Thought Leader: Is AI killing human authenticity from experiences?

This piece was first shared online by agency Audience for their own website. It is by production manager at Audience Gareth Routledge. We thought this was a really fascinating blog that you needed to know about, so we’ve shared it here with Gareth and Audience’s permission. 

AI is a vast and ever-expanding topic, with chatbots and machine learning experiments popping up everywhere. This new tech is exciting, especially when considering the endless possibilities of integrating it into brand experiences. However, like every new technology aimed at making life that bit easier, the inevitable question lingers: will this lead to laziness and a lack of creativity?

Audience’s Production Manager, Gareth Routledge, recently attended a talk called ‘AI: Separating reality from Science fiction’. Based on what he learnt, he’s decided to write this blog from two perspectives: one by himself and one with the assistance of an AI Chatbot (the only guidance being ‘Write a blog about AI in experiences’.)

What better way to discuss AI in the context of originality and creativity, than to compare it to the human mind? See if you can guess whose is whose…

Blog 1:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the experience industry, making experiences smarter, more efficient, and more personalised. From virtual experiences to in-person conferences, AI is being used in a variety of ways to improve attendee experiences and enhance event ROI.

1. Personalisation

One of the most significant ways AI is being used in experiences is through personalisation. Event planners can use AI to analyse attendee data and create customised experiences based on attendees’ interests and preferences. For example, AI-powered matchmaking can help attendees connect with others who share similar interests and goals, while chatbots can provide personalised recommendations and information about event sessions and activities.

2. Logistics and Operations

AI is also being used to improve experience logistics and operations. For example, AI-powered sensors can monitor crowd flow and help organisers identify and mitigate potential bottlenecks or safety hazards. Additionally, AI-powered scheduling tools can optimise experience schedules based on attendee preferences and logistical considerations, such as room capacity and speaker availability.

3. Immersive Technology

One of the most exciting applications of AI in experiences is through immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). AR and VR can be used to create interactive and engaging experiences for attendees, such as virtual trade show booths and immersive product demos. AI-powered chatbots can enhance these experiences by providing real-time assistance and personalised recommendations.

Of course, with any technology, there are challenges to consider. One of the main challenges with AI in experiences is ensuring that it is used ethically and responsibly. For example, AI-powered matchmaking tools must be transparent about how they collect and use attendee data, and must provide attendees with the option to opt out of data collection.

In conclusion, AI is transforming the events and experiential industry by providing new ways to personalise experiences, automate routine tasks, improve logistics and operations, and create immersive experiences. As AI continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly play an even greater role in helping experience planners create memorable and engaging experiences for attendees. However, it’s important to use AI responsibly and with transparency to ensure that attendee privacy and data are protected.

Blog 2:

Let’s start with what Artificial Intelligence (AI) actually is. Simply, AI involves using computers to do things that traditionally require human intelligence. This means processing huge amounts of data very quickly in ways that people physically can’t. With the global AI market projected to reach $1,811.8 billion by 2030, it’s trickling into everyday life quite seamlessly.

Experts are certain that the rise of AI will cause positive ripples across many industries by reducing human error and increasing accuracy and precision. This kind of rapid growth naturally raises concerns about how advancements in AI will affect what it means to be artistic and human, particularly in creative industries. Let’s discuss 3 key methods of using AI in the events and experiential industry, how we can use it responsibly and ethically, and take a look at the impact on originality and authenticity.

1. Judging our output

Many argue that search-engine technology can’t be neutral as it processes big data and prioritises results with the most clicks. This relies on user preference and location – both bias factors and important to consider when delivering content in the experiences. Some argue that AI is contributing to the war against spreading misinformation (known commonly as ‘fake news’). Ironically, the very technology that enables the spread may also be able to combat it.

The more sophisticated AI becomes the greater the ability to detect whether a story has been written by a human or a computer. Running checks on the source will improve, meaning that whilst there is a risk that AI content can be broadcasting nonsense, it can just as likely be checking the output for anomalies and misinformation indicators.

The speed of computers compared to humans leaves tell-tale clues to help hunt down suspicious posts, with one study citing a surprising accuracy of 91%. This has promising indications for the experience industry, as it means we can begin to see AI as a tool to work alongside in the bid to source appropriate information that can help elevate our experiences.

2. Using it responsibly and ethically

Alongside the vast possibilities of AI, the concept naturally has some negatives to consider – like threatening human autonomy and job roles. People and businesses are worried about the effects, with 95% of companies across the globe exhibiting concern about the ethical risks of AI.

Because of its global reach across every industry, AI technology needs varying degrees of regulation. In the events and experiential industry, the most common issue to consider is bias. AI can be based on a user’s digital footprint – we don’t want to end up being responsible for encouraging unconscious bias by accident due to the AI tools we’re using.

With most AI-related ethical topics, there seems to be a twofold response – some see it as a potential issue, and some as a solution. Let’s take plagiarism for example. No one likes a cheat! AI can be seen as a solution to fast-cross checking of published work to ensure it isn’t plagiarised. In our view, we think it’s important to consider the negatives while also focusing on the opportunities provided by AI – that way we can get the most out of the tool.

3. Creativity and originality

Researchers have projected that AI may claim 800 million jobs around the world by 2030. Yes, this sounds pretty terrifying. But research by sociologist Anton Oleinik identifies that AI will likely only replace jobs that humans aren’t actually very skilled at anyway (ouch).

At their absolute core, AI machines can’t be creative (yet). They are machine learning algorithms composed of layers of calculations. They rely on statistical regression only. So yes, they’re incredible at identifying patterns, but can’t generate an unrelated pattern – something essential when defining creativity. Others argue that whilst AI can’t generate fundamentally new ideas argue that whilst AI can’t generate fundamentally new ideas, it can stimulate creativity by catalysing human creativity. So, it may seem to be creative, but at the core, the response will lack any original thought.

This being said, in creative industries like the events and experience world – AI is more likely to help deliver new kinds of experiences. It’s more likely to act as a collaborator rather than a competitor for workers in the creative industry.

So all in all, are the ethical considerations too big to outweigh the benefits? Can AI stimulate creativity enough to overtake human input? Overall, no. At Audience, we believe that any kind of tool should speed up the process of workflow but ultimately creativity should always remain human. How can we put humans at the heart of every experience, if it’s driven by AI?

Hopefully, it’s pretty obvious which blog is which (says Gareth with a gulp)…

While blog 1 (AI generated) is short and lacks personality, it is impressive that the instructions given to the AI consisted of only 7 words. This demonstrates the worth and potential of AI in consolidating information. Using AI like calculators in maths is the mindset we should take when using AI in experiences – as a tool and a tool only. Human creativity should always be at the forefront.

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