A lyric in SZA’s song ‘Ghost in the Machine‘ featuring Phoebe Bridgers captured my attention this morning as the track unpacks relationships in the digital age. British philosopher Gilbert Ryle coined the phrase “ghost in the machine”, which refers to a conscious mind entering a physical entity, such as a computer or electronic device. As SZA sings out about craving human connection, she says, “let’s talk about AI… robots got future, I don’t”. So, could technology eventually surpass human capabilities?

Let’s talk about AI. And there’s no one better to chat with than the AI expert itself; ChatGPT.

My interviewee today is an AI Chatbot driven by technology that is designed to provide human-like conversational interactions when prompted. Although we don’t know its gender, sexuality or physical appearance, we do know it can respond to a request in a matter of seconds. I start the interview as always, by asking the respondent how they are. When ChatGPT announced it has no emotions, awkwardness crept in. As a researcher, I dig into a consumer’s emotive thoughts towards a particular topic, but in this instance, I knew I had to challenge the interviewee differently.

A 2023 Goldman Sachs study inspired my challenge, finding that AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs. As I sit in the office, I take in my surroundings and wonder if some of my co-workers will be chatbots in the future and hold the same capabilities as humans regarding creativity. What better way to find out than to test ChatGPT on aspects of the advertising world? I created three quick tasks inspired by what was in my current gaze.

Hello, lovely to meet you. My name is Jules, a Strategist at Dublin-based creative agency The Tenth Man. I am hesitant about ChatGPT and would love to chat to see if you can change my mind. Are you up for it?

Hello, Jules! It’s great to meet you. I completely understand your hesitations and would be more than happy to chat with you to address any concerns you may have about ChatGPT.

As an AI language model, my purpose is to assist and provide information to the best of my abilities. While I don’t possess personal experiences or emotions like a human, I can still engage in informative and insightful conversations.

Sounds good. Interesting that you say you understand why working with you causes hesitancy. Do you experience imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that involves feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy, despite evidence of competence and accomplishments. It is experienced by humans who may doubt their abilities and fear being exposed as frauds.

While I can understand the concept of imposter syndrome, I don’t have the capacity to experience it myself. My responses are generated based on patterns and information learned during training. I don’t possess self-awareness or subjective experiences.

Less imposter syndrome is needed in this world anyway. I would love to set you a task if that’s cool. I am currently sitting in The Tenth Man office. I will pick five things around me, and I would love you to work them all into a one paragraph film treatment for a 30 second cutdown that we will post on our Instagram. There is; a Lankum poster that reads ‘We Always Sing, Even When We’re Losing’, a Tenth Man logo light structure, a Percy Pig shopping bag, a Creative Director and a cactus.

Title: “Resilient Rhythms

In the bustling office of a creative agency, our story unfolds. We open with a captivating shot of a Lankum poster on the wall, boldly proclaiming, “We Always Sing, Even When We’re Losing.” The camera pans to reveal a sleek Tenth Man logo light structure, illuminating the room with its captivating glow. Amidst the vibrant atmosphere, a creative director, brimming with innovative energy, guides his team through a brainstorming session. A touch of whimsy enters the frame as a Percy Pig shopping bag, overflowing with colorful creativity, sits nearby, an embodiment of playfulness and inspiration. Finally, nestled amidst the creative chaos, a resilient cactus symbolizes the tenacity and adaptability of the agency. The scene culminates in a quick, exhilarating cutdown, capturing the essence of the agency’s brand: “Resilient Rhythms.” This 15-second film treatment showcases the agency’s ability to stay inspired, sing through challenges, and create remarkable experiences for clients, leaving viewers eager to explore the agency’s captivating world of imaginative possibilities.

Resilient Rhythms is an interesting title, what inspired you to come up with that?

The title “Resilient Rhythms” was inspired by the elements provided, representing the theme of resilience and creativity. It captures the idea of persevering and finding harmony in the face of challenges.

We do love a challenge in Tenth Man. Okay, round two, an advert is hanging on the wall beside me. We created an OOH print for a drinks brand with the product front and centre and hands blurred in the background as people sip away in a dreamy summer beer garden. The purpose of the ad is to drive more people to associate this particular brand with summery, after-work drinks. What should the tagline be?

“Savor the Sun-Soaked Sips”

This tagline captures the sensory experience of basking in the sun, relishing delightful sips, and creating memorable moments with friends. It invites the audience to indulge in the brand’s offerings while emphasizing the blissful, carefree ambiance of a summer beer garden, ultimately driving more people to associate the brand with their ideal after-work refreshment.

Do you not worry about the overuse of the letter ‘S’?

You bring up a valid point regarding the potential overuse of the letter ‘S’ in the suggested tagline. To ensure a balanced and engaging tagline, we can explore an alternative that still captures the essence of summery after-work drinks while maintaining a pleasing flow. How about the tagline: “Embrace the Sun-Kissed Sips”?

It’s a touch cheesy, but I will pass it on to our copywriter to see what she thinks. Before I let you go, I have a quick research task; I am sitting on a couch here owned by a fictional furniture brand whose main audience is currently Gen X: (40-55 years old); however, they want to widen their consumer base to include the younger audience and find out what they look for in terms of comfort.

I want to conduct focus groups (25-35 year olds) and deep dive into how they experience comfort (anything from beauty to having family and friends constantly around them). Please give me a one paragraph summary of what we should explore in the focus group.

We will explore various aspects, including their definition of comfort, daily comfort experiences, preferences in living spaces, the role of social comfort and relationships, the impact of technology, emotional comfort and well-being, design aesthetics, and their perception of the fictional furniture brand. Through these discussions, we hope to gain insights that will enable the brand to target a younger audience effectively and align their offerings with the desired comfort experiences of this demographic

Okay great, thanks for taking the time to chat with me and hope you have a lovely evening.

You’re welcome! It was my pleasure to assist you. I’m glad I could help. Thank you for your kind wishes, and I hope you have a wonderful evening as well!

Besides the questionable “Embrace the Sun-Kissed Sips” tagline and the assumption that the Creative Director is a man without me specifying, I come out of the interview with a slightly greater appreciation for the chatbot. Its primary function for me is the model’s ease of use and convenience, but the output of the tasks is in places, waffly, lacks distinction and in my experience, is not likely to come up with any boundary-pushing ideas,

That said, the future of technology is much too hard to predict. In terms of capabilities, while I don’t believe it surpasses humans in terms of ingenuity or the capacity to create truly emotionally resonant work. It can help us but doesn’t quite match us… yet.

We can’t have a future of only starting points. It’s my hope that we will learn to live alongside AI and use it as a tool rather than an answer.

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