The 12 Laws of AI – Law 5: The Law of Liberated Potential and Law 6: The Law of Collective Empowerment
November 13, 2023
The following is the fourth part in our blog series “The 12 Laws of AI.” The series is a set of practical and philosophical guidelines for DMOs to work from as they explore the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI). Check out the previous blog in this series, “The 12 Laws of AI – Law 4: The Law of the Imperfect Mirror.“
Welcome back to our ongoing series on artificial intelligence! After spending the past few weeks laying some groundwork and discussing a few of the challenges we all need to be aware of using AI tools, it’s finally time to start diving into why any of us would want to mess with this, at times, scary new frontier.
Despite the potholes that we need to be aware of and steer around, AI tools like ChatGPT, Bard, Dall-E, and even Grammarly (which I’m proud to say I’ve been using for a few years now) offer the opportunity for all of us to become “superhuman” in a plethora of ways. We’ll get into the nuts and bolts of these opportunities across several of the laws to come, but we’ll start with The Law of Liberated Potential…because that’s what AI is all about.
Law 5: The Law of Liberated Potential
Entrust the tedious to AI’s unwavering hand, freeing human creativity from its chains. By alleviating the burdens of routine, you unlock the full spectrum of human potential. Let the machine manage the mechanical and unleash the human spirit for true innovation.
For Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) striving to stay competitive, AI tools like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Grammarly are more than buzzwords; they’re transformative forces. This is especially true for small and midsize DMOs, where resources are often tight, and efficiency is paramount.
Why AI? Bridging the Gap Between Fear and Potential
The conversation around AI has often been a dichotomy — either fear of job loss and ethical quandaries or excitement about automation, efficiency, and assistance in creativity and critical thinking. The Law of Liberated Potential reminds us that there is a balanced middle ground where AI helps us unlock previously untapped human capabilities.
AI in Everyday Operations: Streamlining Tasks
Picture a typical day in your DMO office: team members are drafting sales emails, writing proposals, engaging in data analysis, creating content, and conducting market research. The list seems endless, while time is decidedly limited. AI tools give us the potential to offload or optimize each of these tasks, freeing up human resources to tackle strategic thinking and more nuanced tasks that we, as humans, are especially suited for.
Content Creation and SEO
In content creation, AI’s capabilities have grown exponentially – even if it’s not yet ready to replace us as creators. Not only can these tools help craft compelling blog titles, persuasive call-to-actions, and effective social media hashtags, but they can also offer a strong foothold in search engine optimization (SEO), amongst more technical tasks that are notorious consumers of our time.
Example: Imagine your team is developing a new section of your website to showcase wheelchair-accessible activities in Bentonville, Arkansas. Using an AI tool to generate Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords can result in options like “wheelchair-friendly sights in Bentonville,” “accessible tourist spots in Bentonville,” and “barrier-free activities.” These keywords make your website easily discoverable and relatable to your target audience.
For those of us who are not familiar with being wheelchair mobile, the phrase “barrier-free activities” is likely not in our lexicon and would require a fair amount of research to realize how important this is to our intended audience. With a simple prompt in ChatGTP or Google Bard, however, we can instantly create a list of the keywords and phrases that are critical in making our content more relevant and easily discoverable.
In the past, this was a time-consuming task that could be difficult to get right. Multiply this often while maintaining an up-to-date, highly-performing website, and it’s easy to fall behind…especially for DMOs conducting this work in-house or with limited agency partnership.
Market Research and Data Analysis
For DMOs, market research and data analysis are vital but time-consuming activities. AI algorithms can scrape data, collect customer reviews, assess competitor strategies, and condense these into actionable insights. Google Bard is especially adept at this, given its connection to the internet and up-to-date information.
Example: Interested in understanding what the top 10 destinations for visitor satisfaction in the United States have in common? Ask Google Bard to compile the list for you (the last time I did this, it pulled the excellent Future Partners study from 2022), then follow that up with having it list out the common attributes or qualities these destinations all share. Are you wondering what to make of a recent resident satisfaction survey? Drop the responses into ChatGPT asking for a general summary along with a bullet point of responses for the questions in the survey—you could even have it suggest an appropriate chart if needed for visualization purposes. Also, don’t worry about how to ask these questions on chatbot platforms just yet—we’ll cover it in an upcoming section!
The Creative Boost: AI in Brainstorming
While AI lacks the imaginative spark humans bring to the table (more on that later), it can still be an excellent facilitator for creative processes.
Example: If you’re planning a strategic brainstorming session, Google Bard or ChatGPT can generate seed ideas that inspire your team to think in new directions. These preliminary ideas can enrich the quality of your brainstorming, driving you toward innovative solutions. Imagine kicking off a strategic marketing planning session by throwing ideas on the whiteboard that combine your current strategy and tactics with the ideas presented in the excellent Seth Godin series of marketing books. It’s as easy as building a short prompt and pressing the enter button! Later in this series, we’ll also discuss how to apply the scientific method you learned about in high school, in conjunction with AI tools, to the creative process.
AI is not going to replace creative professionals anytime soon. But, just as Law 1 (AI is the tool, not the craftsman) reminds us…these new tools can dramatically enhance creativity while leveling the playing field —- enabling more of us to participate in the process than ever.
AI as a Team Member: Replacing or Enhancing?
