Originally published on Linkedin
A few weeks ago I had a panic attack brought on by a sort-of existential crisis. It’s the first time, maybe ever, that I was so flooded with excitement (and anxiety) over advances in technology, that I needed to hit pause.
After discovering inspiring new, AI technology at AWE‘s Augmented World Expo (as I often do), I was obsessively working at all hours on an AI-enabled, 3D companion modeled after an old flame. (*See my comments on the disappointing virtual companion platform, Kupid.ai, below on WHY I needed to build it myself.)
A Modern Day Frankenstein
The project started innocently enough, I was trying to create a living persona based upon someone I knew, and they were the first person that jumped into my head. Fast forward several minutes and iterations later, and I had a VERY lifelike, 3D, talking character that looked like them, sounded like them, and almost verbatim said things that they had said, or things I wished they had said.
The fact that I created this Frankenstein with zero coding knowledge sent me into my panic attack as I realized the implications this would have on the world around me. So, I got up from my computer and took my dog for a walk by the river, which is what I always do when faced with overwhelming anxiety.
AI Doubles Already In Action
AI versions of real people are ALREADY a thing but it’s never been THIS easy to build one. If you watched the season opener of Black Mirror, then you already understand the dark implications of a world where it’s possible to make AI-driven, lifelike versions of real-people and celebrities. Currently these types of AI doubles are reserved for the rich and famous but eventually this technology will trickle down to all of us, like it or not.
A Moment of Zen
Perhaps you can relate to my story of both AI infatuation and AI anxiety, as technology is rapidly reshaping both our personal and professional environments like a runaway train.
While we may not be able to control our external environments, we can take a pause and reflect on how we will internally navigate these changes and challenges. External experiences can be a powerful tool to better understand ourselves and help us find ways to manage fear, anxiety, and other uncomfortable emotions.
And while I WAS overwhelmed and likely will be again, my nature walk allowed me to reflect on some of the positive trends coming out of this AI revolution. You can get the deeper dive in the full post, ‘Top 5 XR and AI marketing trends in 2023′ over on MarTech but here’s the spoiler:
#4) Hardware transcends the headset slump – AR or rather mixed reality glasses ARE coming.
#3) 3D content made simple, with creative teams like the folks EyeJack helping to empower artists with 3D.
#2) Coming soon — an AI version of you! Companies like Doppl.ai are building them as I type this. Yeah, I’m going old school and actually writing my own copy, how primitive.
#1) There will be an AI for that!!! (Insert rimshot here, ‘da dum tss’)
Hopefully some humor and good old-fashioned community can help us navigate the challenges ahead. I’m here for all of it…and for you. ❤
The Verge polled 2,000 people about how they’re using AI, what they want it to do, and what scares them about it the most. For me the good news is (and maybe for all of us), I’m NOT alone with it comes to my mixed emotions on this ever-expanding disruptor and most are in favor of regulations.
A few other key stats:
- ChatGPT is the most well-known AI tool
- AI use is dominated by Millennials and Gen Z (In other words, ALL of my students.)
- Most people thought AD did a better job than they could have
- Most people are having reactions similar to mine, feeling BOTH excited and anxious
- 51% of American’s believe that AI will become sentient or ‘conscious’ – (WOWZA! I’m not alone in my wild predictions on AI doubles and companions either.)
I recently was in an awesome MarketingProfs webinar that advised sending out newsletters AT LEAST once per week, given the insane speed of changes impacting our industry. But I wanted to get your opinion – would you prefer I keep the current, monthly digest format or a shorter weekly version? Please cast your vote via my LinkedIn Poll. Thanks much!
We’re taking July off to enjoy some much needed R&R and hope you’re doing the same. Our next live event will be the fourth Friday in August where we’ll be talking with the creators of the wildly successful and moving AR app to commemorate Breonna Taylor. This award winning activation is one of my all-time favorite AR experiences and I’m THRILLED to have the team from EyeJack join us to discuss the strategy behind it’s creation. Hope to see you there – simply, RSVP to the LinkedIn Invite.
