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AI Creation Tools Will Change the Way We Create, Engage and Interact in 2023



Can You Use AI-Generated Art in Your Digital Marketing and Content Efforts?

AI tools are going to have a much bigger influence over many aspects of online communication in 2023, in good ways and bad. And while everyone’s excited to check out what they might look like in various art styles, and how generative systems can reduce their content creation workload, it is worth noting the various impacts, and how these tools can be of both benefit and detriment in your digital marketing efforts.

Content creation

Maybe the most obvious usage of AI creation tools for marketing, as noted, is text-based content, with tools like ChatGPT potentially making it much easier to quickly create massive clusters of blog posts and web pages to help in your SEO efforts.

And it likely can help in this respect. The outputs of ChatGPT, and other text generation tools, are generally readable, competent summaries of a given subject, and with the right text inputs, they can be aligned to certain keywords that will help to ensure that your website meets what Google’s crawlers are seeking, in regards to relevant queries.

But you do need to consider a couple of things. For one, ‘competent’ and ‘good’ are not the same thing, and your visitors will notice.

In the example above, the writing here is fine, the language is functional – it does all the things that it needs to do. I can edit it a bit more to freshen it up, but at base, it’ll probably work.

I suspect that many, many websites will take this approach in future, and they’ll end up using generic overviews like this on their web pages. Which is likely not much worse than the current state of the web – I mean, these tools take in examples from across the current web, then repurpose the language into new presentations, so logically, it’s a very close replica of everything else online.

The end result, then, is that people – like, actual, real humans – will be less and less engaged by the generic, which could open up more opportunity for better copy to stand out, and make your brand more of a useful, helpful resource along the same lines.

Essentially, these tools can be useful for replicating what’s already out there, but if you want anything fresh or new, or even engaging, you’re probably better off creating your own.

But if SEO is your goal, and you want to cut down on time, then this could be an option.

In terms of legal use, you can use ChatGPT outputs, though the requirements do note that you have to make it clear that the content was created by AI, not a human, on the page.

There’s also this qualifier:

“Due to the nature of machine learning, Output may not be unique across users and the Services may generate the same or similar output for OpenAI or a third party. For example, you may provide input to a model such as “What color is the sky?” and receive output such as “The sky is blue.” Other users may also ask similar questions and receive the same response. Responses that are requested by and generated for other users are not considered your Content.

So, you could also end up copying someone else’s work, which, in itself, can lead to Google penalties for duplicate content.

You can probably get around this by conducting a search using the generated text, or using a tool like Copyscape, but essentially, if you’re putting your text output into the hands of a machine learning system, there could be some usage concerns – aside from pretty bland copy.

I’ve played with ChatGPT a bit, and I’ve tried it out with various article ideas and concepts. None of those outputs, on my reading, have been something that I would publish. The text is fine, it’s, again, functional. But when you’re training a system on billions of pages of bland text from the web, what it’ll ultimately produce, understandably, is going to also be bland, flat prose.

Basically, if you’re okay with your website being like every other web page, if you’re happy with the reading experience of brochures and blog posts, and if you think other brands in your niche have fine text elements, then this is probably fine to you too.

There are different purposes and approaches, but you can’t expect an AI system to give you engaging insight.

Image Production

The other big AI tool usage is in visual creation, and getting tools like Dall E to produce your visuals for you, based on prompts.

DALL E examples

And again, it works. You enter what you want, and Dall E will generally come up with at least a few examples that will probably work for what you need.

But the same as text, it won’t be amazing, in general. Functional, yes, it will do the things, but also likely a little bit off, with frayed edges, weird text, strange eyes, etc.

Similar to text outputs, you can legally use image AI outputs for whatever you like, as any image that you create has technically never existed before you entered your text prompt. So, the copyright technically goes to the creator, and as it was your prompt that ‘created’ it, that’s you.

