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Sam Altman Says AI Will Handle “95%” of Marketing Work Done by Agencies and Creatives

Written by Mike Kaput | Mar 5, 2024 10:54:24 AM

In a previously unreported quote, Sam Altman says that AI will do "95% of what marketers use agencies, strategists, and creative professionals for today."

And, he says AGI will be a reality in "5 years, give or take, maybe slightly longer."

These comments come from a new book called Our AI Journey—and appear to be completely unreported in mainstream media.

The book features in-depth interviews with top AI leaders, including Altman, from two business innovators named Adam Brotman and Andy Sack.

Brotman is the co-founder and co-CEO of Forum3 and previously served as the inaugural Chief Digital Officer at Starbucks. Sack is also a co-founder and co-CEO of Forum3 and is a former advisor to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

So, these guys know what they're talking about.

Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer has recently gotten to know both Brotman and Sack, which led us to pick up their book.

To say it blew us away is an understatement.

The book is being offered under a subscription model. New chapters are released when they're finished. And what's available so far from Altman is mind-blowing.

On Episode 86 of The Artificial Intelligence Show, Roetzer and I talked through Altman's full comments.

AI will handle "95%" of what we use agencies and creatives for today

Altman, and OpenAI, have stated many times their mission is the development of AGI, or artificial general intelligence.

Typically, we view AGI as AI that is broadly more capable than humans at a range of different tasks. 

In the book, Altman takes it further, describing AGI as "when AI will be able to achieve novel scientific breakthroughs on its own."

Naturally, Brotman and Sack want to know how something as incredible as AGI will impact their world: the world of marketing.

They asked Altman:

"[...] what do you think AGI will mean for us, and for consumer brand marketers trying to create ad campaigns and the like to build their companies?"

This is where Altman drops his first knowledge bomb:

"Oh, for that? It will mean that 95% of what marketers use agencies, strategists, and creative professionals for today will easily, nearly instantly and at almost no cost be handled by the AI — and the AI will likely be able to test the creative against real or synthetic customer focus groups for predicting results and optimizing. Again, all free, instant, and nearly perfect. Images, videos, campaign ideas? No problem."

In our experience, this is one of the most direct quotes we've seen from Altman about AGI's potential impact on industries.

"Why isn't this in all the major media outlets as a quote?" asks Roetzer. "Sam doesn't say this kind of stuff directly."

Altman says AGI is coming soon

Altman goes on in the interview to even predict when we'll get AGI.

Brotman and Sack asked "[...] about when do you think AGI will be a reality?"

Altman replied:

"5 years, give or take, maybe slightly longer — but no one knows exactly when or what it will mean for society."

This is...a lot to process, to say the least.

"It's a hard thing to wrap our minds around," says Roetzer. 

But it's not as far-fetched as it might seem:

"We don't need AGI to see massive disruption and transformation in the economy, workforce, education, and society," says Roetzer.

And we're already seeing it...

In one example this past week, Klarna, a huge payments company, just revealed its AI assistant now does the jobs of 700 employees.

The AI assistant, powered by OpenAI, handles customer services chats. It chats with customers to do things like resolve service requests in different languages and manage refunds and returns.

Klarna says that in just 1 month, the assistant is already doing the work of 700 full-time agents. So far, it's conducted 2.3M conversations—a full two-thirds of all the company's customer service chats.

It produces customer satisfaction scores "on par" with human agents. And it's more accurate and faster at resolving customer requests. Klarna says the average time to resolve requests dropped to 2 minutes from 11 minutes.

Predictably, Klarna's CEO talked up the AI assistant in a press release. 

But, interestingly, he also hinted that society needs to prepare for advanced AI:

“We are incredibly excited about this launch, but it also underscores the profound impact on society that AI will have. We want to reemphasize and encourage society and politicians to consider this carefully and believe a considerate, informed and steady stewardship will be critical to navigate through this transformation of our societies.”