This article was written by Aadil Zia Khan, a member of Educative's technical content team.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of technological advancement. The availability of data, strong processing power, and resources dedicated to research and development have enabled AI to progress rapidly in recent years. As AI takes on tasks previously done by humans, we need to prepare ourselves for change. In this blog, we argue that instead of feeling threatened that AI will take our jobs, it might be better to focus on how it can help us deliver more.
This blog begins by discussing how technological advances have impacted humanity in the previous industrial revolutions and how things will be different this time around. Then we’ll get a glimpse into the AI ecosystem and learn how various tools are assisting people in different domains like multimedia creation, communication, marketing, and programming. The goal is to identify trends in the AI market and make a case for embracing AI so that we can improve productivity and save time and money that we can dedicate to other pursuits.
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone too far
Pictures came and broke your heart
Put the blame on VCR
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles
The lyrics above are from the 1979 song “Video Killed the Radio Star.” The accompanying music video shows nostalgic band members reminiscing over the days of radio and lament how the music videos and latest technology brought the demise of the more traditional radio culture. In their own words: “They took the credit for your second symphony/Rewritten by machine on new technology.”
This fear of technology ushering in a new culture and the anxiety of traditional jobs being replaced by new ones is not new. In 1907, the New York’s lamplighters went on strike. Why? Thomas Edison’s light bulb was threatening a profession that was 500 years old. The strikers could see the change coming—and rightly so. Nowadays, lamplighters are hired only as reenactors at historical attractions; the job is long dead.
Fear of change brought about by technological advancement can also be found in classical antiquity. The myth of Prometheus reflects this. Prometheus defied Zeus by stealing fire and giving it to humanity. This act gave birth to technology and the advancement of knowledge. Civilization progressed and brought with it the ethical dilemma of using fire for good and for evil.
The industrial revolution saw machines take over the jobs previously done by humans. We saw a jump in productivity. Not everyone was happy, though; some were unemployed. Currently, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is ongoing, and it will see a higher degree of automation and a greater involvement of AI. Traditional jobs will be threatened, but those who prepare themselves for changing times shouldn’t be anxious. In fact, they will benefit if they upskill themselves and keep themselves abreast of the latest technology. AI usage will be expert-driven. People who are aware of the right tools to solve problems will save time and money and be a more valuable resource.
Be an early adopter!
It’s a fascinating period when technology takes a big step forward and there is a paradigm shift. There is uncertainty, true, but a whole new vista of opportunity also opens up. The same is true for the current era of rapid progress in AI. Many tasks, which need specialists, can now be done using AI. Mundane tasks can be automated. Prototyping, a time-consuming process involving teams and workflows, can be done by a single resource using prompt-driven AI tools. In short, we are looking at huge savings in money and time.
As previously mentioned, AI usage will still need that human touch. With that in mind, let’s have a look at various domains in which AI can help us and some of the relevant tools. Keep in mind that there is a plethora of tools out there, and the list is expanding. To give you an idea of the numbers involved, at the time this blog was published, the website There’s an AI for That lists 3,578 tools for 994 tasks. These figures are up from 3,365 tools for 937 tasks when this blog was being researched a week ago.
Not everyone is gifted when it comes to music and painting. While some can draw a photorealistic image effortlessly, others struggle with high school science diagrams. Some people may have an ear for music or may croon like Sinatra, but there are also people who can’t hum to save their life. Luckily AI is bridging that gap. While not a replacement for human creativity—not yet at least—AI can help people generate multimedia content and tweak it as required.
Let’s start with audio generation tools. Applications like Soundful and Aimi help generate background music. The generated music can be used by hobbyists or by people who need it for their websites, advertisements, or games. Games like Spore have been using procedurally generated music. Adding AI to the mix can bring richness.
For tasks requiring human voice, there are tools like Resemble and Murf that generate or modify synthetic human voices. The former can transform a voice to a target voice, change emotions in the given voice, or convert the voice to a different language. The latter is a versatile AI voice generator that can imitate styles like that of an author, marketer, teacher, podcaster, or animator. This can be useful if we are a company creating audio/video content and need styles catering to specific scenarios. Using a voice actor can sometimes be expensive and time-consuming—AI generation, not as much. For AI-powered dubbing using synthetic voice, we have applications like Papercup. These applications can save translation costs as well.
Image generation has also seen much progress in the last couple of years. Applications like DALL-E, Midjourney, and Dreamer take prompts from the user to generate an image accordingly. Did you ever wake up in the middle of a dream that had teleported you to a magical land? Well, why not put it in words and see how beautiful your dream world looks when DALL-E generates it?
