July 30, 2023
Ask it anything, and it will create it. That's the general principle behind ChatGPT, OpenAI's natural language processing tool that has taken the tech world by storm in recent weeks.
The program is currently free to use and allows users to input simple questions and get answers (think "Alexa…" or "Hey Google…"), but as if you're talking to an actual human rather than a chatbot. It also can assist you with tasks — from producing stories, emails and essays to writing complex computer code.
Journalists, tech icons and industry leaders are swooning over the technology's outputs, calling the AI "scary good," and "revolutionary." And that's why DML is taking a hard look at it.
Distributed Media Lab's proprietary technology allows publishers and collaborative journalism projects to seamlessly share relevant, quality content across the open web via a simple embed code. Simultaneously, brands, agencies and advertisers can use the technology to distribute their own content (custom or static ad units) across trusted national publications in an eye-catching, colorful format that resonates with their target audiences. Our Content Studio also creates and manages the end-to-end content production process for clients that include businesses, marketers and publishers.
DML's collection technology and Content Studio powers The Branded Content Project, which, to date, has helped publishers generate $80 million in revenue through its sales products, trainings and services. It also powered the Local Media Association's Covering Climate Collaborative, allowing dozens of publishers to distribute their content using a unique story-sharing platform. And DML is now focusing on supporting brand and performance marketers with distributing their content in a market projected to grow by $487 billion by 2027.
ChatGPT's ability to produce custom content has not gone unnoticed here at DML. Many writers who specialize in branded content have publicly acknowledged ChatGPT's capability to spit out, in seconds, articles similar to the very ones they could write. Still others have noted that while it seems to think like a person, its fault is that it clearly has no sense of the real world.
We've analyzed the current pros and cons of integrating ChatGPT into our editorial and custom content creation process. While we realize this is a rapidly evolving opportunity, here’s how we see the pros and cons at the moment.
DML will keep a close eye on the development and progress of ChatGPT's technology. For now, it is clear that implementing ChatGPT still requires a thoughtful editing process to ensure accuracy and to provide a unique voice.
Editor’s Note: When our CEO asked our Head of Engineering to write this piece, the Head of Engineering suggested we have ChatGPT write it for him! Following is the result, which still required some human intervention.
DML’s lightweight embed code, enabling content for distribution across the open web, utilizes a host of open-source libraries like many other software products. Using ChatGPT to replace open-source libraries with simple proprietary code written by ChatGPT enables DML to reduce the code’s footprint and improve its performance—all without the expense of additional engineering resources.
DML has also been using ChatGPT to enhance our engineering process. This includes:
Plus, we recently used it to find alternative and more advanced methods for bundling and structuring our products and services as we harness programmatic channels for infinite web content distribution.
Bottom line, ChatGPT has helped streamline our engineering process, allowing us to make more informed decisions and improve the quality of our products.
As DML’s business is a unique blend of content and technology, we have the opportunity to explore the benefits of AI in general—and ChatGPT specifically—across a range of commercial activities.
What we have found is that the current state is clearly beneficial in software development, but still has a ways to go when writing stories for human consumption.