Antonym: The Reagan–Was–An–Influencer Edition
I've tried the new AI and it's delicious – plus a recipe to write up notes super-fast…
First up, we’ve had more feedback about the recommendation of the movie RRR than any of the deeply insightful commentary, so we’ll start with a big HURRAH for the film’s Oscar win for best song.
So if you need a massive infusion of joy right now, press play.
Now watch it on Netflix as soon as possible!
And now back to the AI revolution.
OpenAI supercharges ChatGPT
What happened this week
OpenAI launched GPT4, the next generation of the technology that has been delighting and frightening millions of users with its ChatGPT, which launched in December.
Things were already moving pretty fast in AI, the pace being set by upstart OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, and energetically matched by its investor Microsoft.
The main thing is it is better and faster than the previous version. This is almost shocking in itself as for non-specialists, the existing model was already very powerful.
It can see things. This feature isn't available yet to everyone, but it is being used by at least one company to help blind people.
Teaching coach. It is good at coaching people who are learning. Kahn Academy and Duolingo have been developing new versions of their services incorporating the technology.
Can I have a go?
It’s available to premium users of ChatGPT. If you have it already just select GPT4 in the pull-down menu before starting your chat.
For developers there’s a wait list to get access to the tech.
There is one other way for anyone to get at it – see the next section of Antonym….
BTW I told you Bing was good now!
Turns out Bing has been using GPT4 for a couple of weeks already. No wonder it was so good.
Microsoft said shortly after the GPT announcement:
We are happy to confirm that the new Bing is running on GPT-4, which we’ve customised for search. If you’ve used the new Bing preview at any time in the last five weeks, you’ve already experienced an early version of this powerful model. As OpenAI makes updates to GPT-4 and beyond, Bing benefits from those improvements. Along with our own updates based on community feedback, you can be assured that you have the most comprehensive copilot features available.
Sign up for the new Bing preview to have a go yourself.
Previously one could only use Bing in a browser, but now it’s available on phones. You can literally have a voice chat with it. It’s like Siri, but it actually works…
And Google said something too…
Google announced AI being integrated into G-Suite apps like Docs, Sheets and Slides (the competitors to Microsoft's Office products) as well as search.
So what? The timing of OpenAI’s announcement was either very bad luck for Google or a stunningly aggressive leg-sweep. It meant that the search-giant's "coming soon" AI announcement was all but drowned out by GPT4 coverage.
When? Google's announcement was also flat as the details of when the tools would be available to all users was still very vague.
Ronald Reagan was the first influencer
“Live better, electrically!” was GE’s slogan in the 1950s.
Ronald Reagan was not only a successful actor and politician, he was also a 1950s / 60s influencer. He was a paid presenter for General Electric (GE), which provided him with a salary equivalent to £3 million per year in today’s money. Ronnie presented a TV show and tour factories as a goodwill ambassador for the company. He was also given a house — the General Electric Showcase House — filled with electric gadgets that required dedicated generators to power them.
Also, it turns out they basically had Phillips Hue lighting in the 195)s
Apparently there were so many electric gadgets in the house that it needed its own generators or else the neighbourhood would blackout.
Reagan's connections with the advertising industry add to this influencer-ish vibe. His brother worked for McCann Erickson, a leading ad agency at the time, for instance.
For more on this and Reagan’s life the recent episodes The Rest Is History podcast are really good. Search “The Rest is History” on Spotify or whatever you listen on.
AI recipe of the week
Oh no! I took handwritten notes and now I gotta write them up!
Of course you did. That’s fine. It’s scientifically proven to be a more effective way of processing and recording information than typing notes. But then you have to write up those notes so some other people can understand them. No longer – try this instead!
AI Recipe: Writing up notes FAST
About ten minutes for a short set of notes with practice. Don’t skimp on the proving – I mean proofing – before serving.
ChatGPT (free version or an alternative chat AI is fine).
A smartphone or other device that can take dictation. (Search “Voice Typing” in Google for instance).
Your eye for detail at the end.
Get your rough notes. Switch on the dictation.
Start talking as if you were explaining the notes to a friend or colleague.
Include anything that comes to mind – connections. If there are actions or deadlines say “action” and “deadline for action” to give it structure.
Stop dictation. Paste the notes into the chat interface (or highlight and press CMD + J in Notion.)
Enter a prompt. If you want meeting actions and notes, say so. Easiest will be “summarise this meeting in bullet points. You could also ask it to use the notes to write an account of the meeting in the style of a business newspaper – this works surprisingly well.
Copy and paste the notes into a writing app and edit. Check for any “hallucinations” (made-up stuff).
