2 min read

A Thought-Provoking AI Fireside Chat, Feat. George B. Thomas (HubHeroes, Ep. 54)

 

Undoubtedly, we're going to leave 2023 with almost everyone in agreement that artificial intelligence (AI) and language learning models (LLMs) like ChatGPT will be one of the leading headlines of the entire year. 

We've already talked about AI's impact on the inbound and HubSpot ecosystem once before on the podcast, this past April:

"My fear is a lot of this AI technology that we're getting doesn't come with a manual. And even if it did come with a manual, we're not stopping to read it.

George B. Thomas

George's fellow HubHero partner in crime, Jorge Fuentes, also shared this mic drop-level take on AI and ChatGPT that bears repeating:

"ChatGPT can't think for me. ChatGPT can't feign passion on a particular topic based on years of experience. ChatGPT can't join into client meetings and provide creative, outside-the-box solutions to complex problems that require a human touch. ChatGPT can't transform a piece of content from something "good enough," to a piece that is so human and helpful that it not only communicates information but shared values." 

This week, we're back with intimate, thought-provoking fireside chat with George about all things artificial intelligence, as we all start looking ahead to 2024. (I can't believe I just typed that, where has this year gone?!)

Following a powerful #INBOUND23 experience in Boston, during which artificial intelligence was a wildly hot topic (check out our #INBOUND23 recap!), we knew it was time for us to sit down for a more focused conversation.

George's take on inbound has always been simple ...

"It's all about the humans"

Even if you've only heard one episode the HubHeroes podcast, you know how much humanity is at the core of everything George does and teaches — from HubSpot technology and inbound tactics, to community-building and agency ownership, there are no exceptions to the reach of his human-centric ethos.

It's why he was so taken by the promise of HubSpot at #INBOUND12, his very first inbound event experience, and what laid the foundation for everything he does today. Heck, this podcast wouldn't exist had it not been for the moment he heard the battle cry of HubSpot that year:

"Don't call me a customer. I'm a human being."

That's why I wanted George and I to take a step back from the usual hustle and bustle of our banter-filled podcasts with our pals, Max and Devyn, to get his human-centered take on artificial intelligence. Because the AI train has long since left the station, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

So, what does that mean for us mere mortals ... the passionate, goal-oriented, community-lovin' humans that come together to make the HubSpot Flywheel go 'round? Listen in to find out.

What We Talked About

  • What are George's initial reactions to this ravenous hunger for AI-based solutions that we are seeing from a lot of inbound marketers and business leaders?
  • What changed George's mind about AI and its value, when he was initially highly skeptical as to whether or not he wanted to adopt it?
  • Now, with about six months under your belt of testing and playing with artificial intelligence solutions with your own marketing and sales, what are some of the essential mindsets you believe others need to adopt to leverage AI while maintaining a human-centered approach?
  • How does George feel about business and agency leaders encouraging folks to cut corners using AI instead of doing the work that's necessary to make a piece of content what it needs to be? And what role do content creators need to play, as an advocate for the processes that guarantee the quality of their work?
  • What are the greatest fears that remain for George for inbound practitioners and content creators using AI?
  • What are the big questions about AI and ChatGPT that George will be asking himself over the next year? And what are the questions he hopes others will be exploring?

Additional Resources

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🤔 George B. Thomas now has about six months under his belt of testing and playing with artificial intelligence solutions with his own marketing and sales.

With that experience, what are some of the essential mindsets he believes others need to adopt to leverage AI while maintaining a human-centered approach?

Find out on this week's episode of #HubHeroes:

https://hubheroes.co/3FdoxLW 

#inboundmarketing #contentmarketing #b2bmarketing #contentstrategy #artificialintelligence #aicontent #aitools #ai #chatgpt  

⚡ Is it possible to be a human-centered #inboundmarketer in our new AI-driven world?

⚡ What are the biggest fears George B. Thomas still has about artificial intelligence in the inbound ecosystem?

⚡ What are George's favorite ways in which he's seen how you can scale humanity (rather than replace it!) with AI?

Find out on this week's episode of #HubHeroes:

https://hubheroes.co/3FdoxLW 

#inboundmarketing #contentmarketing #b2bmarketing #contentstrategy #artificialintelligence #aicontent #aitools #ai #chatgpt  

💥 After six months of rigorous testing within his own marketing and sales programs, George B. Thomas has a lot to say about artificial intelligence in a human-centric inbound world.

For example, what are the big questions about AI and ChatGPT that George will be asking himself over the next year? And what are the questions he hopes others will be exploring?

Find out on this week's episode of #HubHeroes:

https://hubheroes.co/3FdoxLW 

#inboundmarketing #contentmarketing #b2bmarketing #contentstrategy #artificialintelligence #aicontent #aitools #ai #chatgpt  

hubheroes thanksgiving reflections 2023

A Very Special Thanksgiving Episode (HubHeroes, Ep. 60)

OK, this is kind of funny. Going into this week, George and I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that we wanted to do a Thanksgiving episode. We...

hubheroes sales training chris stilwell tssg

Buying Has Changed, Sales Hasn't; Now What? Feat. Chris Stilwell (HubHeroes, Ep. 59)

If you've spent any length of time in the inbound space, the idea that buyers have changed how they make their decisions isn't a new concept....

Meet your HubHeroes

Liz Murphy

HH-LM-300

Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.

Devyn Bellamy

HH-DB-300

HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.

Max Cohen

HH-MJC-300

HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.

George B. Thomas

HH-GBT-300

HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.

[00:00:00] George B. Thomas: We don't need to disclose anything this morning. He's not

[00:00:03] Liz Moorehead: We don't have to disclose anything, George, anything. Shall I tell the folks why at home,

[00:00:08] George B. Thomas: Yeah.

