Embracing GenAI for a Competitive Edge in Content Strategy
Every tech discussion these days seems to circle back to AI. And for good reason: Generative AI, a distinct branch of artificial intelligence, is taking the digital realm by storm. What opportunities could this groundbreaking technology present for your business? This blog post aims to showcase the potential of generative AI (GenAI) in reshaping content creation and emphasize its importance for forward-thinking organizations across industries.
Paving New Avenues in Content Generation
GenAI is changing how we approach content creation, complementing human writers and introducing efficiencies in speed, consistency and scalability. Tools like ChatGPT and Bard are leading the way, producing text that closely mirrors human expression. Their capabilities range from improving customer engagement to penning insightful articles and imaginative compositions.
For those crafting textual narratives and instructional materials, GenAI offers two primary benefits:
Inspiration: Designing compelling learning content is a challenge when the topic is outside your expertise. Storytelling and role-play scenarios elevate the learning experience, but creating them and weaving them into your content requires significant time, especially without access to subject matter experts. Many learning organizations struggle to effectively incorporate these techniques. However, platforms like ChatGPT offer expertise and guidance, formulating engaging narratives and effective role-play scenarios or assessments.
Consider this example, a role-play scenario, featuring a financial advisor guiding a client on investment portfolio management, created with ChatGPT:
I'm working on some content related to financial advertising, specifically about helping clients maintain their investment portfolios. I've heard that presenting information in the form of real-world scenarios can be effective for learners. However, I'm not too familiar with how to do that. Can you help me turn this topic into a real-world scenario that showcases a financial advisor guiding their client?
Of course! Using real world scenarios can indeed help learners relate and apply the knowledge more effectively. Here's a breakdown of how we can craft a scenario:
1. Set the Context: Start by introducing the characters and setting the stage. For instance: “Jane, a 40 year-old professional, has been saving diligently for her retirement. However, recent market fluctuations have made her anxious. She schedules a meeting with her financial advisor, Mark, to discuss her concerns.”
2. Present the Challenge: Introduce the problem or situation they are facing. “Jane reveals to Mark that she's been thinking of pulling her investments out and waiting until the market stabilizes. She's worried about the losses she might incur if the market drops further.”
3. Introduce Dialogue: Incorporating dialogue can make the scenario more engaging and relatable. Mark might respond, “Jane it's natural to feel anxious when the market gets volatile. Let's review your portfolio together and discuss the long-term strategy we set. Remember, it's essential to focus on the bigger picture and not make decisions based on short term market movements.”
4. Provide Resolution: End the scenario with a solution or guidance. “After a detailed discussion and reviewing her portfolio, Jane feels reassured. Mark reminds her that her investment strategy was designed considering her long-term goals and risk tolerance. He advises her to stay the course and avoid making impulsive decisions.”
This scenario portrays a typical concern many investors have and showcases how a financial advisor can guide their client to make informed decisions. By presenting information in this format, learners can see the practical application of the knowledge and better understand the role of a financial advisor in guiding clients through uncertain times.
Information & Skill Development: Consider someone new to instructional design trying to create a skills-based assessment. GenAI can guide this person, ensuring the content is both high-quality and relevant.
Here’s another example created with ChatGPT. This time the writer requests help from AI to design a scenario-based knowledge assessment question:
I'm struggling with designing an assessment question about the distinction between active and passive investment strategies, especially concerning their fees and potential returns. I want to ensure that learners can apply this concept in a real world setting. Can you guide me on crafting a scenario based question for this? Should I provide feedback to wrong answers, and if so, how?
Certainly! Crafting a strong scenario based assessment question requires a real life context, accurate information, and importantly, distractors that are plausible. Plausible distractors are crucial because they challenge the learner to think critically about their answer choice rather than easily eliminating the obviously incorrect options. Here's a breakdown to guide you:
1. Real-world scenario: Start with a situation that could feasibly occur. Consider: “You're a financial advisor, and a client is weighing between an actively managed mutual fund and an index fund (a common type of passive investment). They ask you about the difference in fees and potential returns.”
2. Question: Based on the scenario, pose a question that encourages application: “What would you explain to your client about the fees and potential returns associated with each type of fund?”
3. Plausible Distractors:
A) “Active funds generally have higher fees because they require more hands-on management, aiming to outperform the market. Passive funds, like index funds, usually have lower fees and aim to match the market’s performance.
B) “Both funds offer guaranteed returns, but active funds charge slightly higher fees to cover the cost of expert analysis.”
C) “Passive funds typically involve more research, leading to slightly higher fees, while active funds are more straightforward and predictable returns.”