Send the notes or post the blog and dazzle your colleagues with your speed of thought and action (until they work out how to do this too). Microsoft and Google are integrating AI into their Office365 and Google apps “soon”. No harm in getting your AI skillz developed ahead of time, though.
This week’s best…
Fiona Hill is the County Durham-born Russia expert who has advised three US presidents (and testified against Trump). She spoke to Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart on their The Rest is Politics: Leading podcast and it's a great listen. Her perspective on the Ukraine-Russia war and how it will end (not neatly) and its parallels with other European wars are sobering. She all but calls it World War III.
Scott Galloway and Kara Swisher on Pivot continue to do the best commentary on big tech out there. In the March 17th episode, Scott lays out the grim, capitalist logic that drives bg tech lay-offs at the moment, as Facebook fired another 10,000 people this week. Spoiler – firing thousands makes them billions.
Things I wrote
Work with Nike on sustainability stories
I wrote an account of my Brilliant Noise’s work with Nike in Europe, running experiments to work out how to get sustainability stories into their stores:
With the Test–Learn–Lead™ process from Brilliant Noise, the Nike team was able to capture hundreds of ideas and prioritise them in a systematic way.
Brilliant Noise’s Overture™ tool makes it possible to turn the outputs of brainstorms and workshops into structured data. This makes it easier to hone in on ideas that are likely to have the biggest impact fastest, and also demonstrates the rigour that goes into taking a plethora of possible ideas down to just three experiments.
Advice on how to make short-form video
This was an unexpected piece of writing that sprang from using GPT-4 in ChatGPT. I’d taken written notes of a conversation with a colleague about how they create video content.
Using the steps detailed in this week’s recipe, I reviewed these the next day and spoke my thoughts and observations aloud using dictation to capture them. The rough notes went into chatgpt, and i asked it to format as a blog post in my voice (as I’ve a bit published). A bit of editing and it was ready to go…
Newspapers made from paper
I visited my brother recently and has a look at his physical copy of The Guardian newspaper. It reminded me how enjoyable it is to browse a newspaper and be struck by the impact of great photography in print. For example, this jaw-dropping shot of around 40,000 convicted gang members in El Salvador being transported to the country's new "mega-prison" stopped me in my tracks, telling the story of what’s happening in that country with a depth and immediacy that would take more than 1,000 words to match (full story here).
Marketing bosses upbeat on the economy – less so in the UK.
It was an honour to be involved in this report from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) that's all about what's in store for the industry in the UK. Three out of the five key lessons from the report focus on development, and I have to say, it's great to see such an emphasis on learning. Keeping our skills up to date, team building and training a new and diverse generation of talent is what it's all about.
However, it's worth noting that the majority of marketing directors are still crying out for more regulation on ads, particularly in the realm of social media and when targeting young people.
Sadly, it seems that UK businesses are feeling somewhat more pessimistic about the state of the economy than their European counterparts (Brexit is such a drab embarrassment). Here's hoping that we can all pull together and turn that around. Take a look at the report from CIM for more insights and opportunities to look out for in 2023. I hate track changes too.
Worth a read…
PR and AI
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has a report out on AI and its use in the field. Well worth a look. It was nice to see a foreword from my boss from wayback, Katie King. It’s a useful guide for non-PR people too, with useful definitions and explanations of the technology and its significance.
More AI Fun:
Chatting about strategy, by Martin Reeves and Christoph Sadler of the BCG Henderson Institute.
LinkedIn timing – there’s no art to it
According to data from Mat Morrison – a healthily sceptical marketer with data skillz — It doesn't really matter when you post on LinkedIn. People are more active as the week goes on, but unlike Twitter or Instagram, it’s an asynchronous channel. People visit, they don’t hangout.
“Running an agency feels like sprinting a marathon.”
That quote from an article by Matt Hook, a brilliant strategist who ran a large media agency has a deafening ring of truth about it. I’ve been running a marathon for 12 years and the last three have been on trails.
Another marketing agency boss sent it to me and that’s another point in its favour. Well worth a read. Here’s a couple of gems of insight – be assured there are more where these came from:
A good agency is underpinned by a great thread of a story. It doesn’t have to be a story that no-one has every heard before, but it needs to be tight, clear, distinctive, and true.
And an echo of the superlative Win Without Pitching Manifesto here:
But, never, ever forget, that the second-best place to come in a new business pitch is not, in fact, second (and boy, do a lot of people seem to come ‘second’) but never to have entered.
Maybe someday I’ll write my reflections in a similar article. But I’m still in the game – a marvellously addictive high-stakes emotional and commercial extreme sport.
And that’s all for this week, folks.
Thank you again to the ever-increasing number of you that read, like and share Antonym. Your attention and feedback are fuel to these flames….
Thanks for the shout out for the CIPR Impact of AI on PR report. 😀