In a world where AI is reshaping the landscape of content creation, the recent announcement by TikTok regarding their in-stream labels for AI-generated content brings forth a crucial question: How important is it for brands to be transparent with their audience about their content creation practices? This query resonates not only with brands but also with a society navigating the blurred lines between technology and authenticity.
AI’s Growing Role in Content Creation
From generative AI tools crafting social media copy to virtual influencers amassing legions of followers, evolving digital media is increasingly ingrained in both brand content creation and audience content consumption. With this rapid evolution comes a growing concern: How can users distinguish between content created by technology and that crafted by humans? The lines are blurring, and users fear that they might not be able to differentiate between the two.
A recent poll conducted by YouGov and NewsGuard found that 73% of 18-25-year-olds were concerned about misinformation, a figure that surged to 81% among UK adults aged 55 and above. This highlights the pressing need for brands to enhance transparency in their content creation to maintain audience trust. Across the board, social media users are yearning for more context about the content they consume, creating both a challenge and an opportunity for brands.
The Dark Side of Evolving Digital Media
While evolving digital media unlocks creative potential, it has also given rise to the proliferation of fake images and videos capable of manipulating public opinion. Consider the 2020 incident involving a deepfake video of Belgium’s then prime minister, Sophie Wilmès, discussing the COVID-19 pandemic. This video, which was shared widely, left many viewers unaware of its falseness, sparking a mix of outrage and admiration. Brands that provide context behind AI-generated content help preserve the trust painstakingly built with their audience. Offering transparency empowers the audience to make informed decisions about their engagement with AI-driven content, while also showcasing the brand’s innovation.
Maintaining Accountability to the Audience
Brands can harness evolving digital media and AI while remaining accountable to their audience through several strategies:
- In-stream AI Labels: Embrace the latest developments on social platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram’s in-stream labels. These labels instantly convey to your audience that the content they’re consuming involves AI, fostering transparency and informed engagement.
- Provide Context: Educate your audience on when and how AI is used in content creation. By demonstrating the collaborative effort between humans and AI in crafting innovative content, you enable those who seek AI-driven content to appreciate and engage while distinguishing your brand as forward-thinking.
- Implement Feedback: Actively engage with your audience and integrate their feedback into your content. This approach demonstrates your brand’s commitment to tailoring content experiences that resonate with your audience’s preferences.
With nearly three-quarters of UK consumers advocating for brand transparency in their use of AI-generated content, it’s imperative for brands to embrace a transparent approach to evolving digital media. In embracing transparency, brands not only bridge the gap between technology and trust but also position themselves as ethical pioneers in the evolving world of digital media.