Practicing with Artificial Intelligence
WARNING: This is a very long section on me practicing with AI tools. I’ve become fascinated with this and thought I’d share some results with you.
A little over a year ago, my friend and Marketing AI Institute founder Paul Roetzer told me about a new artificial intelligence design tool that would be coming out soon.
It was called DALL-E 2. The idea would be to describe the image you wanted in text and, using an AI algorithm, DALL-E would create an original image for you.
I was, as always, skeptical. That said, I was super curious.
I signed up for the beta trial and finally gained access (right now, anyone can get access at OpenAI.com). I decided to test it with our podcast art for the This Old Marketing podcast.
After each episode, I go out and try to find a royalty-free image that I could use for the current episode based on the podcast topic. This generally would take me about 15 minutes. It wasn’t time consuming, but it was not something I enjoyed doing.
Some background: At times we’ve used a graphic designer (human being) to create these. The problem is that Robert Rose and I would often record our podcasts late at night on Thursday (distribution is Friday morning at 4 AM EST) so asking a designer to do this was often impossible. So…it was up to me.
I thought this would be a perfect case to use DALL-E to generate our podcast images. I started three weeks ago, so we have three solid examples to look at. The creation of each one has taken me about one minute: 30 seconds to come up with the phrase, 10 seconds (or so) for DALL-E to render the image, with the remainder left to download into the podcast template. Done and done.
Here are the images from the last three episodes:
I thought the images were nice enough and relevant to each episode, but the feedback tells me this is working. I’ve received a number of compliments from listeners over the past few weeks on the upgraded image design (although there has been no impact on listener-ship that I can tell).
The key to success is generating very specific textual descriptions and including the style you want it in. For example, the image for this issue of The Random came from DALL-E. This was the description I used: boxing match between two artificially generated humans, style of salvador dali
It gave me four options and this is the one I chose. If you like one but it’s not quite there, you can choose one of the four examples and get more variations of that particular image.
There are many AI-art generators out there now. Here’s a handy list.
BTW, my friend Brian Fanzo of the NFT365 podcast, has been generating AI-driven art for months and selling his AI/Human creations as NFTs. Each one has sold out in minutes.
I recently heard about an AI-writing tool called Jasper. Jasper claims that they can create quality blog posts (and other writing outputs) with just a few prompts.
Again, my skepticism was high.
I signed up for a trial version of Jasper and got to work.
I took one minute and inputted the following:
Title: How to Gain Newsletter Subscribers
Audience Target: Content Creators, Newsletter Writers, Entrepreneurs
In 30 seconds here is what I received:
Blog Title: How to Gain Newsletter Subscribers
Blog Introduction: If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking for ways to grow your newsletter subscriber list. And rightfully so! A newsletter is a great way to keep your audience informed about your latest content, products, or services. But if you don’t have any subscribers, then your newsletter will never see the light of day. So how do you gain newsletter subscribers? Keep reading to find out!
1. Use a CTA in Your Blog Posts
If you have a blog (which you should!), then make sure to include a CTA (call-to-action) at the end of each post inviting your readers to subscribe to your newsletter. You can also include a CTA in the side bar of your blog or in the header or footer. Basically, you want to make it as easy as possible for your readers to subscribe.
2. Leverage Social Media
Social media is a great way to promote your content and grow your audience. So why not use it to promote your newsletter too? Every time you post something new on social media, be sure to include a link to your newsletter sign-up page. You can also run ads on social media specifically for your newsletter.
3. Host a Contest
People love free stuff! Hosting a contest is a great way to entice people to sign up for your newsletter. Make sure the prize is something that would be of interest to your target audience. And be sure to promote the contest across all of your channels—social media, email, blog, etc.—to get as many people as possible to enter.
4. Provide an Incentive
In addition to running contests, you can also provide an incentive for people who sign up for your newsletter such as a discount code, free shipping, or early access to new products or content. This is a great way to sweeten the deal and encourage people to subscribe.