As we’ve discussed from the beginning, a contentious topic in the AI discussion is whether machines will replace humans. In the context of The Law of Liberated Potential, it’s clear that the goal is not replacement but enhancement. AI excels in many domains but lacks the human elements of emotional intelligence, nuanced understanding, and complex decision-making. Therefore, instead of viewing AI as a threat, it should be seen as a new, valuable team member that augments our abilities and liberates us to take on the truly meaningful work we humans are best at innovation, strategizing, and engaging with our communities and visitors.
Law 6: The Law of Collective Empowerment
A visionary leader, versed in strategy, shuns the lure of singular grandeur. Rather, they orchestrate a symphony of diverse talents, melding minds into an indivisible force. The maestro leader guides incremental investments, sidestepping perilous singular stakes. This harmonious fusion births potent AI ascendancy, where unity prevails over singularity. In unison, they navigate the innovative labyrinth, steering a relentless course, illuminating the path to triumph.
Law 6 reinforces that, in our discussion of liberated potential, we ensure that when discussing who can benefit from AI tools, we don’t stop at the marketing department. Although much of the attention is focused on AI enhancing creativity and overall marketing prowess, it’s important to quickly review how powerful the same tools can be for other DMO departments and operations.
Human Resources, Finance, and Documents
For HR and finance, the traditional ways of working are ripe for evolution that the efficiencies offered by AI can introduce. Manual tasks, such as data entry into Excel, can now be automated, allowing financial professionals to focus more on strategic budgeting and revenue forecasting. Such automation reduces errors and provides faster, more accurate results.
The recruitment process also gets a boost with AI. Crafting targeted job descriptions based on changing market demands becomes a simpler task. Additionally, AI can refine screener questions, ensuring that they align with the goals and culture of the organization, thus attracting the right folks in terms of talent and personality fit.
Moreover, financial jargon, which can perplex many, can be made more accessible. AI chatbot tools like ChatGPT or Google Bard can be utilized to break down and explain complex financial concepts, making them easier to digest and implement. Are you writing a grant request or working on a destination certification? These tools can greatly reduce the time to prepare these crucial documents, especially for smaller teams.
Do you have an internal AI policy yet? Need one? These tools are a great place to start. You can find any number of publicly available AI policies (or other items you might need in your Employee Handbook) and easily modify them specifically for your organization. Just be sure you double and triple-check the output–remember Law 4!
Visitor Services: Enhancing the User Experience
The tourism industry thrives on the experiences we offer our visitors. AI can significantly elevate and enhance the pathway to these experiences. For instance, customized AI chatbots (including Madden’s very own offering) can provide real-time, personalized interactions with visitors, answering their queries and providing recommendations more specific (and up to date) to a destination. Far from the poor Google Search clones that rarely provide decent search results for users on our websites, AI and new techniques, including vector-based mapping of website content, have the potential to radically change the way we serve content (trip itineraries, for instance) to web visitors.
Next-Generation Sales Teams
For many DMO convention sales departments, the paperwork and communication avalanche is a real hurdle, especially for teams reduced in total size following the global pandemic. Many of the routine activities a sales team engages in are ideal processes for introducing AI tools by reducing the hours spent on relatively routine, mundane paperwork tasks. Generative AI tools, in particular, can reverse administrative creep, for example, by helping sales teams with prospecting RFP responses, organizing meeting notes, and even helping with lead research. CRM giant Salesforce has rolled out a new tool, Einstein GPT, that will help offload some of the more mundane tasks, like sales emails, but also enhance a team’s ability to mine CRM data as a part of building sales strategies. It’s worth investigating if you are currently using Salesforce or having a conversation with your current CRM provider about how AI tools can best be incorporated and utilized into those workflows. A favorite tactic for some of our folks here at Madden is recording a meeting transcription (with consent of all participants, of course) using Google Meet or other similar platforms, then having ChatGPT break down the meeting into an overall summary, complete with bullet points which are then shared across a team or with the prospective client. This productivity hack has greatly elevated our team’s ability to dig into key points in a conversation and apply that knowledge to more effective follow-up communications afterward.
Whew! We’ve covered a lot here, but I hope these two Laws have highlighted the transformational and exciting opportunities these new tools represent for our industry. I’ve mentioned this before, but for those of you reading who are at small to mid-sized DMOs…these AI platforms can truly level the playing field and elevate the critical work you are engaged in by not only enhancing your current operations but also by giving you back the most valuable resource of all, time. Large DMOs can also, of course, benefit just as much — especially in some of the support and sales operations mentioned in the 6th Law above.
Next, we’ll dive into how to get the most out of generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard, starting with how to ask better questions and then how to build those questions as prompts in the most optimal way.
Other blogs in this series:
Law 1: AI is the Tool, Not the Craftsman
Law 2: Humble Beginnings and Law 3: Transparency
Law 4: The Law of the Imperfect Mirror
Law 7: The Law of the Artful Inquiry
Law 8: The Law of Constructive Command
Note: This collection of “laws” on AI incorporate insights from my research and writing on the topic. To make it as memorable as I could — and to demonstrate one of the many powerful utilities these tools offer — I asked ChatGPT 4.0 to style my writing in the voice of Robert Greene, author of the best-selling book “The 48 Laws of Power.” I hope you will agree that each of the Laws is a bit more memorable with this distinct style being employed. It’s crucial that we embrace these new tools and transparently acknowledge how they improve our critical thinking and public sharing of ideas.