William Ammerman: Unveiling the power and influence of Generative AI

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – In a world driven by the relentless march of technology, we often find ourselves grappling with invisible forces that shape our lives in profound ways. On September 14, 2023, William Ammerman, author of “The Invisible Brand,” took the stage at 79West to shed light on one such force: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and, more specifically, Generative AI. This transformative technology, which operates behind the scenes, is already molding our perceptions, influencing our decisions, and fundamentally altering the world as we know it.

During the talk sponsored by Innovate Chatham, Ammerman delved into the concepts of AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Generative AI, unveiling their implications for various aspects of our lives. He helped provide a clearer understanding of the invisible hand that AI represents and its potential to reshape industries, society, and even your own reality.

Artificial Intelligence: A New Era

Artificial Intelligence, often abbreviated as AI, represents computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. This broad definition encompasses an array of applications, from speech recognition and natural language processing to image classification and autonomous vehicles. AI is the foundation upon which the digital transformation of our world rests.

Machine Learning: The Learning Machines

Machine Learning, a subset of AI, is a branch that enables computers and systems to improve their performance based on experience. Think of it as computers learning from data, continuously refining their ability to make decisions, predict outcomes, and adapt to changing circumstances. This technology forms the basis for many AI applications we encounter in our daily lives, from personalized recommendations on streaming platforms to self-driving cars learning to navigate our roads.

Deep Learning: Emulating the Brain

Deep Learning is where we transition from linear thinking to a more brain-like approach. Our brains process vast amounts of information simultaneously through a complex network of interconnected neurons. Deep Learning algorithms, inspired by this biological model, are capable of processing an enormous amount of data in parallel, leading to breakthroughs in image recognition, natural language understanding, and more.

Generative AI: The Art of Creation

Generative AI, a subfield of artificial neural networks, is where things get truly fascinating. It allows computers to generate content that resembles human-made creations. To illustrate this, imagine feeding a machine famous paintings as training data. The machine learns the style, the brush strokes, and the essence of these artworks. Then, it generates something entirely new, a work of art in the style of the great masters. This technology is not limited to art; it extends to music, writing, design, and even code generation.

Generative AI represents a paradigm shift. It enables us to create not just imitations but entirely new creations, all while harnessing the essence of the past. The implications of this technology are profound, touching on every aspect of our lives, from entertainment to education and beyond.

Applications of Generative AI: A Brave New World

As we journey through the world of Generative AI, it’s essential to understand its myriad applications, which are already shaping the landscape of industries and society as a whole.

1. Entertainment and Gaming

Generative AI has revolutionized the entertainment and gaming industries. Imagine a future where you can step into a virtual world where AI tailors your experience in real time, creating personalized adventures, characters, and narratives. The potential for immersive entertainment is limitless.

2. Art and Creativity

Artists and creators are finding new avenues for self-expression with Generative AI. It’s no longer about copying famous works; it’s about collaborating with machines to birth entirely original masterpieces. Salvador Dali’s surrealist art, recreated by AI, captures the essence of his style, unveiling a world where artists and machines coexist to push the boundaries of creativity.

3. Media and Journalism

In the era of fake news and information overload, AI plays a significant role in shaping the content we consume. Generative AI powers personalized news feeds, tailoring information to our preferences and beliefs. It’s a double-edged sword, with the potential to reinforce our existing views or broaden our horizons, depending on how it’s employed.

4. Design and Architecture

Generative AI is set to transform design and architecture by assisting in the creation of intricate 3D models, architectural drawings, engineering plans, and machinery designs. The ability to generate innovative designs based on historical data is a game-changer for these industries.

5. Education

Education is another domain where Generative AI can make a profound impact. Imagine personalized lesson plans and educational content tailored to individual students’ needs, all generated in real time. This technology has the potential to revolutionize how we learn, making education more accessible and engaging.

6. Healthcare and Research

In healthcare and scientific research, Generative AI holds immense promise. From drug discovery to medical imaging analysis, AI-powered tools can accelerate advancements in medicine and improve patient outcomes.

The Ethical Implications

As we marvel at the possibilities of Generative AI, Ammerman points out that it is crucial to acknowledge the ethical challenges it poses. The power to create and manipulate content on such a scale brings forth concerns about misinformation, privacy, and the potential for misuse. Safeguarding against these issues will be an ongoing challenge as we navigate this brave new world of AI.

William Ammerman notes that Generative AI is the the invisible hand that shapes our world, from the media we consume to the entertainment we enjoy and the education we receive. As we move forward, the challenge lies in harnessing this technology responsibly, ensuring that it benefits society as a whole.