Along similar lines, we have tools like Stockimg.ai that can be used to generate book covers, logos, posters, icons, wallpapers, and application user interfaces. This kind of intricate artwork can be costly and time-consuming for small business owners and freelancers alike who often don’t have the resources to spend on contract labor.
Image editing is another time-consuming task that AI can help us with. PhotoRoom, ClipDrop, and Facet are examples of such applications. They help with the workflow and allow us to edit pictures with ease. Additionally, ClipDrop is an augmented reality tool that allows us to take pictures and drop them into our drawings in real-time.
Video tools like Supercreator and Runway help us generate videos from prompts or scripts that, in turn, are also generated from a source article. They also allow us to add various effects and convert images to animations. AI is also being used for virtual avatars. Neosapience and Synthesia are applications in which the user can specify the script and get AI avatars for the voice-over content.
There is so much untapped potential. We just need to explore.
To learn more about generative AI, head over to Make Your First GAN Using PyTorch for an introduction.
Moving on from multimedia generation, let’s now discuss another area that a number of people struggle with—writing. Communication skills—both oral and written—are important. However, some help is always good. We can use AI to improve sentences and fix grammar mistakes. ChatGPT is the most popular application in this domain. We can give some text-based prompts to ChatGPT and ask it to paraphrase them, change the overall tone, make the language easier or more complex, or apply the style of a well-known writer. ChatGPT can also be used to generate text relevant to the provided prompts. People have been using it to generate poetry in the style of various poets. Jenni, and QuillBot are tools that provide suggestions that autocomplete text, saving much writing time. They also apply tone and style and provide paraphrasing functionality.
Not only do AI-assisted writing tools save time through their autocompletion and language-correcting features, they add richness to the text and may even go as far as offering ideas that pull someone out of their writer’s block. Using these tools can give us an edge over those relying on a more traditional approach.
Once we are comfortable with multimedia and text generation and editing tools, it’s time to get AI’s help to make impressive presentations.
Beautiful.ai, and SlidesAI can be used to create presentations from prompts. Once the set of slides is ready, it can be tweaked to get the required final presentation. These tools can help with the overall tone, flow, and data visualization, saving time and giving a more professional look.
For meetings, we have tools like Fathom and Otter.ai, that generate transcripts and summaries of Zoom and Google Meet calls. These transcripts enhance productivity and enable us to go back to find topics that came up during the meeting. Clearword, Sembly, and Cogram have similar use. Cogram also helps identify and lists action items from the autogenerated transcript.
In addition to generating transcripts, notes, and summarization, Krisp identifies a very interesting problem with online meetings and addresses it. Many of us have been in an embarrassing position where we are in the middle of an important meeting and suddenly there are sounds of our children barging into the room, our baby crying, or our constantly howling Pomeranian who thinks he is the Pavarotti of dogs. Krisp makes the speaker’s voice crisp by removing background sounds.
The Covid years forced us to pay special attention to how we present ourselves in online meetings. That period saw much progress and development in AI-assisted tools that can help us with our presentations and meetings.
Words—which are diverse and many—add richness to human interaction. The previous statement is true in the case of fiction and oration. For most daily tasks, though, we want to be succinct. Whether we want the latest news, product recommendations and reviews, a summary of a meeting, or a plot synopsis so we can decide if a movie is appropriate for our kid’s slumber party, chances are that we won’t be interested in a Marcel Proust-level of verbosity. Identifying and summarizing critical points is another area in which AI is making headway.
Tools like Bearly summarize web pages, articles, Amazon reviews, and YouTube summaries. Scholarcy and Notion identify key facts and figures to present to the user.
Notion also translates text, sets the tone, fixes language, rewords according to length requirements, and automates tasks like generating a table from text and listing takeaways and action items. Another tool, Genei, also summarizes, and additionally answers questions about the articles. Nanonets is a data entry tool that helps identify relevant data for importing and exporting.
As it becomes more important for businesses to create content for a global audience, AI that understands human emotion and empathy is becoming a must-have feature for content creators. This feature, which is known as sentiment analysis, can help businesses understand the customer better and ensure that there are no misunderstandings, especially when content has a wide and diverse audience. Deepgram is one such tool that helps with transcription, summarization, sentiment analysis, and language detection. Hume does the same, but instead of limiting itself to text, it extends the functionality to audio, video, and images.
