Artificial intelligence (AI) tools have dominated the headlines lately. And tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and DALL-E have artists and writers sounding alarms about job security. So, what does this have to do with the events industry? In this episode of the Event Tech podcast, Will and Brandt share their thoughts on visual and text-based AI tools and how you might use them for events in the future. Let’s dive in!
Will kick this conversation off with a disclaimer. “If you’re listening to this episode, Brandt and I are not hype-train people. We don’t jump on the coolest newest trends just because,” he explains. “But it may be worth discussing the AI tool that broke huge news in 2022, the DALL-E art-generating tool. Did you get a chance to play with it at all?”
“I have played with Midjourney and DALL-E,” says Brandt. “What’s fascinating to me is how accurate you can be. It’s advancing quickly. And what’s making the headlines right now is that these services allow you to upload photos and generate avatar images. Now there’s another road we can go down, where you can upload other people’s pictures. Or say, I want a picture of X politician doing some horrible thing. They’ve put some guardrails up to try and prevent those things, but it’s pretty easy to get around them because humans are very inventive creatures.”
Brandt continues: “These AI tools are holding up a mirror to us, as humanity, and all of our biases. This stuff is trained on publicly accessible images. It has no morality or judgments. So in one of these avatar-developing apps, what people are finding is that women who upload their photos are getting much more sexualized results compared to men.”
“That’s interesting,” responds Will. “One of the great things about these tools is if you’re not happy with the results, you just hit generate again. But they definitely need to fix these biases. Ironically, you would think a machine would be the most unbiased. People need to know that the way this gets all the information is: it’s as if you do a Google image search; it’s taking all the results and compiling them.”
While AI tools are fed data from the internet, Brandt also points out that the user can significantly impact the results AI spits out. “Most of these things depend on the prompt you’re giving it,” he says. “As the creator, you still have to give it a prompt. That’s where we can take back some of that control. So, to bring it around to events, we’re already starting to see this implemented because people are using it to generate images. Rather than going to stock footage archives, you could type that prompt into an AI generator. Some are photorealistic and good, but others look terrible.”
Brandt thinks AI tools are a great way to start things, even if you don’t use them to generate final images. “Say, I want an image that looks like this, and you describe it to the AI. Then you give the result to an actual graphic designer and say, ‘This is where my head’s at, make it look better.’ That’s where we’re going to see a recurring theme, the idea of AI getting you 80% of the way there, and then you refine it.”
In addition to art-generating AI tools, text-based tools are also making headlines. Examples of these include Copy.ai, Jasper, and ChatGPT. And over the years, they’ve been growing faster and easier to use.
For those unfamiliar with these tools, Will shares an example of how you can use them. “You give them a topic, say, ‘How to Save Money on AV.’ And it generates an outline for you based on all the articles across the entire web,” he says. “Many people said it would put blog writers out of business. Instead, writers said you can accomplish way more and faster. Instead of taking the time to write the outline, they can focus on the thing they’re best at, editing, adding story, and tweaking. Now you can go from doing one blog post to 20 blog posts a day, or something like that.”
“It’s the same concept. It’ll get you 80% of the way there,” says Brandt. “In preparation for this episode, I’ve been playing around with ChatGPT. I asked it to tell me ways to save money on AV. It says, ‘Think about renting audio-visual equipment instead of buying it.’ That makes sense. I can get behind that. ‘Compare quotes from different vendors to get the best price.’ And ‘Negotiate prices.’ And then I hit number four, ‘Use in-house audio-visual equipment instead of hiring outside vendors.’ I think it’s trying to say, ‘If you own it, you can save money.’ But I thought that was interesting.”
Even though AI-generated text can sound expertly written, Will raises a good point about its truthfulness. “Just be careful. Sometimes, even if it’s well written, it seems factual, but it isn’t. It’s only over time that these tools get smarter and smarter,” he says. “And what we recommend is to play around with it.”
AI Tools for Events: How can They be Used?
Already having provided an example of how event professionals can use art-generating AI, Will demonstrates how you can use them to write text for events. He gives an AI tool the task of writing a session description for “2023 event trends.” Here’s what he got.
“2023 event trends: what to expect in the coming year as we look ahead in the new year. It’s important to stay on top of the latest trends in the events industry. In the session, we’ll explore some of the key trends to expect to shape the event landscape in 2023, from virtual to hybrid events to sustainability to experiential marketing. We’ll delve into trends that will be driving the industry forward. This session will be perfect for event planners, marketers, or anyone staying ahead of the curve in a fast-paced world of events.”
Will is thrilled with those results. “I’m never writing a session description again,” he says. “That was way better than I could ever write. Session descriptions, bye! Session titles, bye! It’s a place to get kick-started in your writing or designing. I might have added some tweaks to that session description, but it’s still a huge time saver.”
“These tools aren’t meant to replace you,” continues Will. “They’re meant to help you. They’re meant to be tools, not robots taking over your job. So play around with them and see how they work. All of this is a playground meant for you to test things. This is definitely a tool you don’t want to put your head in the sand and say bah humbug about.”
AI Tools: Our Final Demonstration
For the tech duo’s final AI demonstration, Brandt asks ChatGPT to help him conclude the podcast. “I’ll prompt you with what it recommends, and you respond to it,” says Brandt.
- Recap of the Main Points Discussed in the Episode
“First, DALL-E is a great tool for image generation. Check that out,” says Will. “ChatGPT-3 is a great one for chatting. It’s going to get you 80% of the way there. Be prepared to edit something potentially offensive or not factually correct. And have fun with it.”
- Offer Additional Resources or Recommendations
“First, Google these things. And I’ll add another tool that lets me stay on top of this stuff: Product Hunt. It’s a great newsletter that shows you newer interesting products.”
- Encourage Listener Feedback.
“You can always email us. We’d love to know how you see it. Feel free to write an AI-generated response. We’re happy to respond!”
- Promote upcoming episodes or events.
“We do this every single week. Also, you and I are starting to kick up the speaking circuit again, So stay tuned to industry and marketing conferences where Brandt and I are speaking all the time.”
And if this topic interests you, we encourage you to check out an earlier Event Tech episode where we talk about how many AI tools use predictive analytics rather than true AI.
It’s an exciting time to be in the events industry, especially as more and more AI tools and technologies emerge. With advancements like chat GPT, Dall-E, and others, there are many opportunities to create better-written content, graphic designs, visuals, and text for event planning.
Understanding the ethical implications is essential. We must know how these powerful tools are changing how we plan events and the greater impacts of their usage, existence, and code. With the right attitude, knowledge, and principles guiding our decisions, utilizing AI tools for events can be an excellent addition for savvy event planners. So explore Chat GPT, Dall-E, and other AI solutions.
We’ll catch you here next time for another episode of the Event Tech podcast. (And if you’re still with us, surprise! Jasper AI wrote most of the final two paragraphs in this conclusion.)