If we’re being honest, it’s a little exhausting keeping up with all the chatter around artificial intelligence. But, it is important, and there’s A LOT to talk about.
One year after OpenAI made some ginormous waves with the launch of ChatGPT (November 2022), we’re more than saturated with a dizzying number of AI products and features. At this point, for most, there are probably more questions than answers, But, we—at idfive—are careful yet experienced swimmers, not afraid of diving into the choppy waters, figuring out how to navigate these new currents.
Obviously, AI has the potential to be a very powerful tool, and it’s poised to transform our industry (and the world), as many generations of new technology have done before. But let’s remember, it is a tool, and its impact will be determined not by if we use it, but how we use it to get the results we want.
So, what do hormones have to do with anything? Yes, let’s talk about that.
At idfive, we have a culture of curiosity, passionately driven by a desire to ask the right questions. As an agency that invests our entire heart and hustle into helping brands on a mission, we have an obligation to make sure AI is also used, as we like to say, “for good.”
This is where the story gets interesting.
“Because I don’t have hormones,” said AI to the copywriter.
Actually, I’m paraphrasing and anthropomorphizing here, but I can do that because I’m human. Essentially, when we prompted ChatGPT with the question everyone is still asking—or went on strike to answer—specifically, “Will ChatGPT and all its large-language-model relatives make copywriting jobs obsolete?”—the answer comes down to a “not entirely.” The result reminded us of the saying: “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” So, forgive some of our residual skepticism, but the results did bring up a good point.
Copywriters, artists, designers, programmers, strategists, and the rest of our colleagues cannot be replaced entirely (keyword, we’ll get back to that) by AI because AI does not have the emotional capacity to do what we do best. While AI tools can efficiently produce basic copy and streamline repetitive tasks, they are unlikely to replace human copywriters (like ours) because the real magic in our work involves creativity, psychology, and the ability to understand human feelings and emotional nuance in order to foster genuine relationships—elements that AI struggles to replicate authentically. For now.
In other words, what separates an AI copywriter from a human copywriter is Oxytocin—the hormone that helps us feel bonded, trusting, in love, etc.
No hormones. No human emotions. No job creep.
We fivers, what we call the brains behind idfive, have Oxytocin and lots of other hormones that do lots of jobs that make us better writers, artists, strategists, and more.
Just having Oxytocin is oversimplifying it, of course. The biochemistry of human emotions is complex, involving not only hormones but also environmental factors and personal experience to inform emotional competencies and connections. Furthermore, just being human doesn’t mean you understand human behavior more than the next person or computer system, but it does give humans insights that AI can’t and will never be able to mine, such as the difference between ethical and unethical practices.
This is where the AI conversations still don’t feel right. Turns out, Will AI take our jobs? is not the most important question. How are we feeling about AI? What are we afraid of? might be better questions to inform our strategies around using artificial intelligence effectively.
The rapid advancement and integration of AI tools and features can seem unpredictable, even dangerous, as there is already a large body of research articulating the harmful biases integrated into data, search engines, and software systems used in our everyday lives. The daily tsunami of content from the internet and social media platforms has had a well-documented psychological impact on children and young adults (everyone, really), as well as the proliferation of misinformation, hate speech, identity theft, cyberbullying, etc. is daunting. (The list is really frickin’ long).
Sci-fi portrayals of AI turning hostile amplify these fears. Lack of transparency in corporate decision-making and lackluster appetite for establishing regulation and accountability also raise apprehensions. For us, this just clarifies our responsibilities in scrutinizing and utilizing these new tools with eyes wide open.
Why do we care?
Many of our clients serve underrepresented populations or address sensitive and complex human problems. Our job is to amplify the good they are doing, which means we have to make sure we scrutinize the tools we use to achieve that end. AI cannot be trusted to craft messages that resonate with human emotions, cultural contexts, and diverse audiences or generate authentic, empathic, and accurate representations that respect community values and identities.
It just can’t. Not yet, anyway. Will it ever? Not exactly. (There’s that word again.)
AI tools and features can be used to enhance efficiency and generate ideas, expedite digital design functionality, and automate repetitive tasks, allowing our team to focus on higher-level thinking such as creative strategy, brand storytelling, and adapting content for specific audiences.
AI might be able to give you the definition of HIV and some historical context related to the disease, but it will never be able to understand or articulate the stigma that accompanies living with HIV that our healthcare partners know intimately and use to reach people so they get the treatment they need. AI doesn’t know how to express the duality of ambition and anxiety that comes with being a first-generation student or immigrant wanting to further their education like so many of our higher education partners do when helping students find the program and financial support they need to pursue their dreams. AI can’t articulate what it feels like to experience food insecurity, a mental health crisis, or homelessness and communicate strategies that facilitate statewide connections to address hunger, mental health, addiction, and more like many of our nonprofit partners do.
AI doesn’t care, but we do.
We get emotional when we think about our partners and the work we do to help them make people’s lives better. That’s what you get when you boss up and take advantage of that good ole Oxytocin kicking in and creating a community navigating choppy waters together, trusting each other to be authentic, responsible, ethical, and always asking the right questions.
We can do that because we’re human.
Idfive is a minority and woman-owned business with a team of immigrants and descendants of immigrants with an enviable emotional and experiential range.
As a communications practitioner, Deb leads with an open and hungry heart, eager to listen, learn, and leverage the unique ingredients within each client’s story. She believes the delicious is in the details and loves to find creative ways to elevate the flavors and textures that advance important mission-driven work. Her enthusiasm for language in all formats and channels has resulted in a diverse portfolio of leadership roles for publishers, domestic and international non-profit advocacy organizations, and both public and private universities. Deb’s penchant for cultural immersion has resulted in an equally diverse collection of home addresses: Chicago, Cairo, Limassol, Berlin, San Francisco, and Brooklyn. These days, Deb can be found learning how to repair a sump pump and experimenting with venison recipes at home in Northern New York.