The AI Question

Lauren McDowell
July 19, 2023
5 min read

If you’ve accessed the internet in the last six months, you’ve read (or skimmed) something related to ChatGPT and/or its artificial intelligence contemporaries. Unsurprisingly, people in the marketing and advertising world have a whole lot to say in terms of how AI will affect the industry and what it means for creators and their clients.

Think pieces and hot takes on the subject are everywhere, on topics ranging from the jobs AI might replace to the ethical concerns around the potential spread of false data and artistic theft (all crucially important in our increasingly complex and technologically integrated society).

We don’t have a crystal ball that sees into the future, but there’s no question that Foreword will be engaging in some ways with AI (after all, it’s likely to become as commonplace in everyone’s world in the same way that smartphones and social media are).

But the fact is: AI will never be the architect of our clients’ messaging or communications strategy. Why? Because our core belief, the entire reason that we exist, is to create content that connects. And although there will always be new tools to aid in the process of human connection—the people behind the screens and phones are the ones we really care about.

Content that simply fills airspace has never been compelling (even when it’s written by humans)! That’s why we work closely with every client to understand who their audience is, so that we can determine the why behind the messaging and make sure it’s delivered the right way.

Clear and compelling communication is not a matter of checking a box or a to-do item. In our view, asking the right questions is more important than putting out a clever headline or the most amazing-looking graphic, because if it’s not driving results, it’s not serving our clients or their audiences.

In the end, we have to know what (and WHO) we’re communicating for. As an old boss of mine says, “AI is disrupting the commodity of execution, not the ideation behind it…AI might be disrupting the execution of certain tasks, but that just makes the ideas and creativity behind those tasks all the more important.”

The world will be feeling out this groundbreaking technology (and the next iteration that will no doubt be hot on its heels) for a long time—and we’ll be here working with humans and for humans, crafting our messages with care.

Lauren McDowell