There’s a heap of ways in which this can be useful, and valuable, and many people are already using AI generated artwork to accompany their blog posts and content. It can be useful, but again, it’s literally generic – each images you get is based on a generalization of every other image that the system can find, based on your text prompts.

It depends on how you go about it, and what you want to use these visuals for, but similar to text, there can be duplication concerns (Dall E advises users not to create images of public figures, for example, to avoid misrepresentation concerns), while various legal cases are now being filed over the misappropriation of artists’ work (there’s currently no legal framework that truly covers this type of use).

But they can be valuable, in saving time and money, and it is worth at least checking out Dall E, and other visual creation tools, to see what they produce, based on your prompts.

AI Tweets?

This, at least in my opinion, is where things could get bland pretty quick.

This week, some new tools have emerged aligned with Twitter specifically, which can produce AI generated tweets and replies for your account/s.

Some are using ChatGPT, for example, to produce ‘thinkfluencer’ type tweets, and essentially automate their online persona – which seems problematic, in various ways. What if somebody actually wants to speak to you in person, based on your tweets, and you’re not who you’ve represented in these exchanges? What possible opportunities could arise from using automated tweets, which are not your original thoughts or ideas?

But worse than this, as you’ll note in the above example, such tools could also be used to create tweets complaining about a company.

How long will it be till bot armies are using these processes to attack competitors, at the behest of paying brands? Using generative AI, you could quickly come up with thousands of variations of credible, seemingly real complaints about a business, which could then influence public perception, and harm a brand’s reputation online.

That seems like a more effective, and less detectable approach than the current cut and paste messaging that many bot networks employ.

I suspect that this will become a bigger problem in 2023, as more brands realize the potential for trashing competitors via AI created tweets.

How you police that, I don’t know – especially given Twitter’s ongoing problems in dealing with bot accounts.

AI Generated 3D Models

The latest AI generation tools on the market now also enable users to create 3D models based on simple prompts, which could have big implications for the next stage.

3D models created by AI

As reported by TechCrunch:

OpenAI open sourced Point-E, a machine learning system that creates a 3D object given a text prompt, can produce 3D models in one to two minutes on a single Nvidia V100 GPU.

The next stage of digital connection, be it in the metaverse, VR or AR environments, will all require 3D models, as a means to build the experience, and facilitate interaction in multi-dimensional spaces.

The challenge in this sense is that it requires development expertise and skill, it requires years of knowledge of 3D creation and rendering in order to build these objects and experiences.

Unless it doesn’t.

Every platform with an interest in the next stage is now developing simplified 3D creation tools, with a particular focus on helping brands to scan in their products for AR/VR promotions.

What if AI could do that for you? What if, based on simple prompts, and maybe 2D image examples, AI tools could eventually help you build a corpus of 3D objects for such use?

There’s huge potential here, and it’s becoming increasingly possible to imagine a VR world where you would be able to build entirely new experiences before your eyes, based on simply vocalizing what you want to see.

It’s amazing to consider the potential, and how this could change the way we interact. And while the results of AI tools won’t always blow you away just yet, the fact that these processes are even possible at all is significant, and points to massive opportunities in future use.

AI tools are going to keep getting better, they’ll keep improving, which will lead to more use cases and potential over time. The only restriction, at least right now, is that they can only base their outputs on things that already exist – which means that they’ll always, by design, be at least somewhat generic.

But someday soon, that too will change, and AI tools will be able to create all new content and concepts, beyond what we already know.

Which seems a little scary, but it could also be the true ‘unlock’ that shifts these tools into entirely new territory.

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An Overview of the Evolving Data Landscape Powering AI, VR, and More [Infographic]



An Overview of the Evolving Data Landscape Powering AI, VR, and More [Infographic]

While AI and large language models (LLMs) become more commonplace, it’s worth considering the amount of computational power, and data storage, that these systems require to operate. 

Demand for high-grade GPUs, for example, is still exceeding demand, as more tech companies and investors look to muscle in, while the big players continue to build on their data center capacity, in order to beat smaller systems out of the market.

