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As many of you reading this now already know, generative AI isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Analysts estimate the Generative AI market will reach $200 billion by 2032, so I'd wager we're still at the very beginning of the evolution of this technology.

Sure, generative AI has been around since the 1960s, but with so many eyes now on the AI prize, AI will likely develop faster over just the next few years than it has in the past six decades.

Knowing that, many across marketing and communications industries have already begun implementing generative AI into their workflows. Around 68% of marketers and 60% of communications professionals use AI at least sometimes in their day-to-day work. Likewise, according to a survey conducted by Billion Dollar Boy, 91% of creators have used generative AI to create content and 92% of marketers have had AI-generated content commissioned.

Most professionals in marketing and communications are already using generative AI, and those who aren't could be at risk of falling behind and losing a crucial competitive edge.

With that as background, OpenAI's launch of a new text-to-video AI tool called Sora is a huge deal. Though the company has said it won't be releasing Sora widely to the public visual artists, designers, and filmmakers who were granted early access to Sora are already showing sneak peeks of what the tech is capable of. Take, for instance, this very convincing elephant made of leaves.

Research from the Conference Board notes that many marketers already use generative AI to summarize content, inspire thinking, personalize content, and conduct research. Soon we will be adding video ideation and creation to the list.

It's imperative to get ahead of the wheel and start thinking now about optimizing text-to-video generative AI to avoid scrambling once everyone's using Sora.

Here's how marketing and communications professionals can begin strategizing for text-to-video AI in efficient, prepared, and innovative ways.

Use text-to-video AI as a starting point

Let's address the elephant—or the five-legged horse—in the room. Text-to-image AI can currently create some startlingly realistic and truly outstanding pictures. However, where a human might know instantly that a horse has four legs, the AI might generate a picture where the beloved equine animal has an extra limb.

Getting anatomy right has been an issue for all kinds of AI-generated images. It seems to be a particular challenge: you've likely already noticed how hands in AI-generated images rarely look like, well, hands.

There are also biases and DEI concerns to consider when sourcing AI-generated images. As any marketer or communications professional can attest, the last thing you want is to unintentionally distribute potentially offensive or harmful content. If you don't specify or acknowledge these biases when using generative AI, it could cause a serious crisis for your company or the brand you're working with.

In addition, it's important to understand how generative AI tools are trained and the intellectual property and moral implications that creates. Many artists have voiced concerns about the theft of their intellectual property, and some have reported seeing AI produce work that appears to have been trained on their art without permission, acknowledgment, or compensation.

Accordingly, using AI-generated content as more than an ideation tool can have reputational repercussions that both you and your clients should be aware of.

At its current stage, AI is best used as an ideation tool—a starting point—not a final product (think previews, not the actual film).

As someone in communications, I know firsthand that it's critical to make sure we're producing well-made content and offerings with as little error as possible. Perfect might be impossible, but careless oversight is equally avoidable. And I'm willing to bet that when text-to-video AI is widely available, it may have similar or different issues to consider.

As creatives, human ingenuity and talent are still so important, with or without the use of technology. AI is a great tool for ideation, just make sure you're keeping a careful eye on what comes out of the generator.

Closely watch what's going viral

Generative AI has created a whole new element to what goes viral, and it could be a secret weapon for marketers and communications pros.

Take for instance AI-generated covers of Beyonce's new songs that were made to sound like Miley Cyrus and received millions of views. Applied to video, the possibilities for breakout campaigns and PR stunts are endless.

Yet what's going viral isn't always benign. We can't forget the existence of deep fakes and manipulated videos like that of Big Ben on fire.

With Sora and similar technology, it may become easier to create sticky videos that aim to misconstrue the words of public figures or cause public outcry and panic. That's why we need to be careful about what we're creating and sharing for the brands we work with.

Not all PR is good PR, and not all marketing is good marketing. We're the professionals and in many ways the tastemakers, and it's never been more key to stay diligent.

Avoid getting too comfortable: be prepared and aware of AI's risk factors

Sora will be an AI tool available for the wider public, and no doubt a great starting point for making engaging content for clients. ChatGPT and Bard are already useful in writing early drafts of ad copy, blog posts, website sections, and other branded writing.

However, there are risk factors to consider when using widely available AI tools. They're more susceptible to the public eye and to being hacked, so know that any information being put into public text-to-video AI generators might be seen by external parties.

In the case of confidential information or risk of a news or product leak, it could be best to avoid using Sora and other publicly available generative AI platforms, even if they're great tools. If you have the resources, it may even make sense to look into AI tools made specifically for private companies that are designed to protect sensitive information.

* * *

A large part of our jobs as creative and communications professionals is to stay on top of the latest and greatest technology.

Text-to-video AI will likely be something marketers, PR professionals, advertisers, and others will have to learn how to use.

To succeed means not only being open-minded but being prepared and knowing the ins and outs of this technology while remaining risk-averse.

More Resources on Using AI for Video Creation

[Webinar] Using AI to Create Better Video Content, Faster

Marketing at the Speed of Thought: AI Use Cases for Four Content Types

FAQ: How would I use AI to produce video to support lead generation?

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image of Eric Yaverbaum

Eric Yaverbaum is the CEO of Ericho Communications and a 40+-year public relations veteran and communications expert. The third edition of his industry-standard Public Relations for Dummies has just been released. He is a bestselling author of seven other books and a regular TV pundit.

LinkedIn: Eric Yaverbaum