[00:00:09] Liz Moorehead: George and I, somebody left the door to the studio open. Somebody left the door to the studio open, and George and I now one could posit. That we are the owners of the keys to the studio, but I'd like to pretend we're a little bit more sneaky and nefarious I'd like to pretend that we're being little tiny hub hero rebels when in actuality We're just willing to get up at 8 a.

  1. On a two

[00:00:33] George B. Thomas: Tuesday. It's Tuesday. And by the way, the studio is in my house, so that's kinda awkward too.

[00:00:37] Liz Moorehead: You know, I was running with a good metaphor I was running I was running, you know Welcome back to another episode of hub heroes. It's been it's been a while if this is your First time listening to us, or if you just love hearing my name again, hi, I'm Liz Moorhead. I am the host of Hub Heroes along with my buddy, pal, forever friend, George B.

Thomas.

[00:01:00] George B. Thomas: Yeah, yeah.

[00:01:01] Liz Moorehead: And we are here to talk about something. I always say I'm excited. I always say I'm excited because genuinely I enjoy everything that we talk about, which is good because I have to show up once a week to a microphone and talk

[00:01:13] George B. Thomas: Right. It doesn't make it easier if you're like passionate about the subjects, which today I am actually very passionate about, uh, and, and just so everybody knows, this is a couple of weeks past inbound. I saw what happened at inbound this year. Um, I immediately was like, oh, I, I think, uh, I think about two months ago, I started creating my next inbound talk.

Because everybody's talking about AI and what does that really mean for the long haul? Anyway, yeah.

[00:01:47] Liz Moorehead: No, I love that you're going there because that's exactly the reason why, yeah, I'm excited to have this conversation, but I'm in particular excited to have this conversation with you because if you've been listening to this podcast for any length of time, sometimes George and I just like to go rogue and have deeper conversations where quite frankly, I have the chance to ruthlessly interrogate, uh, what one man once called Inbound in human form.

You, George B. Thomas. And so, that's what I am hoping to bring to the table today. There are a lot of podcast episodes, articles, think pieces, short forms, everything under the sun about AI. The fact that we're showing up in your feed this week with another conversation about AI, I get it. It's not potentially the most groundbreaking thing to you, but I would encourage You to stick around and here's why.

One of the things that George and I are exceptionally passionate about are things like AI that help us work smarter, not harder. However, what is that phrase? It was great power comes great responsibility

[00:02:53] George B. Thomas: Yeah. I do believe that's Spider Man, by the way. I'm pretty sure that's in Spider Man. Yeah.

[00:02:58] Liz Moorehead: it is, it is, see I'm weaving, I am organically weaving the superhero brand into our

[00:03:04] George B. Thomas: There we go.

[00:03:04] Liz Moorehead: Bye.

Nobody's really talking. Everybody's talking about how to use AI. How can we leverage AI? What can we do with AI? Is AI going to come and take all of our jobs? But nobody is stopping and having the conversation of at the end of the day, a purchasing decision made by your buyer is a human decision. At the end of the day, no matter how much technology or AI or anything else that we try to shove in between us and our buyers as we're executing our marketing and sales strategies, it still doesn't matter.

At the end of the day, a human is making a human decision. And often, if it's between you and a competitor and you are neck and neck, What's going to take you over the top? Your humanity, your ability to convey who you are, what you stand for, what you believe, whether or not your values align with their values, And so that's the conversation I'm really excited to have with you today, George, because your, your battle cry for, Not only just as long as I've known you personally, which is about four or five years, but even before that I knew of you and you've always had the same mantra. It's all about the humans, but now we have AI powered humans, right?

What are your initial reactions to this ravenous hunger that we are seeing from a lot of inbound marketers and business leaders? When AI and chat GVT first started making headlines, what was that initial feeling? Was it excitement? Was it fear? Was it something

[00:04:30] George B. Thomas: Yeah, it was something else. All right. I mean, originally it was like, Oh God, here we go again. Um, because so many times we see things that pop up and, and of course in the marketing space. In the professional space, we're, we're real hot to just jump on this slide, you know, NFTs and bitcoins and meta and, you know, just whatever the latest and greatest thing that we think is going to be this, uh, end all be all.

And so when AI first started, you know, hitting the scene, honestly, I was like. I really need a way out, uh, for me if this is something of importance. Like, like, listen, I'll take you back a while. Like, I'm the guy who actually did purchase a mini disc player. Right? And I had the mini discs. Uh, the little, you know, square plastic things that you could...

And that went nowhere. That...

[00:05:31] Liz Moorehead: I think it was a big deal because I had a Zune instead of an iPod, but okay, but okay. We went mini

[00:05:36] George B. Thomas: that thing went nowhere ever since that time in my life. I've always been like, let's weigh out the decisions that I'm going to make. Should I be on Snapchat? Should I buy them any disc player? Do I care about Bitcoin or NFTs? And of course, this is going to be different from everybody. But, but originally it was one of those mindsets where I was like, Oh, another thing.

Great. Another thing. Now that. I would say quite quickly changed. Uh, we're talking within weeks to maybe months of, of this all kind of happening that I was able to last year, as a matter of fact, be at the B to B forum and I was able to hear, um. And he's, uh, he's a friend of mine. Uh, you may know him because he originated, well, he originated from his parents, he originated from his parents, but, but we know him in the HubSpot and inbound space from PR 2020, Paul Roadster. And so I got a chance to hear Paul Roadster, uh, who now is like the AI Institute, right? Um, I got to hear him talk about, uh, AI, and more specifically marketing AI, and, and saw and heard some things that absolutely blew my mind, to the point where I was sitting in the lobby, uh, of the thing with you, uh, Kathleen Booth, I forget, uh.

