AI, hallucinations and a court of law.

Artificial intelligence artwork

Matt Lakey, Head of Digital at Wyatt International explores the expansive world of AI and how this has transformed the concept of trust.

“Trust” is the buzzword at Google. It is an intrinsic element of all algorithm updates we’ve seen over the last few years. However, the notion of trust and Google SERPs go back further with the term E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. This formed a key part of the 2013 Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

The digital industry has spoken a lot and speculated about the increased focus on ‘trust’. But the consensus around websites and building trust still falls to the usual SEO best practices. This includes link building, writing up-to-date content, encouraging reviews, and attributing content to industry experts in your team.

However, since the launch of Chat-GPT and other AI content tools, we’ve been thinking more about the importance of human connections. In an accelerated post-digital world, could AI actually become a contradictory solution to establishing and maintaining trust?

Digital data flow on road with motion blur to create vision of fast speed transfer

Matt Lakey, our Head of Digital believes the truth to be far more nuanced than we would perhaps like: “The purpose of AI development has been about reaching a stage where the information provided is indistinguishable from that provided by a real human. So, trust will come in different forms.

“Firstly, there’s the trust ‘signal’ which is collated and used by search engines for ranking purposes. AI will be able to help with this in many ways, especially where these signals aren’t based on content alone. For example, using AI to find high-quality linking opportunities or to automatically create accompanying tech SEO signals for a piece of content.

Soft focus of woman hand working with phone on desk in coffee shop. Vintage tone

“However, there are plenty of examples where trust will be too important to place in the hands of AI. Sure, ChatGPT4 can pass a legal bar exam and score in the top 10%, but we wouldn’t be able to call on its services to represent us in court. This is where we’ll continue to place our own trust in people whom we can hold accountable. The same might be said for medical content, subjective opinions, reviews, and so on.

“When it comes to SEO, AI is likely to be able to produce content of a much higher quality than a lot of the over-optimised, poorly written content we already see created by humans in a bid to manipulate search results. What it won’t do as well is truly empathise with audiences, understand their challenges, or create new, original content aimed at differentiating brands.”

An image of a finger print digitally overlaid in a computer motherboard.

In January 2023, Chat GPT had over 100 million users globally and boasted an 85% accuracy rating. Although OpenAI reportedly spent six months on safety features for GPT-4, there continues to be concerns around disinformation, mimicry, and “hallucinations”. According to the BBC, this is where “AI invents facts or makes reasoning errors.”

Matt continues: “I’ve spent quite a lot of time playing around with Chat GPT; testing its ability to hold conversations on philosophy and discussing ideas around self-will and determinism. However, its power won’t be in debating ideas like these, it will be in a huge amount of commercial applications that are just over the horizon.

“Demonstrations of its capabilities on the recent launch video for chat GPT4 were incredible. We watched Greg Brockman ask it to create a fully functioning website based only on his mocked-up hand drawing, it was a scary eye-opener. I’ve personally asked it some crazy things, all of which it did with ease. This included asking it to write some Javascript that would generate secure passwords which would renew every seven days. As well as asking it to write a personalised story of exactly 100 words.

“The potential application for tasks like producing meta data or creating key phrase strategies is truly incredible. Where it falls down, however, is in asking it to be original. So far it has been unable to get around the fact that it builds everything based on training data and existing data sets. When we need to create real, genuine human connections with our audiences, or if we need to create something unique, using AI data alone will only get us part of the way there.”

At Wyatt International, we believe digital is, and will remain a facilitator in building human connections.

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