#1: AI Made Me Do It — Meet AI with Open Arms

By Scott Ernst

AI Made Me Do It is a monthly take on what’s new in AI — personal stories, opinions, and inspiration from Drift’s leadership team. This inaugural edition is written by AI devotee and Drift CEO, Scott Ernst.   

What’s On My AI-Mind

AI is the biggest technological revolution humanity has ever experienced. Rather than seeing it as a potential omen, we need to look at it as a massive opportunity. Because the reality is, AI already has been in our lives for years — suggested TV shows, voice memos, even GPS calibrations. What’s changed now is that the technology has been substantiated and consumerized. The release of ChatGPT very suddenly gave people all over the world the opportunity to engage with AI in a way that has never been available before.

But this isn’t our first technological revolution. The Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Computational Revolution have all had a net-positive impact on humanity. That’s going to be true with the Intelligence Revolution, too. As the use of AI becomes more mainstream, the companies and people that integrate AI into their lives and work will thrive, while companies who don’t will fade away. Like any revolution, there will likely be short-term turbulence, but long-term, these new technologies will enable us to live smarter, easier, and better lives.

We all have an incredible opportunity to lay claim on a new technology. We’re still in the dawn of consumerized AI, but the technology is evolving remarkably fast. What’s crucial now is taking the time on both an individual and collective level to simply engage with it. My daughter is a software engineer and my son is a filmmaker. I’ve told them both, “Don’t stick your head in a hole.” You need to start using GPT. If you can gain expertise and knowledge about this technology now, while it’s still young, you can have a material impact on your business and on your own life, and it will be easier to adapt with it later on. Don’t wait to be disintermediated.

The strength and the importance of human creativity will not go away. In fact, I believe AI will create a premium on what humans do best. It’ll allow us to work on the things that are truly inspirational, nourishing and additive to what we do and who we are, like idea generation and artistry. AI will automate so much of the tedious grunt work (like transcription and summarization) that we’ll have unprecedented space and time to be creative.

Go fast, not big. If you look to AI to immediately solve a huge challenge or enable a major business transformation, it will become too hard to tackle. Start with the tactical and individual use cases, and then work up to the big idea once you have a proven road of incremental improvements and investments. In the short term, find the little ways that AI and GPT can make your life and work simpler and more successful. And in the long-term, you’ll be able to meet the Intelligence Revolution with open arms.

GPT Made This for Me: Easier Email

I use GPT technology every day. I use it to prepare for customer meetings. I use it to synthesize documents. I use it to learn more about topics that I need to be refreshed on. Recently, I’ve even started using GPT to enhance my email correspondence. A big part of my job as Drift’s CEO is communicating with customers, prospects and company stakeholders. While I could have these emails simply sent on my behalf, I feel much more comfortable writing to people in my own words and in my own voice — it just feels more natural and human.

Since I’ve been at Drift, I’ve kept versions of the emails I have written in a document so I can keep track of the work I’ve done. Now, when I get a request to write an email to a customer or a prospect, I’ll drop one of those documents of prior correspondence into GPT, and I’ll ask it to draft an email in a similar tone. The draft it produces gives me a great starting point that I can quickly edit and send out because it takes care of all the major points of content — all I have to do is make minor tweaks.

I used to agonize over these emails, but by using GPT to kickstart that process, I save a significant amount of time that I can now put towards more creative and collaborative work. I’ve built that mindset into everything that I do. For me, GPT is a search engine, a content recommender, a quick learning platform, and so much more. It’s very much a part of my day-to-day life.

The Single Best Thing I’ve Read (Watched/Listened to) About AI: The Marketing AI show (podcast) from Paul Reotzer and the MAII has become a go-to resource for me. I try to listen to a new episode every week. There is so much happening right now, it’s great to have this touchpoint on new announcements and breaking news in AI for marketing.

Want to hear more about Drift’s involvement in the future of AI and the Intelligence Revolution? Register for Drift’s keynote.