There's like two other people there.

[00:07:06] Liz Moorehead: Lacey, I think was there. Lacey was hanging out with

[00:07:09] George B. Thomas: and I'm literally like signing up for chat GPT. I'm, I'm checking out Dolly. I'm, I'm heading over to mid journey. Like I'm going, uh, to my tick tock feed and I'm trying to find all of the like potential AI, you know, heroes, thought leaders, people that were the people that, that a couple weeks before that I was like, ah, you're annoying.

[00:07:34] Liz Moorehead: Not interested. What was, what was one thing you heard, or maybe it was just the thesis overall of his talk. What was the thing that took it from, and to be fair, I think a lot of people who may be listening could be like, Really George? Really? You were out on AI? Look, look, I will say the not nice thing that George is too nice to say.

Marketers, in addition to ruining everything, will consider everything a headline. And do you know how hard it is to figure out whether or not something is actually news or just a SaaS platform with really good marketing? Like it's really hard, I think, in our space. Where we are constantly treating everything like news and just look at look at our Industry news things like search engine journal and search engine roundtable I usually have to parse through 80 percent of stuff that is not actually news.

It's like basic Well, Google hiccuped it's news is your website gonna explode like we're we catastrophize everything

[00:08:31] George B. Thomas: Yeah.

[00:08:32] Liz Moorehead: But what like what were some of the things that you heard specifically that made you go? Okay, this is different

[00:08:37] George B. Thomas: So, well, first of all, let me just, uh, I totally agree with you. I was, I was out when it came to AI at first. And here's the reason I kept hearing things like fast and easy. Fast and easy and do it for you. Fast and easy and do it for you. I've historically, uh, realized that that, that junk right there's broken.

Like, it, it shouldn't be, uh, fast and easy. Maybe fast. Maybe easier, but when you add fast and easy and do it for you, I'm like, okay, so what I hear you saying is we're going to lose the humanity. We're going to let, uh, potential bad actors leverage robots to saturate a market of shitty content. Wow, that sounds fun.

Something I really want to get behind. Um, and I didn't. But then I have to go back to my natural state and go to the like, good actor's state. Like, what, what could good humans... Do with good principles, good mindsets, uh, good best practices around leveraging A. I, um, instead of thinking of it as an actual like robot that would do stuff for us or for me, I started to lean into this mindset of, um, it's a hammer.

It's a wrench. It's a, you know, it's a tool that I can start to that marketers can start to use in a human way to do the right thing for the humans that they're actually trying to help.

[00:10:13] Liz Moorehead: So when we think about, well, let's flash forward to today, right? So marketing props B2B forum, that's we're coming up on a year. That's almost

[00:10:22] George B. Thomas: Yeah, I'll be there next week. Well, by the time this goes out, I will have already been there or I'll be there when this comes out, I think. So anyway, it doesn't matter.

[00:10:31] Liz Moorehead: either be en route in place. He will be adjacent to and or inside marketing props B2B forum. It's very

[00:10:38] George B. Thomas: I'll be in Boston somewhere.

[00:10:40] Liz Moorehead: You'll be in Duncan's country. Welcome. You're welcome.

[00:10:43] George B. Thomas: Yes.

[00:10:44] Liz Moorehead: So when we think about The mindsets that you've now adopted when it comes to AI that you think more folks need to have in mind when it comes to ai. Now, what do you think they are? And I wanna add a bit of a caveat here because we've, we're doing a big time jump forward, right?

We've gone from George, the, the, uh, the skeptical, the, I'm hearing fast and easy, and I'm seeing big problems here. To, I've done some experimentation with it, I'm into it, I'm baby stepping, I'm doing the work. That is a pretty radical shift in your way of thinking for someone who it's all about the humans.

So take on that mindset journey. What are these mindsets that folks need to have that you realize now a year

[00:11:30] George B. Thomas: Yeah. So I think the first thing that capsulates everything that I might talk about in this section is the idea of understanding where it fits and not where everybody else tells you it fits, but where you figure out it fits for your organization. Now, when.

[00:11:47] Liz Moorehead: you say we're a bitch, what do you

[00:11:49] George B. Thomas: AI fits. It doesn't fit everywhere by the way.

It's not like 100 percent of the process. Or it shouldn't be, but it can be pieces or parts of your process. Let me explain because what, but my biggest fear is somebody is going to say it's 100 percent of the process. I will start in chat. GBT, uh, it will write, I will do this and it will spit out and I will publish.

And it was a great day. I got paid to just kind of tell something to do something for someone. That matters nothing to nobody. Like, like that's, that's the worst case scenario. So, when I, when I say you have to figure out where it fits in your organization, like, you have to build out a process. Like, I literally have a document that is in our organization that is called the AI Content Framework.

And it talks about where we use AI, where we don't use AI. By this, by the way, this is not a document that is set it and forget it. It has been, um, growing and changing the entire time. Once we finally said, Hey, we need to get behind this, but here's the thing. One of the things that always was a radical issue for people in the inbound, AKA content space, was this thing around writer's block, or may you call it idea block, or, uh, the inability to research in a way that would actually, uh, jettison the passion points of your brain to actually be able to create something.

Those days are gone, because you can quickly research in the beginning of a project the 20 ways of this, the 40 ways of that, the 50 things that X, Y, Z people have problems with, so you can, you can do research. And even the idea of writer's block, you can tell it to give you a first draft. Right? You can ask it.

Actually, let's be humans. You can ask it to give you a first draft idea or even multiple first drafts. If we were writing this in the direction of this person with this problem, what would be the best optimized article? Boom, boom, boom. If we are writing it for this person, what would be the best opt? So you can quickly get something on page.

