30 January 2023

Conversational AI is only as useful as its enquirer

Agencies are beginning to leverage the use of AI more and more to strengthen marketing solutions and reach audiences. In this article, Strategist Jean Sarhadar explores the impact of conversational AI on the advertising industry, and how this leap in technology is continuing to shape the way we view marketing.

The array of AI based applications and models that seem to be making the mainstream are admittedly impressive - and indicate another leap here in the technology and its accessibility.

The language model that underlies Chat GPT is part of what has made it so compelling to go into the platform and see what it is capable of, usually with some incredible results. The conversational tone this chatbot strikes so as to aid in making sense of huge stores of information through text summaries are realistic, extensive, and impressively context sensitive.

On initial enquiry into this topic area, it was worthwhile exploring what Chat GPT would come back with if asked “can you explain how language models in AI will have an impact on marketing?” And unsurprisingly, it was a very solid answer:

Language models in AI can have a significant impact on marketing in a number of ways.

One way is through natural language processing (NLP) which can be used to analyze and understand consumer sentiment and preferences from social media, customer reviews, and other forms of unstructured data. This can provide valuable insights for marketers to improve their campaigns and target their messaging more effectively.

Another way is through the use of chatbots and virtual assistants, which can be used to interact with customers in a natural, human-like way. This can improve customer engagement and experience, and can also help to automate customer service tasks and free up resources for other activities.

Additionally, language models can be used to generate personalized and engaging content, such as product descriptions, email subject lines, and social media posts. This can help to improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and increase customer engagement.

In summary, Language models in AI can help marketers to better understand their customers, interact with them more effectively, and generate personalized and engaging content that resonates with their target audience.

If this was what this article set out to answer, it would be easy to conclude that it was a job done. However, upon reading this, it became apparent that underlying all its possibilities, there needed to be a jumping off point that could, for instance, elicit the discovery of those valuable insights that are said to be a benefit of AI in marketing.

Much like how we aim to distil the challenges we hope that the media can answer through questioning and inquiry, we also need to take care with the use of such language models and review what are the prompts that bring the most interesting answers - and encourage further creativity. And its functionality in which it constantly asks and incorporates human feedback as they interact with the chatbot.

This is reassuring - perhaps this curbs the sense that AI might not have full dominion over marketing professionals, particularly those that work within the realm of content.

Further to that, when you play with the platform, you begin to see its limitations in being seen as a replacement. Yes, there is value in this step change when it comes to interacting in preexisting places where chatbots are a regular feature. But outside of that, how much potential does it have to upend human understanding of conversation and language?

We still need that ‘human’ lens to make the most of this technology. We should therefore see Chat GPT and similar chatbots with these more impressive language models as an instrument for playing with the knowledge that it pulls from.

There are some great guides out there that detail what prompts could be used to get the output you are looking for - such as offer context, include helpful information upfront, give it examples. And how else would you get some of the very humorous examples that are currently circulating the internet at present?

As we see the emergence of these language models grow and evolve, it is for marketers to begin to see this as another (impressive) tool that can add to the process of both insight gathering and creativity.