AI is a bubble. So what?

The inevitable articles spitting on AI have begun to roll out, and I’m surprised when otherwise thoughtful writers overlook an obvious fact.

Case in point: this WSJ piece, The AI Revolution Is Already Losing Steam. It’s paywalled, so I’ll summarize the downer points it makes (all of which I agree could likely happen), and then give my rebuttal.

Argument: The pace of improvement in AI is slowing

Counterargument: The current slate of AI tools is already good enough to reshape PR work. I’m seeing PR pros at every level using AI daily to work faster or with less effort. And we still haven’t figured out everything these tools can do.

Argument: AI could become a commodity

Counterargument: I guess if I was a big investor writing a newsletter to other investors, this could be a risk. But I’m not – I’m a PR coach writing to other PR pros. And if AI becomes a commodity, that’s a GOOD thing for us, because it will be cheaper for all.

Argument: AI tools are expensive for the AI companies to run

Counterargument: Not my problem. If the companies cover the costs to provide free or cheap AI, I’ll take advantage as long as possible. If they ever raise costs, it will be for advanced models, and I can pay up if it’s worth it or stick with current tools, which are still far better than anything we’ve had.

Argument: AI isn’t replacing workers

Counterargument: To me, this is the weirdest argument in this column. “While these systems can help some people do their jobs, they can’t actually replace them. This means they are unlikely to help companies save on payroll.” How did that get past an editor? Who says AI fails if it doesn’t fully replace a worker? I’ll take the 25-50% productivity boost many PR pros are already experiencing.

Remember this when the AI “bubble” inevitably pops:

At some point, some of the big tech companies are going to reduce the number of chips they buy from Nvidia, which recently became the most valuable company in the world. Then Nvidia’s stock price will drop, and headlines will trumpet the bursting of the AI bubble.

You and I will keep creating content and learning new skills faster and with less effort, because our AI success is independent of what media think matters to investors.

This article was originally published on July 2, 2024

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