Artificial Intelligence: A Complement To Great Storytelling
Source – forbes.com
Technology today is forcing significant changes in the ways we communicate. Some technologies, like artificial intelligence, improve efficiencies (speed, quality, style) in our daily lives that many of us likely don’t even notice are happening. Similar to any technology that’s new to an industry, AI has caused some skepticism, and I’ve witnessed that the media industry in particular has been prone to these beliefs that AI is replacing jobs. But in an era where unique and real storytelling is valued more than ever, AI can be a powerful tool for publishers, brands and anyone else who aims to create engaging content in a sustainable, consistent and scalable way.
AI Is Gradually Transforming Content Creation
In the early days of AI, it was perceived by many as a complex technology. Because of its highly technical nature, developers and engineers were among the few who fully understood how to use AI and how it could be applied in the real world. In the media industry, new technologies are traditionally eased into newsrooms — from CMS tools to analytics and performance tracking. But change can be scary, and many live with the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality. Adjusting everyday processes that have been the foundation of jobs for years can seem daunting and, even worse, less efficient.
Everyday AI is gaining traction in content creation processes as creators become more savvy and open-minded about how this technology can help them tell great stories, like turning text into video, for example. Larger media companies like Reuters (Full disclosure: Reuters is a Wibbitz customer) recognize the benefits of leveraging AI for video creation, enabling the company to produce video at the same pace as editorial content.
Beyond text-to-video, we’re seeing a lot of AI technologies used in data-rich domains like weather, sports and finance. Companies like Automated Insights and Graphiq are able to ingest a large amount of data, understand the context, identify key story points and generate text articles or infographics. Across mediums, AI streamlines the storytelling process by eliminating the time-consuming, non-creative tasks that burden creators and it’s becoming a key tool for storytellers to consistently hit the right tone and keep pace with demand.
AI Complements Without Replacing
Despite these benefits, AI carries a negative stigma that it’s going to replace humans altogether. However, it’s changing the way content creators work and for the better. Without disputing the notion that AI reduces or eliminates many everyday tasks, it’s important to understand it from a more positive point of view: It’s making workflows more efficientand helping to drive new media formats.
AI is now so sophisticated that it can do a significant portion of the legwork — as in detecting what is trending and happening around us — and it sets up its human allies for success. AI completes these tasks at a scale that humans are incapable of, but then storytellers have the level of detail, cultural sensitivity and personality that brings the content to life. Merged together, this process makes storytellers better at their jobs and proves AI as more of a complement than a replacement for modern storytelling.
Similar to other breakthrough developments that we’ve seen over the past few decades (e.g., smartphones, virtual reality, even facial recognition, to name a few), giving up partial control to technology is essential to the way we’ll interact with one another in the future. It’s unrealistic to believe that in the next decade we’ll be living in a fully machine-operated society, but it’s fair to say that related technologies will be a big part of the way we communicate, consume information and more.
If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that AI is not the last transformational technology coming to storytelling, as we’re already seeing progression with virtual and augmented reality. It’s the creative people who see the world differently, who are brave enough to embrace these technologies that will see the positive impact on their lives and their jobs.