How to leverage modern and free AI tools to your advantage
It’s really hard to avoid all the talk about AI. Whatever side of the fence your on, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Some of the tools that are currently freely available that stand out are OpenAI’s ChatGPT and the Midjourney image and artwork generation tool.
OpenAI’s Chat GPT
Link: ChatGPT Online
ChatGPT is making a lot of noise in all the circles. Whether, you’re a developer who wants to write better code to tackle a specific problem or you’re a writer who needs inspiration getting your idea fleshed out, ChatGPT is a great tool to assist you in getting it done. Think of it like this: you’re basically leveraging the collective intelligence and data pool of millions of users, and their interactions, to get actionable information on just about anything!
So, how does it work. Well, first you need to sign up for a free account with OpenAI. They offer Google login and a couple others to make it easier. Once you’ve signed up, you will be welcomed with a persistent chat dashboard. ChatGPT keeps your interactions in sessions which can be browsed through on the left hand panel. If you just start typing in the chat box, you’ll start a new session. There is no specific syntax or commands, you just talk. Personally, I approach each session with a question, one I might ask an expert or “qualified opinion” on and the chat experience is fluid and very natural feeling. The responses are substantive and productive and ChatGPT usually ends each answer with some references, advice, and a good summary based on your query.
So, what it’s good for? Well, that’s up to you. Maybe your looking to do a redesign of your brand and you need some ideas on a tagline. Or, maybe you’re trying to get some legitimate industry information and you would rather do it in a conversational style vs a Google search box, only to wade through a lot of irrelevant stuff; That’s where this tool shines. It gives you the ability to start up a chat session and have a conversation about topics you’re interested in and get pretty awesome answers on demand! Of course, sometimes you will have to remind yourself you’re talking to a machine hive-mind! Additionally, it remembers your dialogue and tries to stay on topic throughout the session, allowing you to explore the topic at times - almost like having someone to bounce ideas off of quickly and get relevant information even if you do wander off.
Link: Midjourney Homepage
Midjourney is an awesome tool that I use a lot. If you’re like me, you might find yourself needing some artwork for a particular reason. Whether it’s a web banner or an email template, not all of us have that born artistic gift! Midjourney, like ChatGPT, takes input in the form of a command prompt, so you might enter something like:
/imagine a modern, colorful web banner, spring sale, pastel colors
… and get a range of artificially generated mockups for you to do with as you wish. Here’s what was output from the above:
It’s almost unbelievable that this was created by AI! This image took roughly 20 seconds to generate and it gives you four variations which you can then upscale and download or request variations of a particular cell. All the banner images for my articles on this site are generated using Midjourney. In the process of working on an online, browser-based, multiplayer strategy game, Midjourney has been an essential tool to getting small one of graphical assets to keep development on track. If you can describe it, Mijourney can probably get you in the ballpark!
There are also plenty of options that you can pass in your requests and the tool is constantly evolving to offer even more features like image comparison and more. Like ChatGPT, you can take advantage of the limited trial for free, but after that you’re paying $10 USD per month(as of this article). Of course, if you’re a professional writer, developer, or web designer, the time it saves you from doing mockups will be well worth it. You can check it out at the link above. You will need a Discord account to interact with Midjourney. Everything is done in a direct chat with the bot.
Artificial intelligence has made some pretty significant break throughs in recent years. Whether it’s for the purposes outlined above or developing new medicines, analyzing early gene and health markers for specific conditions, or any other research that might take us exponentially longer to do using standard approaches, the applications are truly endless. Along with this progression has come a lot of debate. It’s not my intention to pick a side, but the tools I briefly covered here are a great place to start for the every-day business to use to get a boost in productivity.
I look at it from this perspective: I’m getting direct access, in an interactive way, to that combined, collective, intelligence pool - and it keeps growing. In my own personal experiences using the tools above, I’ve saved hours of time, allowing me to keep pace and get real work done. I’m just a small business owner, I can only imagine what the applications are in larger companies. There are even “forks” of ChatGPT out there you can host yourself. That might be the topic of another article! I hope the information presented here is enough to get you to try these tools out. Let me know what you think.