No one can be certain of the full impact Generative AI will have on content production and consumption, but two things are certain: the impact will be huge, and AI won’t replace human creators. Generative AI tools do not replace human beings if you have a sincere concern for your audience. But used with skill ChatGPT and its rivals will have a transformative effect on the way we scale, curate, and access content.
At Foundry we believe that technology can be a force for good. Leveraged wisely, it can have a positive influence on the world. The rapidly developing story of Generative AI hits close to home, given our 60-year legacy of high-calibre, human generated editorial.
We are excited about the potential of Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT. Used ethically and with imagination, Generative AI will exponentially increase the value of human-made content for all users. It will bring efficiency and scale to processes, and equality of access to all.
Generative AI tools are not new: we have been using ChatGPT and others in content ideation, research, and copywriting for some years. GPT tools help our Editorial teams better understand what people need to know. Generative AI supports us as we optimize headlines and FAQs. Such tools help us write social media copy and marketing copy, and to create video and audio scripts from written content.
We’ve experimented with other use cases such as copy editing, article writing, news summarization and aggregation. In their present state, Generative AI tools cannot deliver the high standards we set ourselves in these scenarios, and that is fine. We always experiment and are never afraid to feel uncomfortable in pursuing new approaches. Technology constantly asks us to adapt and challenges the status quo. Foundry’s willingness to embrace the latest technology without compromising on standards sets us apart.
Foundry’s ethos is to always go beyond the original connection when building engagement with our audience. We invest in the kinds of content other publishers eschew: in-depth, on the record interviews with IT leaders and practitioners. Multi-vendor case studies that highlight real world projects with good and bad outcomes. Analysis and insight from industry insiders who know because they do. We do this because it is of deep interest to IT buyers, rather than casual interest to a broad audience. Interviews, expert opinion, and case studies provide unique expertise our customers’ customers can find nowhere else.
Today Generative AI tools can’t provide context or analysis. They can summarize large swathes of unstructured information but can’t source, or fact check that information. Because these tools are generative, they are only as accurate as the sources at which they are pointed: ChatGPT on the open internet not only pulls information from myriad potentially inaccurate and unknown sources, it creates its own information as it goes (so-called ‘hallucinations’).
You cannot and should not ask a Generative AI tool such as ChatGPT to ‘write’ content based on unknown sources without considering accuracy and even plagiarism.
However, when applied to Foundry and IDC‘s original, human-made content on our owned and operated domains, Generative AI will be transformative. It will help users efficiently access the information they seek regardless of where and how it was published. They will be able to find answers to natural language queries from across Foundry and IDC‘s unsurpassed repository of trusted and tested content. And we will be completely transparent with our users when a Generative AI mechanism is the writer or the source of a piece of content.
Think of a chatbot that guides a user to a set of data, a tutorial or a product set based on all our expert content. Imagine being able to consume every piece of content in summary or bullet-point form, or even as a user-initiated audio podcast. Generative AI will allow us to do these types of things and more, enhancing and driving even greater value to our users.
We are early in the cycle of adoption for Generative AI in content creation, curation and dissemination – but the pace is fast. We will continue to create valuable original content that’s factually correct, ethically sourced and uniquely useful to our audience. Foundry will always endeavor to use technology to enhance the quality and accessibility of our content. Still, while we are quick to embrace the “new thing” we hold true to our values. We are not in the business of cutting corners, and trust is everything to us.
We are actively and enthusiastically experimenting with Generative AI tools and will continue to do so with this and every other transformative technological development. But as a priority, and as we’ve done for more than 60 years, we will continue to create content authored by, about, and in the service of, real people.