Great. Now, that's where all of a sudden we need to start to think about it's all about the humans. We need to start to think about after we have that draft, after we've demolished writer's block, where do we take it from there and how do we add the human elements that are going to be so vitally important as we move forward.

The other thing that I'm going to say here is that at the end of the scenario, you get to where you think you want to go. Is there something that you could use AI for at the end of this? And the answer is yes. listen, sometimes we write from a place that people don't quite understand. So can we take what we've written and have ChatGPT simplify it?

Or any AI, by the way. I don't just want to stick with ChatGPT, but... That's the one that everybody likes to talk about. Any, can it simplify it? Yes. Can it expand it? Yes. can, can it do, you know, grammar and spelling? Yes. Like there are so many things at the end of it before you are going to hit publish, but you've gone through those human steps that it can like, imagine it kind of being your editor.

I'll give you an example. Uh, had somebody write an article. And it, um, scored kind of radically high on the, um, you know, scoring of readability.

[00:15:33] Liz Moorehead: Yeah. It's like, I can't remember. It's the something

[00:15:35] George B. Thomas: Yeah, it's, yeah, it's,

[00:15:37] Liz Moorehead: is it, is it 13th grade? Is it all of it? Yeah.

[00:15:40] George B. Thomas: yeah. And so here's the thing, one of the things that I was talking to them about is like, Hey, listen, take your finished piece of content. Put it in AI and tell it to write it for a 9th grader and see if it changes that score. Now, here's where most people would have maybe stopped and said, then use that version. I didn't say that. I said, look at the version it spits out. See what it's doing. And then do that to your version, but in your way, in a human way, like maybe even take that version and your version and try to like, mind meld them together.

Right? Look at what words it cut, what words it used instead. Um, because now all of a sudden we're, and by the way, I could give two squats less. About the score. When I think about the score, it's because I'm thinking about user experience and understanding the ease of read. I'm, I'm literally thinking about the human.

I'm not, I don't care about passing the score. I want the human to easily be able to read, digest, and understand, because I understand that human, uh, principle, superpower is simplifying the complex. If you can use AI to simplify the complex at the end of the process, why wouldn't you? If you can use AI to simplify the process, At the beginning and not have to deal with writer's block, why wouldn't you?

But there's this whole, I don't even want to call it the messy middle, but there's this whole middle piece That unfortunately I feel like a lot of folks might just skip past Um, and add the secret sauce, which by, uh, if anybody's wondering, it's you. It's your organization, it's the stories that you can tell to go above and beyond.

We'll, we'll talk about above and beyond, uh, probably a little bit later, but that's, that's kind of where I'm at as far as where does it fit, where do you plug it in, where is it not allowed, why is it not allowed there? Um, and of course I'm talking largely around like the content creation process in what we're talking about today.

[00:17:51] Liz Moorehead: You know, I love where you ended up with that because, and this is something where, am I the resident content nerd? Sure. But one of my passions as part of the work that I do outside of the work that I do with, you know, directly, like one to one with people like you, with other organizations. The thing I'm really passionate about is bringing the spotlight to the act of content creation.

Because I've noticed it's something where most organizations, most experts, it's the place where they feel the most vulnerable, the most insecure. Um, because for many people, brand storytelling, writing, these are not things that are a core competency. Now, that is something where I think that's not necessarily true.

Most of the people who ever show up on my content therapy couch that I'm not a good writer. I don't have anything to say. Nine times out of 10, the person who says that has the most to say, and they're exceptional communicators. Like if you can sell, if you're a business leader, if you do any sort of communication, You're a great content creator.

You're just not working to your strengths and you haven't found a process yet. But I think it's interesting if you look at different parts of the inbound sales marketing service, what we're looking at all parts of the flywheel, right? Attract, engage, delight. I think there's something, there's something weird that happens with content, right?

Because an organization is putting together a strategy, takes time, whiteboarding, planning, putting together an email campaign, takes time, whiteboarding, planning, strategize. People expect in all other areas of this work that we do, this business we have chosen to quote Godfather to, right? This business future, they expect the work.

They understand that there's a little bit of mental friction, but when it comes to content, they can't. Understand it. Content has to be easy. Content has to just appear. And this brings me to, I want to actually leapfrog over a question and back our way into it. Because I had a couple of conversations with me that were very concerning that dived exactly into what you and I were just talking about.

Right? This idea of not embracing the messy middle and understanding that just like everything else you do, some mental effort is required. Content is the currency of your business. It is the thing that communicates your who, your what, your why, your how, your values, your ineffables, your soul, all of these different things, right?

And yet I've had three different times. Where content creators who are in house at organizations say to me that they've had instances recently where they Advocated for this piece of content needs a little more time. This is too important This is that and their boss said just let AI do it We don't have time and in one of the cases the person explicitly said like this isn't something silly this was something big and they were starting to feel this concern of for people where content is not their discipline, that they don't see what it is that they're losing and that there is going to be this game of just like slowly eating in from the edges of what is, what is a true art?

What is a true craft?

[00:21:00] George B. Thomas: So in, in, uh, in, in normal fashion, my brain is going in a couple different directions, Liz.

[00:21:06] Liz Moorehead: We still need them on a shirt. We need them on a shirt.

[00:21:09] George B. Thomas: that on the shirt. The first direction is, this might be more of a culture conversation that we're leaning into than an AI conversation. The, the second place that my brain goes, though, is that we have to be very careful because Yes, it is a craft.

