Artificial intelligence, commonly known as AI, has taken massive strides over the past few years, and lately, its use has skyrocketed. Thanks to advanced technological developments by larger companies, and the launch of platforms such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI has become accessible to the larger population.
We took a look at brands using AI to their advantage, as well some organizations that haven’t been as lucky, and how the public have reacted to those developments.
Artificial intelligence: A technological phenomenon
It’s safe to say that based on the numbers, the public is very interested in the power of this technology. Since January, AI has held a commanding hold over both public and media interest. 293.6k articles have been published and there have been 6.59 million engagements on these stories.
Engagement has been rising month by month, but the media has been writing about AI in earnest since the early days of 2023. A major spike came on February 17th, when Microsoft’s Bing made news for their AI chatbot’s questionable comments (45.9k). Their chatbot claimed it “wanted to be alive” and that it dreamed of hacking other computers and spreading misinformation. These claims upset the public, leaving many hesitant to trust this technology.
Despite this setback, public interest never waned. In the current month of March, there have already been 1.19 million engagements on articles related to AI, and it will only get continue to grow.
Brands benefiting from AI
Obviously AI can be a contentious subject, but many brands are taking advantage of its efficiency. In fact, some brands are making AI even more accessible and educational; a potential way to enhance digital literacy and help those who are doubtful of the technology.
Hugging Face, an AI developer that creates applications for machine learning, has partnered with Amazon Web Services to make AI open and accessible to all. A major selling point of this news was Clement Delangue, CEO of Hugging Face, making it clear that this partnership will help these tools be used “wisely and responsibly.” This press release has held the top spot on the charts since January in terms of engagement with 50k, and it continues to gain traction.
When it comes to more innovative uses of AI, Lockheed Martin, the famed aerospace giant, made news when an AI agent flew one of their VISTA X-62A fighter jets for more than 17 hours at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (15.3k). This was a massive win for the brand, as this aircraft is expected to lay the groundwork for a coming wave of jets operated entirely by computers.
In Hollywood, Lucasfilms, the film and television production company founded by filmmaker George Lucas, has used AI to alter actors’ ages in their movies. Harrison Ford revealed that the production company used AI to “de-age” him for his upcoming Indiana Jones film (12.7k). This is revolutionary for the film industry, as it can help save extra costs needed for SFX makeup, body doubles, and overall editing needs.
The other side of AI
In contrast to brands who have found uses for this technology, others haven’t been as lucky.
Universities as a whole have struggled with students turning in essays written by platforms such as ChatGPT. An article by the NY Times explains that schools like Northern Michigan University and Florida State have faced challenges with creating policies that limit the use of AI assistants because they doubt the move would be effective (9.3k). Many schools have adapted their class assignments to eliminate the need to use such technologies, but the threat of submitting automated work still looms.
And in an alternative view from Harrison Ford, Hollywood star Keanu Reeves has a clear aversion to any AI technology. The actor revealed that he finds it “scary,” and that he has a clause in every one of his film contracts that bans studios from digitally editing his performances (14.3k).
The public’s reaction
The public has been split down the middle on its feelings for AI. Some find it to be a useful tool that can make life easier, while others have been horrified by its abilities.
When it comes to helpful AI, Wevolver posted a video on Facebook where AI was used to simulate eye contact with a camera (197.5k). Most of the reactions to this feature were positive– the video had 50k “Wow” reactions and 10k “Love” reactions, as well as comments such as “this is how you make AI useful to us.”
Artificial intelligence can also help enhance old photos or videos to look more polished. For example, this Reddit thread discussed an AI enhanced video of the wife and daughter of French Governor-General Paul Doumer in 1900 (69k).
On the other hand, public backlash to AI is still evident, especially from the prospect of deep fakes. Deep fakes are synthetic media made with AI that can essentially alter a photo or video of anyone into anything. This tweet by @LeeMadgwick criticized the threat that AI media has on society (186.9k). Replies included people worried about how quickly AI media is produced and the future threat of other uses of the technology, such as voice alterations.
Once AI works out how to do hands then this deepfake crap is going to be one of the biggest problems the world has faced. It has the potential to be extremely damaging and we are sleepwalking into a nightmare with this. I hate everything about it. https://t.co/V7xDmMaGCo— Lee Madgwick (@LeeMadgwick) February 9, 2023
Another issue is artificial intelligence facial filters, which can completely transform the look of any individual (67.3k). Many argued the ethics of using a filter like this, as well as how many people will be catfished.
At the end of the day, AI has the opportunity to completely change the way brands produce content, operate systems, and educate others. But, it is imperative to acknowledge the dangers that come with this technology, and ensure that it is being used safely on all accounts.
If you’d like to learn more about what brands are doing to stand out in 2023, check out our February brand report.