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Do Recent AI Developments Bring Any New Opportunities for Affiliates, or is it all Hype?

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AI technology is nothing new to the Internet or for Affiliates
 by Dan   Posted: 11/22/2023
As someone who's sat at a desk in front of a computer screen for way too many hours of the past 25 years, it's easy to forget a simple fact: This Internet stuff is brand new to some people at any given time. There are a lot of newbies out there who have been gifted large platforms, but have little understanding of the history of this online stuff.

It's all by design. After all, how do you get someone to believe they have a chance to make it as an affiliate or any kind of Internet entrepreneur? It seems a daunting task, so the best way to draw people in is to convince them that they're at the forefront of something; That the next big change is happening right here and now. The opportunities at this moment in time are endless! Everything that happened before is irrelevant!

I was once part of this kind of hype. In the late 1990's the internet was rapidly developing. Chat rooms and forums were popping up on websites. It was like a communications revolution, and I thought I was right at the front of it. Every new website was groundbreaking! Just write a script, run some PPC ads on it, and watch the money roll in.

Some years later I finally came to accept that I wasn't too much of a pioneer. The communication enabled by the Internet was already available. News groups and email had been around for quite a while. The Internet just made the images and graphics a lot better and got a lot more people involved. It was mostly just hype though.

Shift the 2020s and now all the big talk is about AI: Artificial Intelligence.

"In 2022, we will see artificial intelligence continue along the path to becoming the most transformative technology humanity has ever developed." (source)

You will find a lot of this type of language in articles and videos about AI. "Most transformative technology ... ever". Exciting isn't it? But what about the first part of it? "Continue along the path." How long has it been on this path? If you add "that it's been on for the past 50 or so years" after "path" suddenly the opening sentence of their article isn't so captivating, is it?

AI isn't new. Maybe it's new to you, but it's not new.

What do they say is so amazing about AI, anyway? Can it answer any question you ask it? We had that 20 years ago: it was called Ask Jeeves. Type your question into the search bar and a cartoon butler would come up with an answer. It didn't work as well as the current programs that do this, but it was the same idea. No one would care about Ask Jeeves version 5.0 but call it OpenAI and suddenly there's some buzz. It's not something new; It's just an upgrade with good marketing behind it.

AI is really smart now, so they say. It can read your mind! Can it guess what I'm about to type before I finish the sentence? That's just search suggestions. Google's had that for many years. Word would be doing it now if I hadn't turned off that annoying "auto-complete" feature. Even I have written scripts that do this. You just need a database that saves all the searches, and then put the most common result at the top. Hmm, I had forgotten about that script until now. I wonder, how it's doing? Hopefully it didn't turn into the Terminator!

Okay, but AI writes articles, and they're very good! No, they're not good. They're readable, but they're not good content. And there have been programs like theBestSpinner and ArticleForge doing this for 5-10 years. Actually, I just opened the ArticleForge website and "AI" is everywhere. It wasn't like that before. I see that they've jumped on the AI buzz to drive up sales for the new version of their software.

AI isn't a new term, either. I remember on the box of Starcraft 2, a video game from 2010, it said "best AI yet". It was right. The computer opponent was tough to beat in that game. It used AI to try to guess your strategy. But the point is, video game nerds have been using the term "AI" for a long time. And technically, every video game ever made has some artificial intelligence in it. The AI acronym is only new to the mainstream.

So why is that? Why is it causing such buzz these days? You just need to look at where AI has made the most dramatic improvements recently: images and video. There have been some impressive software advancements in generating realistic looking graphics. In particular, the technology can make impressive fake images and video of celebrities and "stars". You know, those folks with the millions and zillions of followers, that the mainstream so loves to worship? They've seen fake images of themselves and caused a big fuss about it to their mainstream fans.

And that brings me back to my memories from the 1990's. The new Internet browsers seemed like a communication breakthrough, but they actually just gave it better images and graphics. Celebrity photos and magazines began to appear online. That's what the fuss was about, really. The Internet came into the mainstream then the same way AI is now.

Call it impressive software advancements in generating realistic looking graphics and it won't make the headlines. So they call it AI.

So if you're a new affiliate, you should keep in mind that AI is really more of an upgrade rather than something new altogether. The things that it does are not going to give you a significant advantage over seasoned affiliates. Most of what AI does now has been available for many years.

I'm not here to totally kill the buzz. After all, I rode that 90's hype train into a career building websites and promoting affiliate programs. The opportunity is there. If you're motivated by it, that's a big piece of the puzzle. It won't be easy though. You'll likely be humbled a few times before you get it right. But if you're like I was, you're already hooked, and there's nothing I can write to stop you from trying.

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