The world is at the cusp of a transformative era, where machines, driven by Generative AI, are our collaborators, our artists, our educators, and our creators. It’s a world where boundaries between human and machine creativity blur, and the possibilities are boundless.

The question is no longer whether Generative AI will shape our future but how we, as a society, will navigate the profound changes it brings. As individuals, we must remain vigilant, informed, and engaged in the dialogue surrounding AI’s role in our lives.

In the coming years, society will continue to explore the fascinating world of AI, its applications, its ethical dilemmas, and the evolving landscape it creates. As we partake in this journey, we must remember that AI is not merely a tool; it’s a force that has the potential to redefine what it means to be human. The future is upon us, and it’s up to us to shape it responsibly, harnessing the power of Generative AI for the benefit of all.

Quick Notes

  • The speaker recommends using the Chat GPT app for a warm-up exercise, encouraging users to ask questions about AI’s working definition and its impact on different industries.
  • The presentation outlines the hierarchy of AI, from artificial intelligence to machine learning, deep learning, and generative AI.
  • Generative AI involves creating content similar to training data, enabling the generation of music, images, text, and even entire movies in specific styles.
  • The speaker highlights the potential for AI to manipulate social attitudes, purchasing behavior, and voting behavior, emphasizing its impact on how people perceive the world.
  • AI can create content in the style of famous artists, authors, and musicians, with the ability to generate unique and personalized experiences.
  • The presentation predicts that AI will soon be able to generate feature-length movies in real-time, tailored to individual preferences. 🎥 Personalized Entertainment:
  • Imagine yourself in the world of AI immersed in virtual reality.
  • Experience new personas, vistas, horizons, and adventures in real-time.

🤖 ChatGPT Conversation:

  • Turing Test: Can you tell if it’s a human or a machine?
  • AI technology has surpassed the Turing test.
  • We’ve been interacting with AI without realizing it.

⚡ Sand and Lightning:

  • We’ve combined sand and lightning to communicate with AI.
  • Profound technological advancement that should blow your mind.

Go to YouTube ti view Part 1 – William Ammerman’s Author of “The Invisible Brand” Living with AI – 9.14.23

00:12 The goal is to help

  • The book ‘The Invisible Brand’ is highly relevant and popular
  • The book is used as a primary source for the emerging Technologies course at UNC
  • Speaker is happy to answer questions about the book
  • The session will last for about an hour and then followed by Q&A
  • Recommended app for warm-up exercise: chat GPT by Open Ai
  • Experiment with prompts to get a sense of AI’s capabilities
  • Generative AI is a branch that generates content

03:42 Artificial intelligence has been manipulating social attitudes, purchasing behavior, and voting behavior for the past 10 years.

  • Programmatic advertising allowed for targeted ads based on individual behaviors and characteristics.
  • This technology enabled delivering different content to different people simultaneously.
  • Artificial intelligence has been used to deliver personalized news and information to manipulate opinions.
  • Brands, governments, and political parties have been utilizing these tactics.

06:59 Different groups are using AI to change the way you think and behave.

  • A broad model to understand generative AI and its applications.
  • Generative AI can generate text, images, video animations, voices, computer code, 3D models, architectural drawings, engineering designs, and machinery equipment designs.
  • Advances in AI are happening faster as AI is programming itself.
  • Simple definition of artificial intelligence: computer systems that complete tasks requiring human intelligence.

09:59 Machine learning is a branch of AI that improves computer systems based on experience

  • Machine learning goes beyond predicting and prescribes outcomes
  • Deep learning operates like a neural network in our brains
  • Generative AI creates something similar to the learning data

13:27 Using music as training data for generative adversarial networks.

  • Generative adversarial networks are algorithms that generate possibilities and judge them.
  • Generative adversarial networks can be used to generate music, images, and writing in the style of specific artists.

16:23 Generative AI is changing the game across various fields

  • Generative AI can create urban landscapes and generate new designs based on previous works
  • It can create images in the style of iconic artists like Salvador Dali and Wes Anderson
  • Generative AI can write, compose music, and paint in the style of famous artists
  • The impact of generative AI will be felt in gaming, politics, and entertainment industries

19:37 Real-time, personalized AI-generated movies and virtual reality experiences are now possible

  • Lockheed Martin logo spinning out from behind the globe was a popular trick
  • AI can now create deep fakes, fake voices, and mimic authorship
  • Entertainment and virtual reality experiences can be highly personalized and created in real time

22:34 AI technology has passed the Turing test and surpassed it.

  • The Turing test was created by Alan Turing to determine if a machine can exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from that of a human.
  • AI has advanced to a point where people have been interacting with it for years without even realizing it.