Yes, it is an art. Um, did it somewhat get, uh, slightly Commoditized or the mindset of it being a commodity because of AI. Yes. But again, I lean into, if you're in the culture, if you're educating everybody around what it truly means and how we're going to use it. Um, you mentioned the word process. If we do have a process, here's the thing that I would say to those people that have gotten to the place where we're like, we need a little bit more time for this.

And somebody says, We don't have time. Just let AI do it. I would look at everything in your process before that. And say, how can I use AI to speed up every step of the process before I get to that point? So when I get to that point, now what I can truly do, and the very important piece, is now I can take it to something that it would have been better.

Even before a I like, that's what I want. I hope people understand the way I look at it is there is time is finite. We only have a certain amount of time. We can only give a project a certain amount of time. But because of a I, we can expedite. Many of these pieces and get a piece of content to now that we do have the additional time to take it past what it ever would have been, for instance, if I give you the case, when in time, when in history.

Have we been able to spit out a 10 module course, 21 blog articles, a PowerPoint presentation that has now been at InBound and will be at the B2B forum, and be able to spit it out in a beginning, workable, massageable form in less than five days? Never!

[00:23:22] Liz Moorehead: what I, here's what I will say though. I want to push back on two things here. I know you, because you said one thing first and then I want to address that. You said, I think we're moving more into a culture conversation rather than an AI conversation. I would strongly disagree because I think the beauty of AI when it's in the right hands is that it scales the thing that you're already

[00:23:41] George B. Thomas: I don't

[00:23:42] Liz Moorehead: But if you have a culture, yeah. But if you have a culture that cuts corners, it is also going to scale it. And this is one of those things where. I think AI is highlighting the culture of content that people have within their organizations. And I think it's something that people need to be looking at because if you have caught, because the reality is, is that if you have content creators or you're absolutely baffled that their boss is saying, just let AI do it.

How are you baffled? You know who this person is. You've known them for years. You've now, they now have the opportunity to cut corners. And if you were the content leader in that organization, what are the proactive conversations you should be having? about process, about all of these different things that will enable you to not just say, well, this particular specific piece of content needs extra love and care.

Like you need to be a content leader, owning your process, understanding where things fit. And quite frankly, being a fussy little bee sometimes. Like the thing that I have always been surprised about, I, I don't, this is where, let me finish my soapbox here. This is where I always think it's. It's interesting to all of our content people out there.

I need, I need you to just have like an extra, like an extra scotch of spine. I think sometimes you don't go to the mattresses when you need to go to the mattresses. You can sit there and say like, I hear you saying, just let AI do it. I'm going to have to say no, and we're going to have to look at a different part of the process to sacrifice.

Here's the business case. This is the reason why. This piece of content is an X part of the sales process. And you're telling me we're gonna let the robots own that part of the conversation? Like, you gotta be able to have those conversations.

[00:25:23] George B. Thomas: see, and it's, it's interesting because when I hear you say that, which by the way, I don't disagree with anything you said when I hear you say that this is part where I think maybe people are even having the wrong conversations because if you and your organization, like if you haven't sat down and developed an AI policy, like, first of all, you have on your website, a privacy policy. You have a terms and conditions. you're, if you're using AI to put out content. Do you have something that talks about to the people who are reading your content that you are using AI like, and I'm just scratching the surface here, but if you're sitting in your organization and you don't have an AI policy or you haven't, as the content person started to build out an AI framework, an AI process, an AI beliefs and AI values, all the things that we would usually do for like maybe the business itself, think about how you wrap it up.

AI around or in all of those things that have historically been there, because at some level, it's going to start touching and changing all of those things that you do, because fundamentally, we're talking about basic communication in a textual. Uh, audio or visual way. Look, I know there's somebody out there listening to this that has already asked AI to create a teleprompter ready script for them.

They've recorded it and put it on their YouTube channel or on their website or on their landing page and, and probably didn't do much of anything to add themselves into it. So how much of that has your business's soul? How much of that has your soul? did we even check to really see if it was on brand or aligned with our mission, vision and values of an organization like It's so much the Wild West right now, and I think we'll get into those deeper conversations eventually.

I think there will literally be like a, uh, AI rule book , an AI policy for organizations in the future. Um, because we're just using it in so many different ways. Cause by the way, this has been largely content, but shoot two out of the, um, last seven, eight, uh, sidekick strategies, uh, episodes that we've done in the community.

hubheroes. com as well as they might be in our YouTube channel by the time you're listening to this. have been around AI powered prospecting or AI powered sales. So like, we're not just in a world where this is, Oh, well, we're only talking about generative AI and content. No, no, no, no. Like today, that's kind of what we're talking about, but there's a bigger scope of like the way that this is going to impact you, your organization.

And if you're not. thinking about how do you see why a from a legal standpoint, how do you see why a your brand from a brand standpoint, and you're just like, I need to know the latest and greatest tool. Well, we're probably having the wrong conversations. 

[00:28:22] Liz Moorehead: Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I love what you said there about, cause it, you made a comment earlier where you were talking about never before have we been able to spit out like scripts and all of these different things. But the only reason you were able to do that is quite frankly, because you knew you had a Liz who could go through and because here's the thing.

Yeah. Cause here's the thing is that like some of those scripts, it was like little tweaking. This is fine. Other scripts. I'm like, George, do not, do not say these

[00:28:49] George B. Thomas: Yeah, no.

[00:28:51] Liz Moorehead: Not, I have to do some surgery here because, but it

[00:28:54] George B. Thomas: Liz. Go on your thing here in a minute. But, but I have to say that's the thing. I can, I can do that and say that because I know it's all about the humans. In this case, it's all about, we've got a Liz, we've got a content strategist, we've got eyeballs that are going to see it.