Applications like Pictory and Lumen5 work in a fascinating domain. Pictory takes a script or blog, converts it to video, and assists with creating summary videos and captions. Lumen5 does the same for blog posts and Zoom calls, turning them into videos. These can help businesses quickly develop videos that attract and guide customers.
Branding, sales, and marketing are also benefiting from AI in domains like advertisements, personalized outreach, SEO optimization, as well as performance prediction and testing.
We have several tools to help companies project their brand. Bria helps apply brand guidelines to images. Looka creates logos from prompts and allows the user to preview a mockup on items such as t-shirts. Pencil is another tool for creating AI-generated advertisements. Additionally, Pencil also helps predict the campaign’s performance and test the results.
SEO optimization is a critical area for any business. Applications like Demandwell, Pepper Content, Writesonic, Copy, and Surfer help create SEO-optimized content and provide tools for monitoring site health and reports. Jasper adds text translation on top of SEO optimisation. These tools can help accurately target a brand’s audience.
Other tools that help with personalized targeting include Tavus, Lavender, and Autobound. Tavus allows us to create personalized videos. For example, suppose a salesperson wants to send a video recording to thousands of customers. Ideally, the video shouldn’t appear to be generic so the customer feels they are getting relevant content rather than a cold call. Tavus allows us to record a general message and then add different personalizations that are AI-generated, such as saying the customer’s name. These personalizations can then be inserted in separate copies. This scales up the process quite efficiently. Lavender and Autobound work in the domain of email intelligence and enable emails to be generated that will be received more positively than a traditional cold call.
So if you plan to start a business and take it international, processes that used to require a team of several hundred people spread over multiple countries are now a click away.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to determine search keywords through trial and error and then go through a long list of results to find what we were looking for—only to still be disappointed? We have come a long way from the early days of Gopher and Google. Searches are faster, more efficient, and more context-aware. AI will only make searching more efficient and user-centric.
Briefly touching this topic, Azure Video Indexer and Steno are some of the players in this domain. Steno provides users with a very efficient way to discover podcast content by searching for specific topics and phrases. Azure Video Indexer extracts insights from videos and allows users to search for spoken words, facial expressions, and tone of voice in the videos. Video insights can help to guide the strategy for driving user engagement.
If, at the end of the day, you can find what you were looking for, and even receive suggestions about relevant content as well wouldn’t you be more productive (and happier)?
Let's wrap up the discussion by mentioning how software and web development are benefiting from advances in AI. These advancements are enabling more efficient pair programming as well as generating codes for complete modules to save time.
Replit’s Ghostwriter, and GitHub’s Copilot are big players in AI-assisted programming. Copilot uses the OpenAI Codex to autocomplete code and provide entire functions in real-time. Ghostwriter allows code to be autocompleted and also helps generate or transform code. It can also explain code—something very useful when onboarding new team members.
Some tools are helping developers save time by generating codes guided by prompts. Galileo and Uizard help by creating complete UIs from prompts. Taking this a step further, Durable, The.com, and Enzyme help create websites, generate web pages and advertisements, and can even suggest company names based off of the developers’ prompts. This has the potential to save so much time and reduce time to market.
Tools like bloop improve developer productivity by allowing semantic code search and enabling developers to get answers to queries related to codebases.
Programmers would benefit a lot from AI-based tools. Hopefully, this means no more late nights crouching over the computer.
While it has been foreseen that the role of AI will continue to increase, human involvement will still remain critical. AI is far from replicating human creativity and ingenuity. So, while it’s important to keep up with the evolving technology and having an awareness of the AI ecosystem is a must, at the same time, we should focus on improving what makes us human.
Companies will continue to seek employees who have honed their soft skills. Attributes like empathy, emotional intelligence, networking, enthusiasm, and professionalism are necessary to create a positive environment. The ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing, are necessary, especially in scenarios when a sales pitch is needed, complex issues have to be negotiated, or conflicts need to be resolved. These areas need a human touch since AI has not yet crossed the uncanny valley (the unsettling feeling people experience when AI closely resembles humans in many respects but not convincingly enough). Most importantly, critical thinking and problem-solving can help us generate new ideas, think of out-of-the-box solutions to new problems, and lead to inventions.
We’re still generations away from a Star Trek-esque world, but we’re taking steps in the right direction. The journey promises to be fascinating!
If you are a manager, AI Project Management: Deploying and Maintaining AI for Business and Grokking AI for Engineering & Product Managers can help you learn how to integrate AI into your organization.
As always, happy learning!