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Principles for Creating with AI

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
2 min read

As usual, when I find myself writing too much about a topic, I have to distill it all into a set of principles — easily digested by a (very) mere human.

These principles are backed by real data, case studies, and personal interviews. They are subject to change, ridicule, and memes…but only if all goes well.

  1. AI tools will continue to improve.
  2. The rate of improvement will continue to increase.
  3. Because of 1 and 2,  never say, “AI can’t…”
  4. If everyone has access to the tool, the tool is not a competitive advantage.
  5. AI seems to have a bias towards abundance. It seems to abhor scarcity (the driver of value) and constraints (the driver of creativity). Use this.
  6. AI will be incorporated in all your work tools. It will be expected as a part of your process, even if it isn’t. To be competitive for clients, you should master the tools more than the next person.
  7. AI companies are still hiring writers, content strategists, and designers for a reason.
  8. Who did you turn to for trusted info on AI? Not AI.
  9. AI will take jobs quickly, but probably not careers — as long as relationship-building remains the focus of the career. Stick to your principles. Principles are useful constraints, not likely to be shared by AI anytime soon.
  10. Process pays no mind to AI. Your process is guided by the constraints that work for your brain, without regard for whether AI can help. Maybe it can. Most likely it will also remove vital constraints if you’re not careful. But, see number 3. Never say never. Experiment.
  11. AI is an executive function aid. It will be embraced for accessibility purposes, and put to use in K-12.
  12. AI does nothing to solve the hardest part of creating (for yourself or for clients): having the courage to express an opinion in public. “Voice” is not opinion.
  13. People still prefer to buy from people, even if they also buy from AI. Adding real people to the mix will drive more value over time.
  14. In B2B, AI can open conversations and create interest. Closing still happens between humans — sometimes entire committees. The companies who are fastest in getting a human involved with the customer are likely be more competitive. Use AI to quickly get that human in front of that client.
  15. With so much new content about to be added to everyone’s information diet, trusted editors will rule for the foreseeable future.
  16. True curation requires trust and opinion. This is a weakness for AI and an opportunity for creators. Invest in curation. Email newsletters still return the best ROI for curated content.
  17. Humanization of content beats personalization and automation.
  18. Most businesses have short-term biases. Cost-cutting with AI will come before revenue-boosting.
  19. It was Content Strategy. It’s now Content Strategy. Even the greatest AI-wielding creatives have terrible implementations. Again, editing will be a more desired skill. Strategy is the competitive advantage.