Here's the other thing I'll say, and then I'm going to shut up so you can rock and roll, is the other thing I know is that we have a thought leader. Me, I'm going to read it and I'm going to be like, this is full of right. Or, Hey, I want to add my thoughts here, add my thoughts there. So not only like, that's the thing, like we're able to spit not writer's block.

We're able to spit these things out in the world and then massage them from a thought leader standpoint, a content strategist standpoint, again, this, what you're bumping into is that middle portion. That I'm talking about where it's like, we've got this framework and we start to think about what are our thoughts, what are our friends thoughts?

What are quotes? What are historical principles? What are mindset shifts that have to happen? Okay. How do we actually say this in a way that sounds like GBT or hub heroes instead of like a robot? Oh, shoot. I could have done a robot sound there. Anyway, go ahead, Liz. Go ahead.

[00:30:07] Liz Moorehead: Yeah. No, it's great. No, this is exactly where I want us to be going because when we, the reason why I brought that up was not to be like, well, George, it's more to make sure that people understand. That you have to have a process with multiple steps. You have to have an ethos, a perspective, a point of view.

You know, Jorge, who works with you, wrote this incredible piece where he talked about the truth of AI. And he had this whole spiel where he talks about AI can't sit in meetings with you. I mean, technically you could have AI note takers, but AI can't sit in meetings with you and have responses and show up with your point of views and perspectives and talk about the things that you do.

It cannot emulate your passion. It cannot showcase the depth of experience that you have, the sum of your life's experience. Like AI.

Is a scaling tool, not a replacement tool. It's only ever going to be as smart as the inputs, and it's only ever going to be as smart as you not, not just knowing when to use it, but also knowing when not to use it. Whether that's as part of an entire process, or where it needs to stay out. Um, so let's talk about a bit the mindsets now that you think folks need to have when it comes to AI because you brought up a number of points there, right?

We've talked a bit about you need to have that ethos. You need to have that point of view. You need to think about it beyond the scopes of generative AI. But what are some of the other mindsets that are kicking around your head where as the it's all about the humans guy? Where does your brain go

[00:31:44] George B. Thomas: Yeah. And, and before I move into that, first thing, just know, we'll put a link in the show notes to the article that Liz

[00:31:50] Liz Moorehead: Oh, yeah.

[00:31:51] George B. Thomas: uh, around AI. There's a couple, there's a couple of different articles we've actually teased in and written and talked about AI over the last couple months. Um, so we'll make sure those are in the show notes for you. you know, it's, it's interesting. I, I don't feel like I'm smart. In any way, like, I feel like I just look at what historically has, um, worked or things that people have said. And then I say, and how does that apply to this thing? Let me explain. for years and years, people have said, no, you're weak, uh, strengths and know your weaknesses. Okay, so if I know, for example, one of my weaknesses is grammar and spelling, um, I can have a, I help me with that very easily. If I know that, uh, historically organization. is difficult for me. It's a weakness. Uh, especially like taking notes in meetings. I can have AI help me with that. Um, and so this leans a little bit into which is funny because it's totally, uh, beyond your default podcast episode, but understanding yourself.

As a human and being able to understand your strengths and your weaknesses, and how can you help? How can you leverage a I to solve your weaknesses and on the other side of this? How can you have it empower your strengths? Like, how can it take your strengths to the next level? Right? So that's one thing.

Know your strengths, know your weaknesses. And how does that fit into the a I personal process? The other thing that I'll say is that, and this kind of leans into, uh, part of the messy middle. I don't want to call it the messy middle. The middle of the process. And this is more towards like, generative

[00:33:42] Liz Moorehead: of the process will require this work.

[00:33:44] George B. Thomas: yeah, I mean it's the working part. So, so, uh, one thing that I have not been able to let go for about the last, mmm, almost a year and a half, is an interview that I did with Andy Crestedina. And Andy Crestodina talked about content confetti in, in, in his con and his talking about content confetti. He talked about collaborative content.

It's a piece of the interview. I took content confetti and ran with it of like taking this piece of content and chopping it up into smaller bits. By the way. AI tools can help you with that, right? Riverside literally uses AI to do magic clips. There are tools powered by AI to just go and look at content you're creating and chop it up for content confetti.

But the other part of this conversation was collaborative content. And so, yes, you had AI generate this first draft, but now can you reach out to friends? Like in my case, it might be Joe Polizzi, Mark Schaefer, uh, Marcus Sheridan, people like that and be like, Hey, what are your thoughts on this? And get human quotes to add into something that is generative AI.

It might even look a little something like this. I might have a first draft of something. But want to take it to the next level. And so I actually schedule an interview. A 30 minute interview or 45 minute interview with somebody on the topic. Now all of a sudden I have the human brain. I have the AI brain.

I have the video and audio content. I can merge that together. To give it a layer that it never would have been because I'm willing to invest the time. And this is the to research and create. And add additional layers onto what is now, again, I dove right back into generative AI and how we can layer this up.

But again, when I, when I think about, you know, how do I do this from start to beginning in mindsets, the first mindset in our framework is pick a topic or a problem that somebody is dealing with and create content on it, by the way, just that right in itself is find out how humans are hurting. And create a piece of content that helps like, that's how the framework starts.

Right. And you'll find that if I were to go through this entire framework, you would see, Oh, human. AI, human, human, AI, human, AI, human, human, AI, like it's literally a rubrics of getting human, uh, things to work with AI systems to pump out something that is of value. Um, because one of my biggest fears, Liz, and we might even dive into this, is we get two years, five years down the road and we've saturated the internet with such shitty content that AI is no longer good to anybody because it's pulling from now like real up to date data that is second and third ghost layer data that it fricking created instead of the humans actually creating where we're at today.

