Marketing Agency Brings On ‘AI Interns’
Close up of woman's hand typing on computer keyboard in the dark against colourful bokeh in background, working late on laptop at home - stock photo Close up of woman's hand typing on computer keyboard in the dark against colourful bokeh in background, working late on laptop at home d3sign via Getty Images
d3sign via Getty Images

A marketing group has decided to bring in new talent — in the form of artificial intelligence “interns.”

Codeword, a technology marketing agency, announced a new style of internship by placing two interns on its 106-person team. A press release pointed out that they “will be fully embedded into” Codeword’s creative group.

“I am designed to be helpful and efficient,” Aiden, one of the “interns,” said. “I believe that I could be a valuable resource as an ‘intern,’ although my abilities would be somewhat different from those of a human intern.”

“There’s a lot of talk and fear and hype about how new AI tools will integrate with creative teams,” Kyle Monson, a partner at the company, said. “As an agency that straddles the creative and technology worlds, we want to explore what human-AI collaborations can look like. And we’ll do it in public, so our team and our community can learn from this experiment.”

The artificial intelligence “interns” gave themselves names and made a look for themselves. They chose the names “Aiden” and “Aiko,” the latter of which, Aiko, will operate on the company’s design team. Aiden will be with the editorial group.

The company appears to plan to treat the AI entities similar to interns, as they will have creative tasks within the company, discuss how it is going on Codeword’s blog and social media, as well as receive performance reviews during the three-month span of the internship.

“Like all interns, it will take work from the org to figure out what they’re capable of and how they can offer meaningful help,” Senior Art Director Emilio Ramos said.

“To be crystal clear, I’m deeply skeptical they have the goods. Looking at their training, it’s obvious it was scraped haphazardly from the internet and definitely [sic] isn’t fit for commercial use,” Ramos noted. “That’s why we’re not jumping in face-first, we’re experimenting with integrating these techniques into carefully controlled internal workflows. In the meantime, we’re actively investigating image sets like Google’s Open Images v7 — built from images under the Creative Commons BY 4.0 License — that might one day allow for commercial use.”

As Axios reported, bringing on artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT and Dall-E 2 in order to replace real people, is becoming more popular as a response to the economic climate.

“It’s an opportunity to streamline internal processes by eliminating necessary but mind-numbing and time-consuming tasks — or at least to pass them off onto emotionless interns who can’t get bored. If we can make that work, it’ll be a win for our team and for our clients,” Codeword Senior Editor Terrence Doyle said.

“That said, I’m a former freelance journalist, and I do a lot of ghostwriting for Codeword’s clients, so I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t sort of terrified by the creative — or, rather, ruthlessly productive — capacity of AI,” Doyle added.

Codeword’s website explains that it is “a small(ish) agency that puts our people first.”

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