“Do androids dream of electric sheep?”
Unfortunately, the acclaimed science fiction author has long since passed – and might be turning in his grave. In his absence, we asked ChatGPT about those same sheep, and here’s what it said:
“The answer to the question ‘Do androids dream of electric sheep?’ is a matter of interpretation and speculation, as it is ultimately a metaphorical question about the nature of consciousness and what it means to be alive.”
Talk about existentialism.
Having artificial intelligence ponder its own existence seems a little scary. Turing Tests aside, we’re all wondering how smart these fancy algorithms really are – and if we should be worried.
Without a doubt, ChatGPT has catapulted AI into the social zeitgeist. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or scanning the horizon for spy balloons, you’ve probably seen it blasted across media.
But this fascination isn’t new. Just a few years ago, artificial intelligence was the toast of the town and part of the investment hype machine. Heck, in early 2018, Gartner projected the global business value derived from AI would reach a staggering $1.2 trillion that same year.
Of course, back in those days (cue the pre-Covid tumbleweed), the promise of AI was focused on automation, particularly at the enterprise level. From cybersecurity to big data, companies were banking on AI to improve customer experience, increase sales, and reduce costs.
These goals are still key to its value, but the game has changed.
Well, not just content. But that’s certainly been the inflection point thanks to the wildly successful launch of ChatGPT. Suddenly, the average person could sit down at a computer, ask it anything – literally anything – and have answers magically appear before their eyes.
That magic was infectious. In its first five days, ChatGPT accrued over 1 million users, causing system outages and latency due to unprecedented demand. For context, it took Facebook 10 months to get to the same numbers.
But if AI isn’t new, then why is ChatGPT so groundbreaking? Because, despite all its mystification, it has singlehandedly demystified AI. It’s made an exotic technology feel simple, accessible, and beyond the domain of just large enterprises. And let’s face it: the thing has been fun to play with.
Just ask it about those electric sheep.
As ChatGPT was spitting out grandma’s time travel novella and writing your kid’s college thesis, it was quietly being engineered into high-utility applications with big use cases. In fact, over the last month, two of tech’s largest rivals – Microsoft and Google – started an epic battle royale over which platform will reign supreme in the new AI-powered era of intuitive search.
If you’re in the content game, you might be wondering how these new generative technologies will impact your content strategy. In this article, we’ll take a closer look, starting with the race to enhance search. We’ll also explore the efficacy of AI and some real ways it’s already transforming content operations – and your CMS.
Well, not yet. But the guillotine is looking mighty sharp. Here’s why.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced it was investing billions into a partnership with OpenAI, the brains behind ChatGPT and DALL-E (a natural language image generator). While the stated goal was to improve the search experience for users, the company saw an opportunity to grab market share from Google, the undisputed king of search. As it currently stands, Bing owns less than 4% of the search market – a pittance in comparison.
The “New Bing” officially debuted on February 7 during a press event in Redmond, Washington where the Microsoft unveiled its next-generation large language model powered by OpenAI. Microsoft Edge, the company’s browser, will also incorporate the same functionality with an “AI copilot for the web” which they expect to become part of the overall Microsoft ecosystem.
So what might cause the guillotine to drop on traditional search? In a word: users. It all depends on how they respond and adapt to a natural language search experience. People like choice, and traditional search delivers a wide range of options based on variables like keywords.
But people also crave convenience, and a natural language engagement could shift perceptions. If we see the same groundswell of response that ChatGPT ushered in, Google could be looking at some stiffer competition.
The real question remains: will this window of opportunity give Bing an edge in search wars? Or will “New Bing” go the way of New Coke?
When Google decided to name its new AI solution Bard, it was not without a sense of irony. In Celtic lore, a bard is a poet known for reciting epics about great journeys. In the oral tradition of Shakespeare, these stories would often have a hero… and sometimes, a fool.
On February 6, Google was wearing the jester’s hat. During a hotly anticipated press conference introducing its new AI to the world, Bard made a blunder – and it was a mistake that cost Google $100 billion.
After an underwhelming debut, Google is off to rough start in the AI game. They’ve been building significant hype around their answer to Microsoft for weeks, so expectations were already high.
Despite the faux pas, the company still boasts over 90% of the search market – and that ain’t bard.