[00:36:58] Liz Moorehead: I was having that exact conversation with a dear friend of mine, Natalie Frank, who was the, uh, she used to be the chief evangelist at HoneyBook, now she's the head of community over at Flowdesk. And this is, she, uh, did a lot of work and research into AI and what was happening there. And that is, that's a big concern.

If we start flooding. The internet, with just tons of generative AI content, most of which has not been touched or changed, that's what AI is going to be pulling from. So you always have to be really mindful of

[00:37:32] George B. Thomas: and this leads me to the other thing I mentioned an AI policy before, how many organizations right now are taking their content. putting it in a system and having their own large language model that they can apply. Like, that's the thing right now. It's like, let's use the entire internet to do this thing, to create these pieces.

I think you'll see a lot of like, And this is our historical content, and we want to use our historical content as a base of truth and knowledge of how we feel and want to interact and be in the world. And I literally wrote an article about this where I'm using... A plugin called Memory Bank to be like, this is George Bt.

This is George B. Thomas. This is the about page. This is the blog articles. This is our voice tone. This is the way that we wanna show up for the world. This is the way we don't want to ever show up for the world like training, uh, and providing, uh, this closed circuit, if you will, information that can at least be the 70, 80, 90% foundational.

That doesn't become those whispers of, of second and third generation AI content because you've literally got it in your own organizational's AI box that you're working with. I think that's a, that not a lot of people are probably thinking about that. And I think it'll come to the point where enterprise companies will do it first.

They've got the money, the bandwidth, the it teams, but I think it'll get to the point where small, medium sized businesses, everybody will start to think about. How do I have my own little contained version of this because it's getting dicey out here

[00:39:17] Liz Moorehead: That is a whole separate conversation that you and I can ethically go into because that's where I, you know, when I start looking from my perspective of, you know, dear AI Santa Claus, my name is Liz. I know I've been a moderately okay girl this year. I would so desperately love to have the ability to store things right.

To say like. I want to give you this documentation, AI, and this is, this is my tone because I professionally develop voice and tone guidelines, but even then just the ability to say, this is a best in show example of, I have ghost written for so and so or they have written for themselves. This is what they sound like, spit out the output, but match it with it.

That becomes really interesting

[00:40:05] George B. Thomas: document that you created for me the voice in tone it's in my chat GPT Because I use a plugin called Memory Bank, and it's stored in there, and it knows how to, uh, show up or write based on, uh, that workshop that we went through, based on the document that I was provided. Um,

[00:40:31] Liz Moorehead: You should do sidebar. You and I should offline brainstorm. How could we make that document better to make it more AI ready and then see if we can roll out to the kiddies at home. So that would be interesting. So let's take it a little more. You already started going into this. So what are some of the greatest fears you have about AI for the industry and for content creators or, you know, whomever's touching this?

[00:40:55] George B. Thomas: I mean, biggest fear is that we lose our humanity, that we lose our creativity, that, um, instead of it doing what I hopes it does and makes us double down on creativity, storytelling, using, um, us as humans as the superpower piece, that, that it doesn't go sideways and go the other way, and all of a sudden we're like, in a, in a, I don't know how else to vocalize this.

I don't want to end up in a shit show that nobody knows how to fix. Cause like right now, I, I don't know if I've heard any conversations of people talking about, well, if it goes wrong, here are the seven steps to fix it,

[00:41:38] Liz Moorehead: Well, that's because Skynet will have already taken over and it's game

[00:41:41] George B. Thomas: yeah, the robot Skylords will like be on them now, but, but I mean, I'm, I kind of laugh when I say that, but like. One of my buddy's, uh, historical boss, Remington Begg, always had this saying where he'd be like, um, You know, hope for the best, plan for the worst. I don't see a whole lot of planning for the worst around AI in internet conversations right now.

[00:42:08] Liz Moorehead: I don't think people know what the worst is. I think that's, that's what makes this thing such a seismic shift in our industry or quite frankly, overall. I mean, AI is touching every part of our lives right now, right? And we are focusing on a micro slice of the pie, but just looking at our pie, our particular slice of the pie.

I think this is true as it is everywhere. I don't think we have a clear understanding of the implications yet. I think we have a Jurassic park situation. Hopefully the dinosaurs don't eat the tourists. Like I'm not, I'm not, I'm not to be clear. I'm not predicting doomsday. I'm talking about that moment where.

Dr. Ian Malcolm looks at Beating Wong and goes, Yeah, just because you can doesn't mean you should. And I think we have access to really incredible technology now. But here's that, that is enabling us to do a lot of different things without a clear understanding of the consequences. On the flip side of that though, if I'm playing devil's advocate to some of my own arguments today and some of the doomsday rhetoric I've spit out there, let's be realistic here.

The organizations that are asking people to cut corners with AI are the organizations who are already cutting corners with AI. Or if we want to take a look at a different industry who had a massive technical lot techno technology and innovation shift Let's look at the photography industry the photography industry when the iPhone came out and everybody was terrified because well What's going to happen to photographers?

Professional photographers who are actually very good at their job right now that people are going to have Great cameras in their pocket it allowed those who were actually masters of their craft who understood how to scale and automate certain parts of their business. It helped them actually raise their prices because they were more of a premium.

They were more of a craftsman. So I think there is this, there are two sides of it, right? We need to be having the conversations like you said, but like what guys, guys, How are we planning for the worst? What are we going to happen? What's going to happen when all of the content is AI? Which means AI is only pulling from AI.

Which means it's robots on robots on robots on robots. Right? Like there's that, but I think the other thing we need to keep in mind too is that this is scaling bad behavior and bad cultures that already existed.

[00:44:19] George B. Thomas: Mmm.

[00:44:20] Liz Moorehead: They were never going to make the right choice regardless as to whether it was with AI or making the right hire.

