The rise of Generative AI and social media

generative AI and social media

Chances are, if you have any fears about using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and implementing it into your business strategy, it’s probably related to generative AI. Generative AI is the technology that companies like Jasper, ChatGPT, and so many more have been leveraging to create content. This is the power behind AI tools that write code, draft papers, design art, translate language, diagnose diseases…you name it. And it is certainly present on social media in areas you probably didn’t even know it could be. 

What’s left for humans? Anything at all? Breathe. It’s not that bad. Generative AI is still nothing without human interaction.

Generative AI was formed as a tool to work alongside humans, not to replace us. While social media and AI are slowly becoming intrinsically linked, the trick is to find a balance between automation and humanity. Like any other tool in our collection, we may use it for some things–not all. It’s more important to have an understanding of generative AI than to worry about the consequences. The more you know, the more comfortable you will feel implementing generative AI in an ethical way. 

First, let’s learn a little more about generative AI compared to traditional AI algorithms, what they are, and how they differ. Then, we’ll talk about the benefits and limitations of generative AI and social media to assist your brand in forging a positive future with AI.

Brief history of generative AI  

While concerns around the increased use of generative AI seem to be new, generative AI has actually been around since the 1960s. Chatbots were the first generative AI tools we saw in the industry, not nearly the type of AI we see today, but a start to seeing how an algorithm could react to human behaviors.

In 2014, we first saw the use of GANs (generative adversarial networks) hit the scene. GANs are machine learning algorithms capable of creating human-like images, videos, and audio that appear to be made or include real people. Over the years, this technology has become even more commonplace, popping up on every social media feed in the world in one way or another.

What exactly is generative AI? 

The reason we say that you can’t have generative AI without human interaction is that for this technology to do anything, it needs human input. Generative AI is a tool that needs a prompt to start its process: a video, a text, an image, or a design. Once it receives a prompt, generative AI will spit out uniquely created content in response. Then, it’s up to humans to decide what to do with it.

For social media, generative AI can help businesses create a consistent vault of content, including images, videos, post copy, and ads to match their brand. It’s not perfect, and it requires training and customization. But it can become quite accurate over time as you use the tool more for your social media strategy.  

Generative AI vs. AI Algorithims 

Traditional AI algorithms and generative AI are not one and the same. While they both elevate your online presence, save you time, streamline work, and measure your success on social media, they don’t go about it in the same way. 

In short, traditional AI operates on a rule-based approach based on predefined instructions and limits; generative AI operates on a data-driven approach, creating new content and data using machine learning techniques. Let’s dive a little deeper. 

Traditional AI Algorithms

  • Refines social media experience. Traditional AI helps you streamline the social media process and super niche in your content through predetermined rules and patterns. It helps publishers excel in single areas by restricting options and helping you reach your social media goals.
  • Understand your audience. Traditional Al helps publishers understand who they are talking to and what they want. They allow publishers to develop deeper, more personalized content tailored specifically for their audience without the guesswork.
  • Develops powerful content delivery. Social media audiences are becoming more specific by the day. Traditional AI helps publishers package and deliver compelling content in a form their audience is more likely to consume and engage with. 
  • Navigates social media algorithms. Yep! You can use one traditional AI algorithm to help you navigate another. Social media algorithms change on a dime. AI can help you stay on top of trends and sudden switches on the platforms to stay competitive within the industry.  

Generative AI

  • Creates new content. Generative AI goes beyond the rules and patterns to create new content and data. It’s not performing assigned tasks but rather trying to mimic what a human would create or say in new forms and styles.
  • Applies machine learning techniques. While traditional AI operates on what it’s given, generative AI is creating content by learning patterns and structures and identifying relationships within large datasets. 
  • Unsupervised learning. Unlike traditional AI, you don’t have to train generative AI constantly. It’s capable of unsupervised learning without human guidance to find underlying patterns to work off of. 
  • Real-life content. These programs can (and do) generate images, text, and videos that resemble what humans would produce on their own; this also includes creating content to LOOK like real humans. This is probably one of the most ethically confusing parts of generative AI and the part where publishers and businesses start to push back a bit.
  • Chatbots. Under the same umbrella, using the same technology as other forms of generative AI. These have become a huge benefit to businesses looking to help their consumers 24/7 with questions and concerns. 

Benefits of generative AI and social media

Generative AI, much like traditional, is enhancing the user experience on social media. When something is in print, everyone is reading the same thing. But AI technology on social platforms makes the entire experience more personalized and enjoyable for readers–no two feeds are the same. Content can be meticulously tailored to each audience and allows publishers to super niche for more loyal readers.

Machine learning capabilities of generative AI also bring a new level of streamlining to the social media process. You can use these tools to respond to online inquiries, summarize complex data, and simplify the content-creating process without constantly training the algorithm. For smaller social media teams, this could mean finally being able to keep up with the larger accounts without having to possess the same amount of resources. Generative AI can help write copy, product descriptions, web content, and sales pitches, which take a great deal of time. 

Creatively, generative AI is causing some waves on social media, especially in the content creator and copywriter pools. However, it doesn’t have to. Teams can use generative AI tools as a medium of inspiration. Sometimes, it’s hard to think of new ideas that stay within the same style you’ve created for a while. Generative AI images, videos, and copy can serve as springboards. You don’t have to use exactly what is produced. 

Limitations of generative AI and social media 

Generative AI is complex, but it’s not perfect. If you’re looking to implement a generative AI tool into your social media strategy, there are a few things to consider first. 

  • Source confusion: The source and bias of the source used by generative AI can be hard to identify. Your information could be coming from a highly controversial, prejudiced, or hate-based source, and you would never know. That is, you would never know until a reader figures it out.
  • Blind realism: Generative AI can create social media content so real it’s hard to identify when it’s completely inaccurate. Generative AI cannot remove inaccurate data from its search. This technology creates content using information from large datasets of ALL the data out there. True and false. 
  • Inauthenticity: With some forms of generative AI, your audience could lose their trust in your brand. There is still a lot of fear around AI generating voices, videos, and images. Social media is a great place to build trust and engagement with your audience, but it can be lost quickly. Something to be considered when creating social media content. 

Final thoughts on generative AI and social media 

The reality is generative AI is already here. It’s all over social media whether you realize it or not, appreciate it or not, accept it or not. And there’s no near future we can see where it will disappear.

The more you know about generative AI and social media, the better you can leverage it for your business if it fits. Stay true to your mission and brand voice first. If you feel generative AI has the potential to harm the progress you’ve made on social media, explore those fears before conforming to any new tools just yet. No pressure.

Still have questions? Reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you navigate the AI waters.

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