I have a friend, Mike, who is a part-time lawyer and part-time university professor. He loves teaching and he has often told me he would happily stop "lawyering" and teach full- time if he could.
"Why don't you?" I asked him the first time he mentioned this.
"Because I have a JD (jurors doctorate) and not a PhD. Everyone else in the department is a PhD. The school keeps me around because they can tell prospective students they have a practicing lawyer on staff," Mike told me.
What does Mike have to do with you?
Associations used to be private repositories of knowledge where access to information was a benefit of membership. With the rise of bloggers and podcasters you increasingly had to compete for members' attention as knowledge became less scarce. Artificial intelligence is making knowledge even less scarce because anyone can generate content on any subject. If members were drowning in content before, they're soon going to be sitting on the bottom of the ocean.
If you're like most associations, AI seems like a boon that can serve your constrained staff and budget. And it can be. But keep in mind that *everyone* now has access to this tool. If you over-rely on it to generate content you will devalue your organization as you become indistinguishable from the new standard.
Artificial intelligence is great at synthesizing and identifying connections in knowledge. But it doesn't actually do anything- it just consumes and analyzes existing information. Because of this, it can't create new knowledge, based on insight, and derived from experience (empiricism for you scholars out there.)
As it relates to Mike, it's like everyone on the planet is getting a staff of PhDs. They know about the law, but they only know what has been written by others. No one has hundreds of hours sweating in front of a jury as a judge glares at them from across the courtroom. Just like it's valuable to Mike's university to have someone with experience on staff, your only advantage against the onrushing tsunami of content is that you have people with experience in your membership.
It's more important than ever that you access their experience to create insightful content and avoid relying on AI to regurgitate the soup of the Internet.
Don't believe me? Check out AI's competing article that I created with the prompt:
"Write a roughly 700 word blog post about why content based on experience is more valuable than AI generated content using a personal anecdote about a friend."
AI appears to believe experience is more valuable than AI generated content because it's human, emotional, and detailed.
This is accurate, but is it insightful?