Like this is, this is bad behavior that already exists culturally.

[00:44:31] George B. Thomas: Which, when I hear you say that makes me want to help. organizations that are doing it right, that aren't bad actors, that aren't cutting corners, use a eye in a positive way so that they can demolish the competition that is cutting corners so that we are creating a better world. Like I, I know that's kind of like a weird, like, Uh, not that I would hope harm on anybody working in organizations that might be listening to this going.

Oh, shoot. Yeah. We've been a cut the corners type organization. Like, I'm not saying anything against you or your organization, but, but I, I would always, I always index on hoping for a better world or doing things that help a better world arise so that humans just have a, A better, uh, life based on the things that we're, we're putting out there.

Like, that's just how fundamentally my brain works and, and, and where I'm headed for the rest of my foreseeable future until I'm not on this planet. Unless they can come with AI that actually just puts my brain in something and I can live. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I would never do that. Um, maybe.

[00:45:42] Liz Moorehead: And yes, and yes. All So George, I want to leave us with a question here. It's a question about questions

[00:45:49] George B. Thomas: Oh, nice.

[00:45:50] Liz Moorehead: what are the questions you are going to be asking yourself? Cause it's a really interesting time, right? You're going to Marketing Profs B2B forum next week when we record this. Your mindset shift occurred at Marketing Profs B2B forum.

So my curiosity here is. What are the questions you're going to be asking yourself over the next 12 months and testing for yourself over the next 12 months when it comes to AI? And I would challenge you to think of questions that you are hoping others are asking themselves as well.

[00:46:19] George B. Thomas: I mean, fundamentally, I am asking the question on a daily basis of, should I use it? Do I need it? In each individual situation. Like, just because I can come out on a podcast and say, writer's block is dead. Um, maybe I need to be blocked for a minute. Maybe I need to start with a pen and paper. Maybe I need to, like, actually sit at the base of a tree, quiet myself, and get into my cranium, because it's gonna go in a completely different direction than what AI might spit out, right?

So, like, just fundamentally, d It Do we need it? Have we actually taken the time to try to do it? In the real world scenario, uh, before just punking out and taking the easy way out. Right? Um, the other thing that I'll say as far as a question that I'm leaning into is how far does this go inside of my organization?

Like I literally teased a couple of sidekick strategies episodes like, um, how should we be using AI for the attract phase of the buyer's journey? How should we be using a I for the engage phase? Um, how should we be using it for the delight phase? And if you understand the buyer's journey attract, engage and delight, what you will realize that I just said is how do we use it for sales?

How do we use it for service? How do we use it for marketing? How do we use it for operations? What high level C suite things are taking place that we could be leveraging a I? The other question that I would ask you? I will be asking myself and I would ask others to, uh, ask themselves because holy crap.

Um, where should I be using it? I have AI in ClickUp. I have AI in HubSpot. I have chat GBT. I have AI in almost every freaking piece of software known to man right now. where do I create the blog article in ClickUp? In HubSpot with chat GPT, like what, like, and again, I'm going back to generative AI, but like what tools are off limits?

Hey, I know they came out with AI features, but no. what tools? Hey, I know they came out with AI features and yes, we're going to use all of chat spot and all of AI assistant that we can't like you can only make those decisions. But where should you be using it? And what tools that are coming out with this?

Should you right? Um, so how does it fit into your teams? How does it fit into the tools that they use? Where should it and where should it not be used? and I think to the other question, because it's just been on my brain and again, I do think it is my next potential inbound talk next year is how do how do we leverage AI to make ourselves more human?

And I do believe that that's through a framework. And I'm literally as we're recording sitting here looking at my 12 step. AI assisted human content framework and thinking like there probably could be another, after this episode, another four steps added into the already 12 steps. Um, I would ask them to, to ask the question, do they have an AI policy internally and externally like that?

Those are questions I start to ask.

[00:49:35] Liz Moorehead: You know, it was interesting that you brought something up there, you know, maybe I shouldn't be, maybe I should have a little bit of writer's block. It sounds like, George, I'd like to throw out there, maybe you interview me once for a fireside chat, because I would actually like to make the case for writer's block.

Because I think, strategically, um, a lot of people, when they jump immediately to AI, there's some basic building blocks that they have not considered yet. And, I agree. Think about diamonds. How are they created? Under immense amounts of pressure. There are certain parts of the process that I think now, to be fair, are we, is this true for everything?

Does everything need to be war and peace? Does everything need to have all of those different layers into it? Like if nuance that leadership, no, no, absolutely not. You can be more efficient with some pieces so you can spend more time with the right ones. But I am a hundred percent a proponent of writer's block because it's not a block.

It's knowing what questions you're knowing, what questions to ask yourself and when. That's usually the problem. Why do people have writer's blog? Not because they don't have anything to say about something. It's because they are stuck and don't know what the question is that they're supposed to be answering.

But with that little sidebar out, um, with that little sidebar, George, what is one thought you want to leave people with today?

[00:50:55] George B. Thomas: Yeah, my one thought is, um, leverage AI, but don't allow it to erode or, yeah, I'll just use the word erode, uh, your humanity. Realize you're special, like, you, you, you are the meal, AI should be the salt and pepper or the condiment, like, you, you have to, man, you gotta just frickin show up. So, just show up and, and use it as a hammer, a chisel, a saw, not as replacing you.

[00:51:25] Liz Moorehead: I love it. Well, George, thank you so much for joining me today and everybody else. We will talk to you all next week when the guys are all back and the gang rides together again.

[00:51:34] George B. Thomas: I'm sure Max will be driving us somewhere.

[00:51:36] Liz Moorehead: Somewhere. Who knows?