Impact, Limits and Advice for Self-Formation

The rise and impact of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney

If artificial intelligence has been making headlines since the beginning of 2022, and the explosion that we experienced with the launch of ChatGPT, this discipline is not new. “The deployment of the ChatGPT tool at the end of 2022 made a difference in its adoption by the general public. It has managed to disrupt our way of doing things in many areas,” analyzes Thomas Cheneseau, deputy academic director of the Design and Digital sector of SKOLAE, which includes schools of the GES-Eductive Network, such as ECITV and ICAN, which train in digital communication and digital design professions.

With generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, or Runway, we are witnessing a real acceleration in the way of creating content, as it becomes easier to generate text, images, videos, music, and even ideas. These AIs allow users to produce more quickly and to be more efficient in carrying out a large number of tasks. The same can be seen in the field of image, with the Midjourney tool, which also had a very strong impact on design professionals.

Version 6 of Midjourney, which was released in early 2024, is even more photorealistic. The tool has reached such a stage that it can only continue to improve, which results in questioning our methods of practice and design, especially in audiovisual, media, communication, and design.

For the deputy academic director of the Design and Digital sector of SKOLAE, the digital revolution brought about by generative AI tools specialized in image and video is also a fundamental movement in our society. “We are moving towards new aesthetics and cultural objects that did not exist before. This is a real advantage, especially in the field of design and digital communication.” With a caveat: the use of AI is still quite recent and is not yet regulated by the European Parliament’s AI Act.

Many agencies and major brands have set up labs to test and adopt the best ways to use artificial intelligence in the video production chain, like the new [Ai]magination studio of the FRED & FARID agency. We are only at the beginning of the deployment of these new tools in communication and design professions, Thomas Cheneseau emphasizes.

The limits of artificial intelligence and its uses

But it is important to keep in mind the limits of these tools, such as the ChatGPT database that does not include recent events, its lack of sources, or its reliability. “We teach our students how to moderate the content produced by this type of tool. It should never be reused in a raw manner, as it is impersonal and may contain errors.”

Beyond the many advantages it brings, artificial intelligence primarily gives rise to reflection, for teachers as well as students. “We sensitize them by deploying AI courses in our schools. Their goal is to understand where the technology comes from, how it works, what its biases are, and how it can be useful to us.” To make good use of it, future professionals in digital communication must practice and keep up to date regularly, as these new technologies at their disposal evolve very quickly.

These tools invite us to revisit our idea of the machine and to imagine new ways to interact with technology, which may seem somewhat paradoxical, but that is the whole challenge of our professions in digital communication,” warns Thomas Cheneseau.

Generative AI demands that students who wish to pursue this path, as well as those in professional retraining, “reiterate,” reformulate their prompts, and re-appropriate the received material, in order to push the AI even further.

Through practice, we can quickly detect when a sentence is generated by ChatGPT or when an image is created with Midjourney. The artificial aspect of this content quickly becomes evident, much like a spelling mistake in a text. Our learners must therefore be experienced enough to understand how the machine works, in order to be able to detect its inaccuracies and go beyond the simple results generated by AI.

Training to learn how to use AI in digital communication

Students in this field generally have good knowledge or have already been able to use generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT or the conversational bot My AI on Snapchat. But they may not necessarily be aware of the transformation of content and its consequences in terms of deep fake or disinformation. “When I address this topic in class, I talk to them about fake news but also about what is called the post-truth of images, that is, the question of whether we are in reality or in the virtual world.” For this reason, SKOLAE and the schools of the GES and Eductive Network encourage their students to brainstorm with these tools, but keeping in mind that they are only an aid to content production, and should not impose themselves to the detriment of their reflection and critical thinking.

It is in this context that the teaching of artificial intelligence has been integrated into the heart of the programs of ECITV, such as in its digital marketing bachelor’s degree. “Our AI courses are not just simple workshops or a master class. This theme is now part of our digital communication curriculum thanks to in-depth work carried out by the teaching team on this subject.” And, starting in the fall of 2024, the Institute of Creation and Digital Animation (ICAN) is adding a specialized “AI designer” program to its catalog, with a bachelor’s and master’s degree cycle.

This is the first training of this type that offers the opportunity to learn the best practices of AI, but also how to create your own artificial intelligence.

To go even further, Thomas Cheneseau has created an AI innovation committee within SKOLAE, to discuss with the members the advances in artificial intelligence and to identify how the tools can positively impact the work of all the group’s actors. “While waiting for the legislation on AI to be adopted by Parliament, we are currently working on creating a charter for the use of AI in order to formalize pedagogical practices.” The objective of this AI charter: to make its uses clearer through the prism of ethics and legality, and thus obtain a more complete understanding of the technology.

Whether at ECITV or at ICAN, we bring together in these 2 schools the most performing teams on all AI-related issues. By joining us, you are guaranteed to be able to work and exchange with the best experts in this field.

Learn more about the Digital Marketing program at ECITV

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *