AI Marketing Promises

Day 317 Week 44 Q4 Tuesday, November 14, 2023

AI can be great or an incredible time-waster. The world seems to be obsessed with the latest buzzword, which is not at all new. AI has been around for at least fifty years and has always been just around the corner from tremendous success. Now, there are plenty of ways in which AI is helpful or, perhaps at times, frightening, but much of what is written about it is nonsense being written by people who have no idea what they are talking about.

I just read an article about the future of AI in music. It looked at the things “they” are saying are happening, and the authors sound like they are regurgitating what most marketing people have said but which I have not, so far, found to be true or accurate. Having been burned by these assertions for years and years, it is like the boy who cried wolf for me – I am barely paying attention because the majority of these tools have wasted large numbers of my hours and achieved nothing. I am sure some of these things will happen and be great, but at the moment, they are somewhere between self-driving cars and GPS.

Self-driving cars are simply not ready for prime time, and although GPS units are very much more helpful to people who know nothing about where they are or are going. Using AI is like using a consultant – sometimes beneficial and sometimes totally off base. In short, you still have to know what you are doing and have some ability to judge and verify outcomes, or you end up with garbage.

I have been trying unsuccessfully to find ways to make AI musically valuable for me for a long time. I have not given up, but it seems to be of more use to people without talent. No doubt some people are getting something from it, but a lot of what comes out is junk. Now word processing has been around also for a long time, and I am wondering if the quality of writing has been going up?  I see no evidence of either literature or music being improved by AI.

I know someone looking for a job who is delightedly using Chat GPT to write his cover letters to save time. This may work well if an AI is reading the letter, but if I were a hiring manager, the cover letter would tell me more about who this person was than their resume. Now, of course, hiring managers may never even see the cover letter because the AI would strip it off before it was forwarded to them. I imagine more people are being hired to spec than because they are talented. In that kind of world, talent is discriminated against not because the half-life of the spec is a tiny percentage of the half-life of the employee. What a waste of talent.

AI can be great but also a total waste.