That, inevitably, means that control over many of these new processes will eventually fall to those with the most money, and even if you have concerns about next-level computational power being governed by CEOs and corporations, there’s not a heap that you can do about it, as they need an established holding to even get in.

Well, unless a government steps in and seeks to build its own infrastructure in order to facilitate AI development, though that seems unlikely.

And it’s not just AI, with crypto processes, complex analysis, and advanced scientific discovery now largely reliant on a few key providers that have available capacity.

It’s a concern, but essentially, you can expect to see a lot more investment in big data centers and processing facilities over the coming years.

This new overview from Visual Capitalist (for Hive Digital) provides some additional context. Here, the VC team have broken down the current data center landscape, and what we’re going to need to facilitate next-level AI, VR, the metaverse, and more.

It’s an eye-opening summary. You can check out Visual Capitalists’ full overview here.

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30 Quick Ways to Increase Your Website’s Conversion Rate [Infographic]



30 Quick Ways to Increase Your Website’s Conversion Rate [Infographic]

Looking to drive more direct conversions from your website listings this holiday season?

The team from Red Website Design share 30 ways to improve your website conversion rate in this infographic.

Here’s the top five from the list:

  • Include as few fields as possible on forms
  • Use testimonials
  • Clearly state product/service benefits
  • Include subscriber and social media follower counts
  • Write clear, compelling copy

Check out the infographic for more detail.

A version of this post was first published on the Red Website Design blog.

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With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor



With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

Platform policies and government regulations have proved capricious or neglectful. Meanwhile, creators’ bottom-up initiatives to collectively organize have sputtered.

Living on the edge

Industry estimates regarding the size and scale of the creator economy vary. But Citibank estimates there are over 120 million creators, and an April 2023 Goldman Sachs report predicted that the creator economy would double in size, from US$250 billion to $500 billion, by 2027.

According to Forbes, the “Top 50 Creators” altogether have 2.6 billion followers and have hauled in an estimated $700 million in earnings. The list includes MrBeast, who performs stunts and records giveaways, and makeup artist-cum-true crime podcaster Bailey Sarian.

The windfalls earned by these social media stars are the exception, not the norm.

The venture capitalist firm SignalFire estimates that less than 4% of creators make over $100,000 a year, although YouTube-funded research points to a rising middle class of creators who are able to sustain careers with relatively modest followings.

These are the users who find themselves most vulnerable to opaque changes to platform policies and algorithms.

Platforms like to “move fast and break things,” to use Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s infamous expression. And since the creator economy relies on social media platforms to reach audiences, creators’ livelihoods are subject to rapid, iterative changes in platforms’ features, services and agreements.

Yes, various platforms have introduced business opportunities for creators, such as YouTube’s advertising partnership feature or Twitch’s virtual goods store. However, the platforms’ terms of use can flip on a switch. For example, in September 2022, Twitch changed its fee structure. Some streamers who were retaining 70% of all subscription revenue generated from their accounts saw this proportion drop to 50%.

In 2020, TikTok, facing rising competition from YouTube Shorts and Instagram reels, launched its billion-dollar Creator Fund. The fund was supposed to allow creators to get directly paid for their content. Instead, creators complained that every 1,000 views only translated to a few cents. TikTok suspended the fund in November 2023.

Bias as a feature, not a bug

The livelihoods of many fashion, beauty, fitness and food creators depend on deals brokered with brands that want these influencers to promote goods or services to their followers.

Yet throughout the creator economy, people of color and those identifying as LGBTQ+ have encountered bias. Unequal and unfair compensation from brands is a recurring issue, with one 2021 report revealing a pay gap of roughly 30% between white creators and creators of color.

Along with brand biases, platforms can exacerbate systemic bias. Creator scholar Sophie Bishop has demonstrated how nontransparent algorithms can categorize “desirability” among influencers along lines of race, gender, class and sexual orientation.

