Terminators, Basilisks And Marketing

I watched the Elon Musk and Joe Rogan podcast on YouTube recently. I love anything to do with futurism and to see what path humanity is on. If you haven’t watched it already, Elon goes into his concerns about a very hot topic. That topic is A.I.

Elon is erring on the side of caution on this one. He says that once this genie is out the bottle, you’re not going to be able to put it back in.

There was even a crazy thought experiment I read about back in the day called Roko’s Basilisk, of how a benevolent and malevolent A.I wouldn’t act much different…

Basically, the benevolent A.I would see itself as the most important thing ever created to save humanity. Thus, this benevolent A.I would see everyone who didn’t aid in its construction as the eternal enemies of mankind. Even going as far to reconstruct a simulation of you, centuries after you’ve died, just to torture for eternity. In fact, just by reading that, I might have condemned you to burning in cybernetic hell as you are now aware of the possibility of the basilisk existing. Sorry.

This thought experiment led to a flurry of donations to various A.I companies just to say you contributed a tiny bit to the construction of the God A.I. I suppose it’s just a modern version of Pascal’s Wager.

Anyway, A.I is set to change life as we know it, much like electricity did all those years ago. Entire industries are going to reform, millions of jobs will be ancient history. It’s already happened in China at warehouses, they have little robots skating around all in perfect harmony 24/7. It’s quite amazing to watch.

I’ve read articles about accountants, data entry clerks, lab Technicians, Cashiers etc. The list goes on, all going the way of the velociraptor.

Even surgery is being performed by hyper accurate robots who can shave a grapes beard. Humanity simply can’t keep up.

So where does this leave marketers and copywriters?

Well, because a lot of our industry rests on emotion, it is a hell of a lot harder to program for that than a mechanical task. I mean even a Roomba can navigate your house, but it probably won’t care when your pet hamster dies.

Creativity and empathy are at the heart of copywriting. I imagine it’s a long way off before the terminators are sitting down writing prose to rival Dostoyevsky or erecting their own cathedrals in the Vatican.

It takes a human to understand a human. An A.I could attempt to model behaviour based on information at its disposal, but can it really feel?

Who knows.

Maybe one day you’ll have an A.I that can craft long form sales letters that convert at 95%. At which point I’ll swap my names around to John Connor and lead the copywriters against the evil machines.

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