There are lots of ways that you can gain newsletter subscribers. By using CTAs on your website and promoting them on social media, you can give potential subscribers an easy way to sign up for your newsletter. You can also host contests and provide incentives as additional motivation for people to subscribe. So what are you waiting for? Start growing your subscriber list today!
Okay, not amazing but not horrible. There is real potential here to take base content written by AI and do something incredible with it.
My next question was this: could AI write my next mystery novel?
I started doing some searching and found this article on how to switch Jasper to “Boss Mode” so I could have it create long-form content (like a book).
After making the settings changes, I gave it a prompt. That prompt was the first five paragraphs of my novel The Will to Die.
NOTE: you can scroll through some of this…I’m just trying to give you an idea of what it can do.
Here’s the first five paragraphs…my writing:
Everything seemed to be in place. The desk was to Abe’s right. How many meetings had he taken behind that old mahogany desk? Must have been thousands. He could see the legs of his desk chair and scanned down to the wheels that clung to the plastic roller mat, which was in dire need of replacement. The cracks in the mat were visible. It now made sense to Abe why the desk chair didn’t glide from side to side the way it once did.
The lower half of the office door was open a crack, with the light from an exit sign shining in from the outside. That seemed normal. It was late. He was the only living person at the funeral home at this hour. The lone sound was a passing car every ten seconds or so driving on the main street, probably a few feet away from the adequately lit Pollitt Funeral Home sign.
Abe could see the lower pane of the office window and then looked down to where the drapes came in contact with the ground. He was in shock of how filthy the bottoms of the drapes were.
Abe shifted his eyes to his left and noticed a congregation of dust bunnies underneath the coffee table. He realized he’d never once in forty years looked under that table. He tried to sweep the dust particles away with his left hand, but nothing happened.
That’s odd. Then he tried to blow them away, but he couldn’t turn his head to make it happen. It was then Abe realized he was lying on the floor. How did he get here? He thought he knew but couldn’t remember. He tried to turn over to push himself off the ground. Nothing happened.
And here’s how Jasper continued on with the story…
He tried to yell for help, but no sound came out. Abe could feel the panic rising inside of him like a geyser about to erupt. He was paralyzed!
Abe lay on the floor, trying to move and make some noise, but he was completely helpless. He looked around the room, trying to see if there was anything that could help him, but he was completely alone. The only sound was the occasional car driving by outside.
He knew he wasn’t dead—he could still think and feel—but he had no idea what had happened to him. Was this some kind of prank? Or had someone actually done something to him? He didn’t know how long he lay there before he finally managed to drift off into an uneasy sleep.
He was awoken by the sound of footsteps outside the office door. Someone was coming! Abe tried to call out, but he still couldn’t make a sound. The footsteps got closer, and then the door opened.
Abe’s heart sank as he saw who it was. He would have preferred anyone else in the world at that moment, but it was his boss, Mr. Pollitt, who stood there looking down at him with a cold, unforgiving expression.
“I’m sorry, Abe,” Mr. Pollitt said. “But you’re fired.”
Again, not perfect by any means, but I was simply amazed by how this can help writers (not necessarily create all the content). If I’m a writer and I’m completely stuck, I could see Jasper assisting me to get to the next section, or come up with a new direction for the novel.
Editors are still needed here, but I can see the possibilities for a tool like this. For a human being that can understand how to prompt the AI-engine correctly, it could be a game changer.
And I say all this while I’m not quite sure this is a “good” thing.
Thanks for subscribing and, if you made it this far, shoot me an email and let me know what you think of AI solutions like this.
One More Push
In less than two weeks I’m participating in Silence for Speech 2022. For 12 hours (yes, 12 hours) yours truly WILL NOT BE SPEAKING to raise money (and awareness) for kids who desperately need speech therapy and can’t afford it.
Thank you SO much for those who already donated. It is truly appreciated.
Anything you can do would be great. Please support me here. And fyi…$100 covers two hours of speech therapy and everything you give goes directly to the kids.