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062: The great untangling begins
Making sense of AI + creative roles, process and outcomes
“Who’s in charge here?”
Perhaps the most consistent theme I’ve witnessed since first writing about AI and creativity in January has been the question of power. In this age of AI, who sets the rules? Who leads the change? Who has all the answers? Who will tell me “yes,” or “no,” “right” or “wrong?” The most potent side effect of AI appears to be its ability to unlock conventions, shift authority, and confuse long held narratives around “how things are done here.”
Previous cultural resets unlocked access and rights, enabling people who weren’t the “in power” stereotype to evolve systems, rules and expectations. But it’s never automatic, and never without a strong resistance which seeks to sustain the status quo.
What appears different, this time, is AI’s inclusivity and immediacy. No role, no department seems immune from AI’s potential. From supply chain to legal, IT to HR, operations to marketing there isn’t a nook or cranny AI won’t inform. Especially within the business of ideas—AI is fast becoming a necessary asset in unlocking insights, informing strategies, and conjuring and optimizing ideas.
Which means anyone can shape the outcome. Even you.
We’re in the nebulous period before the metaphoric concrete hardens and we all play those new rules, in that new system, for an era. Until the next reset. We’re in a period where the vast majority of employees have not tried ChatGPT, where an even vaster majority have not tried Midjourney. And yet there are lots of opinions. Are you okay with that?
Meanwhile, there’s a ton of free information (see Insights below) and access anyone could leverage to help inform a different path. Why not you? The window remains open for those who are curious enough to dive in, encourage conversation and ask for the opportunity to influence the future.
Will it be you who drives real change?
And in so doing, what do you aspire to change this time?
1️⃣ Yesterday I led another Generatively Better AI workshop. Kudos to the Jack Link’s team for including legal, IT, project management and marketing in a robust conversation. If your team would benefit from a workshop, please book 15 minutes to discuss.
2️⃣ On Tuesday I had the good fortune to moderate a Marketers’ Community panel who spoke eloquently about unlocking AI across organizations. Many thanks to Mona, Garrio and Heather for their keen insights. And to Laura and Abby for igniting the opportunity. Several lengthy recaps here from Christina, Andrea, and John.
3️⃣ Last week I appeared on MPR News with guest host Chris Farrell, along with fellow panelists Damien Riehl (representing law and music) and Kelly Groehler (art licensing) to talk “AI, Art and Creativity.” We covered a broad perspective—my fellow panelists offered some keen insights.
4️⃣ I’ll be speaking about the impact of AI on marketing at several conferences this fall. Hit me up if I can help you and your team make sense of the great untangling.
5️⃣ And I’ll be returning to MCAD this fall to teach a new curriculum I wrote for the Creative Entrepreneurship program. This time we’ll be focusing on Networking, Incubators and Accelerators, i.e. “How an entrepreneur builds their tribe to beat the odds.” I welcome any and all ideas and insights.
💡 🚨 My friend Jim Cuene has thought long and written a very useful framework for marketing orgs trying to wrestle with AI. I was fortunate to see a draft, and the finished piece is hugely rewarding. Read this. Share it. Discuss.
💡 The “Ologies with Alie Ward” podcast has another banger episode, this time with Duke Law professor, neuro and bioethicist, Dr. Nita Farahany. This one embraces AI across a broad spectrum including neurology. Lots of useful insights on science and government policy-making related to AI.
💡 And if you’re looking for a deep level of insight around prompt-writing specifically for visual creation inside Midjourney, I strongly recommend Nick St. Pierre’s upcoming course. Nick SP has done more than most to iterate and share tips and process via his Twitter account.
What will happen if you type your email and hit “subscribe?” Let’s find out!