Simon Clayton, chief ideas office of RefTech – the industry leading event registration company shares his thoughts on the event tech landscape and how AI is fast becoming an impact!

Yes, this is another column about AI and its potential impact on the events industry.
BUT, instead of either being a doom monger, or an overly evangelical zealot, I have written this article to try to be helpful right now in your current working life in events. I’m not going to spout about how AI may or may not impact on our roles in the future, and I won’t discuss the ins and outs of creating bespoke AI tools, instead I’m going to give you some helpful guidance about how you can use AI right now.

When we talk about using AI, most of the time we are referring to large language model tools – such as ChatGPT. Most people have ‘had a play’ with it by now, so I thought it would be helpful to share some tips on how to get the best out of ChatGPT:

What is it?

ChatGPT is a free to use language model created by OpenAI and there is also a paid version with extra features as well but there are also an increasing number of alternatives which we won’t focus on here. Like most tools, it’s better at doing some things and worse at others, and it definitely has its limitations. It’s very easy to find it online and set up an account which will give you a ‘new chat’ box for you to use straight away.

Engage Thoughtfully

ChatGPT responds to user prompts so the better the input, the better the resulting output will be. The key is to frame your queries or instructions clearly and concisely. If you want to draft an email, you might start with, “Compose a formal email introducing our company to a prospective client.” Be as specific as you can because this creates better results.

Give Some Direction

The tone that ChatGPT automatically takes tends to sound a little bit eager, a bit bland and very American. But you can ask ChatGPT to refine its tone by asking it to adopt a persona and write in a certain way – for example ‘a British journalist’ or ‘formal academic’ or even ask it to adopt the style of a well-known author such as JK Rowling or Shakespeare (perhaps not so useful for business text though…). For business text, you may have to go back and forth and ask it to ‘tone down’ the copy.

Point of View

You can also ask ChatGPT to adopt a point of view and create statements that support or argue against that point of view – this is very interesting if you are looking to create copy that argues the pros and cons of something or an article that disputes the benefits of using AI…

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Back-and-Forth

Don’t take the original text it generates as the finished product, do ask it to refine, shorten and change the text it delivers. You will see that there is a ’regenerate’ button that will instruct a second attempt at the task because the tool is meant to be used in a back-and-forth way in order for it to learn, refine and get better. So, the more you do this, the better it will become at delivering what you need.

Understanding the Capabilities

ChatGPT can assist with a huge number of different tasks that an organiser may have – such as drafting emails, writing code, answering questions and creating social media content. However, it’s not infallible, and its responses are generated from the data it has been trained on (which is currently up to September 2021 for the free version) so it does not have access to up to date research, the internet or real time data.

Privacy and Security

When using ChatGPT, be mindful of the information you share with it. Avoid sharing sensitive personal or confidential data. Earlier this year, A PR agency shared sensitive stock exchange information with it, and the information was then used to create a response to a completely different company!

Check Your ‘Facts’

If you ask Chat GPT to support its claims with facts or statistics, beware. If you ask it for five facts, and it can only find three then it will make up the other two – this is known as an AI hallucination and the fact it has a name shows you how common it is! Always manually hunt down the original source of the information it provides – and if you can’t find it, don’t use the stat.

ChatGPT is a great tool and with proper understanding, responsible usage, and continuous learning, you will be able to harness its capabilities to streamline tasks and enhance your productivity. And using it will not allow the robots to take over… well, not yet anyway!

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