D) “Active funds have variable fees depending on market conditions, while passive funds have a fixed annual fee.”
A) Correct: Actively managed funds come with higher fees due to the hands-on approach of the fund managers, while passive funds track and index, resulting in lower costs.
B) Incorrect: Neither type of fund offers guaranteed returns, and active funds generally have higher fees due to active management.
C) Incorrect: Active funds involve more research and management, leading to higher fees, while passive funds aim to track an index.
D) Incorrect: Active funds fees aren't necessarily variable based on market conditions, and passive funds don't always have a fixed annual fee.
Using plausible distractors forces the learner to rely on their comprehension of the topic rather than guessing based on obviously wrong answers. Providing feedback for each option clears misconceptions and reinforces the learner's understanding.
Note: There is a process to refining the ChatGPT prompt to create a concise request that will yield the best outcome as seen in the examples above — but that’s a post for another day.
The Look of Generative AI
GenAI use cases are not just limited to text creation, of course. GenAI applications can also use natural language prompts to generate visual or graphic content. Before AI image generation, illustrators, graphic designers or even photographers would be needed to create high-quality scenario content. GenAI can allow you to move away from stock images, turning instead toward customized imagery that better matches your needs.
For those who author digital online courses or instructional videos, there's a recognized standard for onscreen content to change every five to seven seconds, though many advocate for a brisker three to five seconds. For a half-hour course, this translates to the need for hundreds of images. These visuals should align with the narration, remain consistent with brand colors and, ideally, blend with each other in a seamless way. Sourcing such a vast and cohesive array of images demands a significant time investment — and costs. High-quality stock images can be expensive and even the best libraries will have a limited number of options. This is particularly challenging when it comes to the development of character scenarios.
With tools like Midjourney, this extensive process can be streamlined, enabling content creators to produce a series of themed images more efficiently. Midjourney is a chatbot that can produce a set of themed images from keywords or even based on another image. Thus, instead of a disjointed visual narrative, you get a coherent series of images that elevate the entire course. Other tools, such as DALL-E and CLIP, can be used to produce similar results.
Imagine the uplift to your PowerPoints, instructor-led training and eLearning materials — more engaging and relevant content equals better retention and adoption. Here’s a sample of visual content created through GenAI using a prompt such as: “A highly realistic picture of a young woman talking on her mobile phone. White background.”
Once you’ve created a character you are happy with, that image can then be referenced in further image generation, for instance:
“A highly realistic picture of a young woman, confidently walking in Miami –ar (aspect ratio) 16:9.”
AI image generation can be unpredictable. And if you are after a more stylized look and feel, it may be worthwhile creating individual elements against white or transparent backgrounds or creating new compositions using the Adobe Creative Suite or online tools such as Canva. Such products include sophisticated AI technology that allows you to remove backgrounds with a simple click. Adobe’s Generative Fill application, for example, “understands” existing pictures and allows you to generate new elements — from a cat napping on a couch to a marauding elephant tearing through New York — with simple text prompts. Using GenAI to create scenario-based imagery will save time, improve the overall look and feel of your materials and should ultimately build better engagement with the content.
The Sound of Generative AI
Beyond text and visuals, GenAI is also breaking barriers in the realm of audio content. The technology can produce specific sound effects, voice simulations and even entire music tracks. While tools for text and image generation have advanced quickly, audio tools are catching up, offering capabilities like creating music tracks based on prompts or even replicating specific voice tones and styles. Multiple accessibility use cases come to mind. Voice sampling and recording could lead to promising outcomes, such as text-to-voice applications that read books or letters with intonation and emotion. Another possibility would be creating a whole new dialogue based on vocal samples — that is, using GenAI to produce a new speech with words, accents and inflections that didn’t exist until technology generated them.
Imagine the possibilities: custom soundtracks, voice banks for those losing speech capabilities or even AI-generated podcasts. Tools like LALAL.AI, Descript and MURF are just the start of a growing list of applications in this space.
Embrace the Future, Today
Content strategy is changing, and GenAI is a significant driver of this shift. It's not just a passing trend, it's where the future is headed. Organizations looking for a competitive edge can't afford to ignore it. GenAI offers the ability to create what previously would have required abundant resources, while offering the potential for increased consistency and quality of output. New and unique text, graphics and audio will require less effort and less time. The message is clear: Start integrating GenAI now. Upskill your team to use this powerful capability, ensuring your content remains top-tier in quality and relevance. Preparing your workforce to take advantage of these capabilities will improve the quality of your content and ensure your communications, learning materials and other content remains relevant and competitive within your industry.
The next frontier in content creation is here. Are you ready?