Matthew McConaughey riffs on AI and how businesses are fueling … –

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Matthew McConaughey, dressed in cowboy attire, in a new Salesforce spot.
Matthew McConaughey has a bone to pick with artificial intelligence. While excited by its disruptive potential, particularly as a research tool, the actor is frustrated by the apparent carelessness with which it is being developed.
“So many businesses are just sprinting forward with the idea of AI being about ‘How do we profit, profit, profit,’” he told Ad Age. “Well, profitable AI without trusted AI is going to be a short-term game with a future death sentence.”
The admonition is well-supported by leading technologists and researchers who in May published an open letter warning about the extinction-level risks of advanced AI. And while major firms developing the tech are doing so with alleged albeit minimal limitations, accountability is particularly lacking with respect to enterprise players such as advertisers.
Also read: Top 5 AI marketing activations to know about right now
A new Salesforce campaign starring McConaughey, who is a brand ambassador, calls attention to this issue.
In one 15-second spot, McConaughey, dressed head-to-toe in cowboy attire, struts into a small town with all the classic “old west” trappings—false-front architecture, towering cacti, a spookily whistling wind—only the entire backdrop was created by Stable Diffusion, a text-to-image AI generator.
“So if AI is the Wild West, well who’s the sheriff around here?” McConaughey asks.
The inquiry is a call-to-action for businesses to more seriously entertain how trust can be built in with AI tools. It’s also a bit of a paradox, because no one entity can play sheriff for a technology with such far-reaching implications. Even if the U.S. government were to establish national policy, McConaughey said, other countries may carry on unaffected. The same logic could apply at the state and city levels.
The solution, according to Salesforce, is for businesses and individuals to take it upon themselves to self-regulate and implement trust. The software company has its own generative AI tools, which Salesforce is promoting as part of the campaign. An “Ask More of AI” microsite, set to launch in August, will direct clients to these proprietary offerings.
While worried about risks such as surveillance, privacy infringement and the erosion of civil liberties, McConaughey views AI symbiotically, and therefore only capable of causing damage if people allow it to do so.
“It’s prompt-related—it doesn’t do anything unless we ask it a question,” he said. “So really important is to say, ‘Are we asking it the right questions?’ Because what we ask AI is really what we ask ourselves. We’re going to create a mirror of our best and worst traits.”
In other words: “If we go forward blind-eyed, we’ll create a tool that’s going to tool us.”
Salesforce’s campaign consists of three 15-second spots starring McConaughey that will run on social media, NBCUniversal streaming services and Roku streaming apps.
The company has also run a newspaper ad teasing the spots in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, as seen below. 
In this article:
Asa Hiken is a technology reporter for Ad Age covering Web3, AI and other emerging spaces.


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