Is it time to start adopting AI services like Midjourney and Copy.ai?It’s impossible to not fear for our jobs. However, there’s a lot to AI that can help both Empac and small companies. Here’s how we're proceeding into the wild west of this new technology.
It’s a bit insane how much everyone is talking about AI right now. I have colleagues that are fearing for their writing and design jobs due to the amount of people jumping on the bandwagon for ChatGPT, Midjourney, and whatever else will be coming out tomorrow. For what it’s worth, part of me wonders if I should be worried about AI as well. However… I think there’s a huge opportunity with AI, especially for people like me plus other designers and writers to gain a huge advantage over others that may be lagging behind. And part of the learning process can also help guide me on how I can best set up my current and future clients to leverage AI to its full potential.
First, let’s take a look at the data.
So… how much do I need to actually be worried about my job? According to a 2022 survey by McKinsey, it seems that 55% of marketing and sales activities are being handled by AI and 55% of product and/or service development are being handled by AI as well.
There’s also significant cost savings that are being realized along with significant increases in revenue. For marketing and sales specifically, 28% of respondents reported a cost decrease and 70% reported a revenue increase.
Between these two statistics alone, there’s already an opportunity I can see by leveraging AI for similar activities whether it’s for my business or for my clients. In fact, according to Forbes 56% of businesses are either currently using or planning to use AI for customer services activities, 46% for customer relationship management, and 35% for content production.
Not everything about AI is positive though. There’s some major concerns that business owners have about using AI, such as 43% of businesses concerned about becoming dependent on AI, 35% concerned about the technical skills required to use AI, and 30% concerned about misinformation being provided to them and/or customers.
Making sense of all this information.
We can see that businesses are aware of AI and how it can benefit them, we’re also aware that businesses are concerned about the ramifications of AI, so how should we proceed from here? From an Empac point of view, I’m starting to explore how I can leverage numerous services to benefit both Empac and my clients. First, I started digging into Midjourney as a tool for image and graphic generation.
Midjourney is an interesting application in that everything has to run through Discord, which is typically known as more of an app for organizing gaming and social groups. It’s certainly a much different interface compared to the likes of ChatGPT and Dall-E. However, the quality of images I’ve been able to generate have been quite amazing.
There was an element of surrealism that I absolutely loved in the imagery. It’s able to better capture the idea of this page compared to the old imagery. Which brings me to the first thing I learned about image generation: It’s much more helpful to provide specifics in your prompt compared to giving something generic. In these examples, it wasn’t enough to tell Midjourney to imagine an apartment with a desk and computer on it. I had to give it specifics about how I wanted the image to focus on which elements, what art style I would like, what colors and tones I wanted, and even blend multiple images at certain points. For example, this was a prompt I used to get the “Web Services” banner you see above.
A modern web design studio, a sleek workspace with a minimalist desk, there’s a laptop, tablet, and phone on display with a website on the screens, Warhol style, Blue tones
When put into Midjourney, it gave me this:
It wasn’t bad, but it certainly needed some help to get it more correct for my liking. So I decided to take the image from the style I did like and blend them together.
Fortunately I was able to end up with the image I wanted. However, sometimes you have to be even more specific with Midjourney to get what you want. Which brings us to the second thing I learned: If you really want to emphasize something, you have to write the prompt in a way the computer will understand what you actually want. Midjourney has a ton of documentation on this in Discord, such as giving level of importance to parts of the prompt from a scale of -100 to 100, using the -s command to ramp up styling or -c to increase the chaos, and much more. All things that will be covered in a future article! Stay tuned.
Midjourney is cool... what about writing copy though?
There’s still quite a lot for me to learn regarding copywriting and how AI can be leveraged to scale written content. Fortunately, there’s been a ton of helpful content from the folks at copy.ai.
One thing that stood out to me, and what I loved about copy.ai right away, was the fact you could generate a brand voice for multiple businesses. When I put in examples of content I’ve written for Empac, this is what it came up with as my “Brand Voice”:
Confident, sophisticated, welcoming, attentive, and direct — these are the words that encapsulate Empac’s brand voice. When writing for Empac, remember to keep your tone professional yet approachable, as if you’re a trusted business partner offering valuable advice. Use clear and concise language to explain complex digital concepts in a way that small to medium-sized businesses can easily understand. Maintain a modern and clean style that mirrors our design solutions. Always be direct but informal, clear and concise, and free of any industry jargon to ensure the client feels like we’re in this together for the long haul.
That’s pretty damn good. And I was stoked this was what copy.ai came up with. However, I started getting the impression the content could be improved once I started using the brand voice.
The message certainly came across, but it still gave me the vibe that it was written by a bot. There was some love needed with the vocabulary being used, and I wanted to make sure it didn’t come across sales-y. Which brings us to an important note about having AI write copy: The more specific you are about how AI should write your content the better off you’ll be. Yes, it’s nice to have a brand persona built into the application… but persona alone won’t get you to a final written product. There’s still a level of editing and re-writing involved to truly reflect the tone you’re looking for. To the credit of copy.ai, it can certainly create a great first draft with potential sources to reference.
Thoughts and next steps.
Is artificial intelligence going to take my job? It isn’t likely in the near-future. However, tools are only getting better and over time I’d imagine it will do a pretty good job at replicating the work I do. Instead of waiting for that day to come, I prefer experimenting and working with the tools today so I can leverage it in the future. It’s still the wild west in the AI world and I’m 100% here to experience it all. And through my learnings, I look forward to helping guide others on their journey into the world of AI as well.