Additionally, Google has been weaving AI into its suite of technologies for years, with some spectacular results. Google Lens, Google Maps, and Google Translate have been widely adopted, so Bard felt like another installment in their innovation pipeline.
Given its epic fail on such a large stage, many are wondering if Microsoft can claim more market share in the aftermath. But don’t count Google out just yet. The bard’s tale has just begun.
Since the news of ChatGPT broke the internet (the one we’re currently familiar with), we’ve been as curious as everyone else. That’s led to a lot of testing (er, playing?) with the product.
It’s hard not to be impressed – and terrified – at the quality of the content ChatGPT can produce. From code to prose, blog posts to long-form narrative, it seems capable of it all.
If you haven’t tried ChatGPT yet, do it soon. The tool is still free to use, but it’s introducing a tiered subscription plan in the coming weeks.
To be fair, ChatGPT has some notable problems. Accuracy has been one of its chief detractors, and the challenges around regulating plagiarism and other social issues are far from solved. That said, it’s impossible not to think of ways this incredible tool could improve content management – and the broader implications AI might have for all things CMS.
So how did we explore that question? You guessed it: ChatGPT.
For kicks, we asked it to “provide a detailed summary of how AI is being utilized in content management systems today, as well as an outlook to the different use cases of AI for content management systems in the future.”
What this handy new tool generated was alarmingly decent:
“AI has been increasingly integrated into content management systems (CMS) to enhance their capabilities and streamline various processes. Currently, AI is utilized in CMS for:
In the future, AI is expected to play a larger role in CMS, with potential use cases such as:
Overall, AI is becoming an increasingly important tool in the content management landscape, helping organizations to better personalize, optimize, and manage their content. As AI technology continues to advance, it will become an even more integral part of the CMS landscape, providing new and exciting opportunities for content creation and management.”
As “robo-summaries” go, ChatGPT was pretty on target and did a good job framing its response. Remember, it’s scaping data from a wide range of sources, and this is where the issues with accuracy come in. Additionally, the content was a little surface – which could make it easier to embellish and build upon.
Sure, the style and voice were a little dry, but we didn’t specify any tone in our request. We considered asking for an answer in the form of a haiku, but that would have limited the scope to a few stanzas.
Conversely, we asked our human editors to cross-reference this list and provide a few ways that AI is already impacting content operations – and in many cases, integrate with your CMS:
In the movie Blade Runner, “replicants” – the android antagonists – are modeled after humans. They are nearly identical to us and capable of advanced cognitive processing. But they lack one crucial trait: the ability to feel emotions and empathy (spoiler alert: that’s not entirely true…)
In many ways, ChatGPT is emulating humans by building a natural language “bridge” between questions and answers. It's replicating our own responses.
But is it dreaming of electric sheep? Of course not. That said, in a few years, we can expect to see some dramatic leaps in its ability to produce natural language content for a wide range of applications. This could have a profound effect on how we manage content operations – and ultimately how our CMS helps us publish in an omnichannel world.
Here are a few things we might see on the horizon:
If this all feels like a round of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, it’s understandable. ChatGPT has thrown us all in a robotic ring, and many companies have responded to the hype by tacking on AI at a feverish pace.
AI is also coming to your CMS – whether you like it or not. Automation has been improving processes for quite some time, and we’re already relying on an ecosystem of third-party services that leverage AI.
For many content professionals, there’s a palpable fear and uncertainty around displacement. For example, artificial intelligence is emerging all over the sports industry, with generative content delivering real-time scores, in-game activity, and post-game analysis. These were once the domain of beat reporters on the sidelines.
AI might be displacing these activities, but the challenges around accuracy will continue to shade the trust factor. This is where humans can leverage the technology to improve productivity and enhance quality (think Grammarly) without relying wholly on the machines.
There are also ethical and legal questions about AI-generated content. If we can create commercials or children’s books with ChatGPT, where does that leave us from a trademark perspective? What about plagiarism? On the service side, will relying on chatbots help or hurt the customer experience?
As much hope is being put into these tools, the output of generative AI tools isn’t quite mature enough for prime time. This is especially true of imagery – which is a far cry from the beautiful original artwork being produced by humans.
In honor of the classic Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, we asked OpenAI’s DALL·E app to create a “content battle” between humans and robots in a semi-realistic style.
Here’s what we got:
Maybe we can’t fight the future, but we can certainly put a sock in it for now.