between AI’s potential and ethical, practical, and safety considerations is essential for harnessing its transformative power while upholding human values and responsibilities.


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