Then there’s what creator scholar Zoë Glatt calls the “intimacy triple bind”: Marginalized creators are at higher risk of trolling and harassment, they secure lower fees for advertising, and they are expected to divulge more personal details to generate more engagement and revenue.

Couple these precarious conditions with the whims and caprices of volatile online communities that can turn beloved creators into villains in the blink of a text or post, and even the world’s most successful creators live on a precipice of losing their livelihoods.

Food influencer Larry Mcleod, 47, better known on social media as Big Schlim, reviews the restaurant Shellfish Market in Washington, D.C.
Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Rumblings of solidarity

Unlike their counterparts in the legacy media industries, creators have neither taken easily nor well to collective action as they operate from their bedrooms and fight for more eyeballs.

Yet some members of this creator class recognize that the bedroom-boardroom power imbalance is a bottom line matter that requires bottom-up initiative.

The Creators Guild of America, or CGA, which launched in August 2023, is but one of many successors to the original Internet Creators’ Guild, which folded in 2019. Paradoxically, CGA describes itself as a “professional service organization,” not a labor union, yet claims to offer benefits “similar to those offered by unions.”

There are other movements afoot: A group of TikTok creators formed a Discord group in September 2022 to discuss unionizing. There’s also the Twitch Unity Guild, a program launched in December 2022 for networking, development and celebration and includes a dedicated Discord space. In response to the rampant bias in influencer marketing, creator-led firms like “F–k You Pay Me ” are demanding greater fairness, transparency and accountability from brands and advertisers.

Twitch streamers are already seeing some of their organizing efforts pay off. In June 2023, after a year of repeated changes in streamer fees and brand deals, the company capitulated in response to the backlash of their top streamers threatening to leave.

None of these initiatives has yet attained the legal status of unions such as the Writers Guild of America. Meanwhile, efforts by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to recruit creators have proved limited. Legal scholar Sara Shiffman has written about how SAG-AFTRA provides creators with health and retirement benefits, but offers no resources to ensure fair and equitable compensation from platforms or advertisers. Nonetheless, while on strike, SAG-AFTRA threatened creators that partnered with studios with a lifetime ban from joining the union.

And despite these bottom-up efforts, the tech behemoths refuse to recognize creators’ fledgling organizations. When a union for YouTubers formed in Germany in 2018, YouTube refused to negotiate with it. Nonetheless, you’ll see companies trot out their biggest stars when they find themselves under regulatory scrutiny. That’s what happened when TikTok sponsored creators to lobby politicians who were debating banning the platform.

People of all races and ages pose holding signs that read 'Keep TikTok' and 'My small business thrives on TikTok.'
TikTok creators gather outside the U.S. Capitol to voice their opposition to a potential ban on the app, highlighting the platform’s impact on their livelihoods.
Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An invisible class of labor

Meanwhile, most governments have failed to provide support for – or even recognition of – creator rights.

Within the U.S., creators “barely exist” in official records, as technology reporters Drew Harwell and Taylor Lorenz recently pointed out in The Washington Post. The U.S. Census Bureau makes no mention of social media as a profession; it is invisible as a distinctive class of labor.

To date, the Federal Trade Commission is the only U.S. agency to introduce regulation tied to the work of creators, and it’s limited to disclosure guidelines for advertising and sponsored content.

Even as the European Union has operated at the forefront of tech and platform policy, creators rate scant mention in the body’s laws. Writing about the EU’s 2022 Digital Services Act, legal scholars Bram Duivendvoorde and Catalina Goanta criticize the EU for leaving “influencer marketing out of the material scope of its specific rules,” a blind spot that they describe as “one of its main pitfalls.”

The success of the 2023 Hollywood strikes could be just the beginning of a larger global movement for creator rights. But in order for this new class of creators to access the full breadth of their economic and human rights – to borrow from the movie “Jaws” – we’re gonna need a bigger boat.

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