Is AI coming for my strategy job?

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Machines are getting smarter, but can they really match humans in the creativity stakes? I don’t think so. However, by asking them the right questions we might just enhance our own creativity.

Is AI coming for my job? Has that thought been a prominent one for you in the first few months of 2023? If so, you’re not alone.  Some 65% of respondents to a survey by chatbot provider Tidio suspect they could lose their jobs to AI in the next few years.
It’s hard to deny how impressive new generative AI platforms are. There are research and writing bots ChatGPT and Google Bard, visual art generator DALL-E, Powerpoint creator Designerbot, and data analyser Seek AI, to name just a few that have made the news recently. It seems that whatever you need, there is a generative AI for that.
While astounded by the capabilities of these bots, I’ve found myself grappling with more questions than answers. Questions that I’m not sure ChatGPT can give me answers to, although it would definitely try. Questions like: should I be using these platforms to help me with my job? Can they come up with a decent brand strategy? And if so, what value can I add as the human in the loop?
This last question is the one I really seek to answer. As humans, what are our existential and professional roles in a world of increasingly intelligent machines? It’s no longer a question for sci-fi, but one for all of us.
In the spirit of understanding my robot rivals, I asked ChatGPT a strategy question: “What strategy should I use to launch a menopause supplement in a new market?”
This was ChatGPT’s response:
When launching a menopause supplement brand in a new market, you can use the following strategy:
1. Conduct Market Research: Understand the target market’s needs, preferences, and buying behavior. Identify the key competitors and understand their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Define Unique Selling Proposition: Clearly define the unique benefits that your product offers compared to others in the market.
3. Build an Online Presence: Establish an attractive and user-friendly website, engage in social media marketing, and run targeted online ads.
4. Network with Health Care Providers: Build relationships with healthcare providers, gynecologists, and other relevant professionals. Offer samples and educational materials to get their support.
5. Launch Awareness Campaigns: Run targeted marketing campaigns to raise awareness about menopause and the benefits of your product.
5. Partner with Influencers: Partner with relevant influencers, bloggers, and media outlets to promote your brand and product.
6. Offer Incentives: Offer discounts, loyalty programs, and other incentives to encourage first-time customers to try your product.
7. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly monitor sales and customer feedback and make necessary adjustments to your marketing and product strategy to ensure success in the new market
Here, ChatGPT offers the steps to take towards strategy rather than creative solutions that establish great brands.
Cambridge University’s Professor John Naughton explains ChatGPT’s lack of creativity best when he refers to it as a ‘parrot’ in The Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast. ‘Whenever you ask it to write something it will find something in its huge memory bank which corresponds to what you’ve asked and then produce whatever it’s found that’s related to that and just parrot it back at you… If it’s perceived as being creative it’s because it has found connections in existing stuff that nobody has spotted before,’ he says.
What’s missing from the above strategy example, as Prof Naughton points out more generally, is the kind of intuitive personalisation you’d expect from a professional with years of experience. You’re missing the human element. While AI completes logical, left brain tasks with ease, it’s (currently) significantly lacking in the more expressive, emotionally intelligent right brain areas. Frankly, it doesn’t seem to have much imagination or flair. It certainly doesn’t have empathy. 
All these elements are central to the kind of brand building that truly connects with people on the kind of deep level that engenders loyalty. Executives with emotional intelligence are better leaders. Art created by humans for other humans sings to us in a different way to anything AI can generate.
AI is great for manual, technical and data processing tasks. Perhaps that’s why there have been so many redundancies at tech firms. AI can code, or at least suggest code and some of generative AI’s creators might even have done themselves out of a job. 
Forbes names factory worker, telemarketer, courier, investment analyst, customer service, and security guard as the top five jobs that will be replaced by AI. But with generative AI advancements, it seems that graphic design, copywriting and other creative tasks might also be up for grabs. It’s even now being used by some newspapers to create content that is data-led or list-based. 
However I believe that most right brain dominant roles will prevail, albeit with some intriguing shortcuts that allow us to plough more of our efforts into the fun parts. When it comes to my job as a coach and strategist, I’m definitely not worried. What I offer my clients goes well above and beyond what AI can generate. Generative AI lacks the kind of human experience that creates meaning. That creates connections and makes sense of the world. In short it really does live up to its name i.e. intelligence of an artificial kind. 
As with great strategy and branding, effective use of ChatGPT and other generative AI starts with asking the right, targeted questions. In fact, one job that I predict is coming in the near future is that of ‘AI interviewer’: an expert in asking the right questions for the best results in the smallest number of steps.
Maybe its best use case then, lies in asking questions that help us unlock new ideas, acting as a sounding board and springboard for new concepts. It is a resource, just like many others, that can help us explore our creativity. I for one believe that the best solutions and brands will continue to be built on human imagination and collaboration, but that doesn’t mean that ChatGPT can’t play a role. That of facilitator, rather than creator. 
Each month I will be publishing a blog that tackles an important theme that helps you hone your strategy, accelerate your conscious leadership and business impact.
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