Plus: a big ol’ postscript on how the Writers Guild of America strike will inadvertently boost the utility and quality of ChatGPT.
In the world of competitive sports and cutting-edge technology, the advantage gained by early adopters of new methodologies and tools can be monumental. However, as these innovations become widespread, the initial edge enjoyed by pioneers quickly dissipates. A striking parallel can be observed between the application of sabermetrics in baseball and the use of AI in content creation.
Sabermetrics — a quantitative analysis of baseball performance — revolutionized the sport by leveraging statistical data to make informed decisions about player performance and team strategies. When sabermetrics was in its infancy, teams that embraced this analytical approach, such as the Oakland Athletics under general manager Billy Beane, gained a significant competitive advantage over their rivals. By applying previously undervalued player metrics, these early adopters exceeded expectations and disrupted the traditional baseball landscape.
Similarly, AI content creation tools have begun reshaping the digital media and marketing industries. By automating development and production processes and increasing efficiency across the board, AI is empowering early adopters to quickly create high-quality content at scale while reducing costs. This technological leap provides a distinct advantage to those who have been quick to integrate AI into their content creation processes — offering a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded market.
The Oakland A’s lost this edge as more teams adopted sabermetrics, and the innovative methodologies that once set the A's apart became standard practice across Major League Baseball.
The competitive advantage enjoyed by early adopters of AI content creation will inevitably wane as more individuals and organizations harness the power of the technology. As always, the focus will shift toward finding innovative ways to leverage technology alongside human creativity, pushing the boundaries of content creation to new heights.
After submitting the first draft of this to my publisher here at AWN, the Writers Guild of America went on strike. As noted in AWN’s coverage of the labor action, the WGA is pushing for sustainable compensation conditions amid the squeeze being put on writers across the board by streamers who tout unlimited opportunity to their investors on the one hand, while crying cash-poor to their employees on the other.
Although the 2023 WGA strike echoes aspects of the 2007 WGA strike, the wildcard variable this time around is artificial intelligence. While “mini-rooms” and evaporating residuals are high on the list of WGA concerns, AI is acknowledged on all sides as the game-changer.
And rightly so. For better and for worse, the AI genie can’t be put back into the bottle. Are writers, directors and producers already leveraging on AI tools as part of their creative process? Yes. Will writers be expected to work alongside bots going forward? Yes. Is this a bad thing? Depends on who you ask.
My prediction is that the WGA strike will inadvertently benefit AI platforms such as ChatGPT by driving creators and producers to experiment with these tools (nobody’s going to just sit around and twiddle their thumbs, after all). AI usage drives AI training, and AI training drives AI improvement.
If and when WGA members eventually return to work (some will, some won’t), they’ll find the nature of their work — and the dynamics of the writing room — much different than when they left.
My advice: get used to working with bots. Adapt or die.
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