Top Tools of the Month
Jasper is an AI tool trained to write original creative content like blog articles, social media posts, website copy, and other types of marketing content. They offer a free trial, so you can jump in and try it before you buy it.
If ‘content automation’ sounds scary, Celtra, is trying to position this as a marketing super power. They offer a suite of services that help marketers scale personalized and dynamic content like ad units, videos, and images. Their capabilities include a studio to easily create endless variations of your latest digital campaign assets like dynamic product ads, dynamic video units that can have unique overlays, graphic call-outs and end-cards and a recently addes AI assistant that helps you with the entire process. No pricing is listed – read expensive – and they require a demo for sign-up.
Rasa.io takes email newsletters into the future with a platform that uses AI to help do everything from content creation to automated management to integrating with your favorite mail platform. They have a standard monthly subscription starting at $29 bucks per month. If I weren’t using LinkedIn for my newsletter, I would definitely check them out.
A great directory of the latest and greatest AI apps featuring categories for marketing, event management, image generation, writing, video generation, productivity, B2B, and so much more!
Top Fool of the Month
Kupid AI positions itself as offering “virtual friends and companions to engage in personalized and deep conversations.” They offer different AI ‘soulmates’ characterized by various interests such as cooking, art, gaming, and nature. They are quick to point out that all of the companions are AI-generated and any resemblance to real people is incidental. Duh.
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect virtual companion since Yahoo chat rooms were a thing, so I was eager to explore what Kupid had to offer. I was SO SO SO disappointed to discover that the creators of this platform seem to think soulmates only come in one variety – a beautiful woman under the age of 30. To be clear, I’m all for virtual companionship and it’s many forms from cybersex to online knitting forums. Frankly, I think it’s more ethical to ‘use’ an AI companion for sex than one powered by a real person. However, given today’s rainbow of identity and gender options, it’s extremely short-sighted to not bring some diversity into the mix. I provided this candid feedback via their website, we’ll see if they listen.
I’m extremely grateful for all who joined me last month for my virtual birthday party! Thanks to Olivier Moingeon for the insightful presentation and fielding some tough questions. We discussed the latest trend of branded quests in platforms like Roblox and Spatial, how these quests are measured, and some strategic factors to consider.
Once we ate our vegetables, it was time for CAKE in the 3D spatial.io gallery I created for my NFT collection of AI flower fairy PFP’s (that’s short for profile pic, just in case your old like moi!). The site is still live, so if you missed the broadcast, you can jump in and explore.
I’m working with Exclusible to get my flower fairy collection minted and ready to be claimed by friends of the XR Pub Crawl. Stay tuned for more details on that and one of these haunting portraits can be yours.
XR/AI Marketing News
L’Occitane isn’t the first to use the Emperia platform to combine the metaverse with a retail shopping experience. I recently visited the Tatcha activation where I chatted with a Zon monk on the benefits of forest bathing and took a stroll through a breathtaking old-growth forest. You can learn more about these projects and others on Emperia’s website.
Article summary: it’s complicated. The Forbes post provides details on several pending lawsuits. These legal ramifications will likely not be ironed out for years to come, making enterprise and large businesses shy to use AI technology for content generation.
Yeah, Threads happened this month. This post on the Guardian provides some fresh perspective from our UK counterparts. One challenge with the platform is that it’s not available in the EU due to privacy concerns. That doesn’t make it optimal for communicating with my global tech geek network, many of whom live in Germany and France. Probably not optimal for global brands either.
If the above legal issues has your legal team preventing you from using AI, Adobe Firefly might be the solution you’re looking for. They train their models only on images they own the rights to and thereby pass that safety onto their customers.
More XR/AI News:
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If you haven’t already, please vote on your preferred cadence of this newsletter and stay tuned for the verdict. I hope to ‘see’ you all in August for the pub crawl, until then, take many pauses and be kind to yourself and others.