Beam Me Up, Scotty

The 2020s brought us Artificial Intelligence (AI) and now ChatGPT, a chatbot that can write a story, a song, an article, or a social media post.  It can also respond to queries.  Are we moving towards the world of Star Wars and Star Trek?  Should nonprofits stay clear of this innovative technology or embrace it?

What It Is

ChatGPT, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is an artificial intelligence chatbot launched by OpenIA in November 2022.  You, as a user, type in a question, and the bot returns with a detailed response.  Sort of your assistant.  Watch this BBC video here:

As with anything in life, there are some negatives, and future versions will address them.  The chatbot also learns and uses illegal, malicious, and undesirable content.

Its value lies in the ability to quickly summarise substantial amounts of data and provide information that can benefit organisational management.  It does not generate original thoughts and responds with content it learned.  Currently, it learned content up to 2021. 

I asked Scotty to Beam Me Up.

To test the technology,  I asked how to improve social media for nonprofits.  Here are Mathilda-bot’s (yes, I gave her name) six responses:

There are several ways nonprofit organisations can improve their social media presence:

Develop a content strategy.  Create a content calendar that outlines the types of content you will post and when.  This will help you stay organised and ensure that you are consistently providing valuable information to your followers.

Engage with your followers.  Respond to comments and messages promptly.  This helps build trust and strengthens relationships with your followers.

Use visuals.  Social media platforms are highly visual, so include images and videos in your posts.  This will help your content stand out and be more engaging.

Leverage social media advertising.  Use social media advertising to target specific audiences and increase visibility for your organisation.

Collaborate with other organisations.  Collaborate with other organisations to cross-promote each other’s content and reach new audiences.

Measure and Analyse.  Use analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts and make data-driven decisions to improve your strategy.

Ironically, the App asked me to confirm that I was not a robot.     

Am I a robot?

Her answers are spot-on.  These are the focus areas that a social media manager working in the nonprofit sector should consider.  It is, however, not the whole story.

For example, chatbots do not replace human writing, such as style, voice, and emotion.  Building an organic social media community is still a human task.  Personalised responses lie at the heart of a social media manager’s activities.  The bot does not have a heart or soul.

 “ChatGPT is an important innovation, but no more so than calculators or text editors.  ChatGPT can help people stressed by a blank sheet of paper to write a first draft, but afterwards, they still have to write and give it a style,” says French author and educator Antonio Casilli (via eNCAnews ).

To answer the questions, yes, embrace innovative technology.  Use it as an assistant when developing a strategy and obtaining content or automating your workflow.   Content alone does not influence people; conversations do.  And look at the warning label. 

Although we are not yet in George Lucas’ world, ChatGPT opens new, exciting worlds for nonprofits to reach target audiences.  Next, I will ask Mathilda-bot to write me a short story. 😊