As the whole world now knows, in November 2022 OpenAI released its generative AI product, ChatGPT. Now, with multiple versions and hundreds of competitors later, some believe the world has forever changed while others are ignoring AI’s real or potential impact.

Both are wrong, but those who ignore AI will be the most wrong and the fastest to get there.

The world, or at least our world as a marketing and communications firm, is indeed changing, for our clients and for us. But we know that in our business change is constant.

As it pertains to AI, its potential is remarkable. The only open question is the rate of change, and there are good reasons to believe it could be faster than other technological advancements in our lifetimes.

In the last 40 years, technology has changed more in each decade than the one before. Personal computers and mobile phones introduced in the 1980s led to the internet, GPS and digital cameras of the 1990s. Each capability is now embedded in the smartphones of the 2000s and globalized through social media and Wi-Fi. Electric vehicles and cloud computing of the 2010s preceded 5G networks, quantum computing, VR and AR in the 2020s. Generative AI was formally introduced in November 2022.

What has not changed also merits discussion … the need for human involvement. For generative AI, humans make the choices regarding what content to search, modify, use or discard. AI is not human, nor will it ever be.

AI is built by humans and “learns” with human input. That means it comes with all our human flaws and biases which are often referred to as “hallucinations.”

Uncertainty still looms on the horizon amid claims of rapid or immediate change because of AI.

Consider these recent articles:

Yes, there also are plenty of articles heralding AI-driven, quick, wholesale changes in business-as-usual in nearly every industry vertical. But obvious uncertainties cannot be ignored.

As the owner of a strategic marketing and communications agency, here is what I think:

  • AI is real and here to stay
  • Change is coming quickly but it may take longer than we thought to get here
  • Many jobs are likely to change
  • AI may change what some humans do, but will never eliminate the need for human involvement
  • Humans will and always should be the most important part of any AI-supported activity

Benjamin Franklin was quoted in 1736, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It may be a stretch, but it is relevant to this AI discussion.

Organizations like ours need to embrace generative AI while ensuring human involvement and oversight. It is a smart strategy and is unquestionably smarter than ignoring it.