Artificial intelligence may have been all the rage this year, but according to our Senior Content Writer, Mike Tuckerman, authenticity is what everyone will be searching for in 2024.
“I think I like you even better than last year’s one,” sneers the venomous Venetia Catton in Emerald Fennell’s mind-bending psychological thriller, Saltburn.
“You’re so,” she continues to the film’s seemingly harmless protagonist, Oliver Quick.
“So what?” he coyishly enquires.
Beware of first impressions.
If you haven’t seen the film yet, I won’t spoil it for you. But suffice to say, Oliver Quick isn’t quite all that he seems.
Fennell, who made her directorial debut with the equally acerbic Promising Young Woman, says she wanted to make a film about excess and obsession.
And Quick’s unrelenting obsession with Venetia’s care-free, ‘old money’ brother Felix – played out against the backdrop of the family’s rambling country manor, Saltburn – ends in truly spectacular fashion.
Fennell set the majority of her voyeuristic thriller in the familiar confines of a not-so-distant 2006.
But it’s hard not to wonder what sort of character the quick-thinking, long-scheming Oliver Quick might be in 2024.
Authenticity in the AI Era
ChatGPT hasn’t taken my job yet.
Despite all the predictions that artificial intelligence and large language model technologies were going to render content writers like me obsolete, I still have countless briefs coming across my desk at Hunt & Hawk.
That’s because our clients know the value of utilising the skills of an experienced content expert like myself over the rinse-and-repeat limitations of AI writing tools like ChatGPT.
But I recently attended a marketing meet-up chaired by Media Mortar’s indefatigable leader Hannah Statham, and something she said struck a chord with me.
It was about how hers and many other businesses are now asking job candidates to send in video cover letters instead of relying solely on written applications.
At first, I was taken aback – like legendary Descendents singer Milo Aukerman, “I look good on paper” – but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
After all, when a quick Google search yields hundreds of results on how to use ChatGPT to write the perfect cover letter, it’s obvious the horse has bolted when it comes to writing about your professional skills.
Yet all this raises an interesting question: how do you provide authenticity in a world that increasingly encourages everyone to sound the same?
Expect to See More Videos Than Ever Before
Video is one way to reveal your true self.
Not just in the sense that it helps people see that you are who you say you are, but also because, as a medium, it’s simply more revealing than words on a page.
I happened to be wearing a Socceroos jersey on a recent after-hours Zoom call with some of the minds behind Nova Technology. Not because I thought it looked stylish, but because the Socceroos were about to kick off their 2026 World Cup qualification campaign as soon as our call was over.
The guys on the call asked me about it – it’s hard to miss Australia’s occasionally lurid shade of green and gold – so when I shared that I was about to watch the national team on TV, they understood a little bit more about what makes me tick.
And we should expect to see many more videos in 2024.
You only need to compare the number of views of a viral TikTok video with the average subscriber rates of any metropolitan newspaper to see that more people are consuming video content, whatever the form, than ever before.
Broadly speaking, it’s much harder to fake who you are on camera than it is on a piece of paper.
But for a writer like me, it’s difficult to reconcile a lifelong love affair with the written word with the idea that you now have to be seen to be believed.
2024 Will Be the Year of Authenticity
It’s not like someone faking their credentials on a Curriculum Vitae is anything new.
But in a world where ‘deepfakes’ – artificially-manipulated digital media – are now a reality, we’re entering an era where it will be more difficult to tell real from fake than at any point in history.
That’s probably why search engine marketing platform Semrush says authenticity will be the key driver of social media strategy in 2024.
It’s a term that has been bandied about a lot in recent years – especially around influencer marketing and all things related to content.
But if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that 2024 will be the apex of our desire for authenticity.
Because we’ve reached a turning point.
It’s no longer enough for companies to promote authenticity as a core value, while publishing nothing but chlorinated content churned out by chatbots.
In a world awash with the artificially enhanced – from cover letters written by ChatGPT to restaurants using AI-generated images of food on Uber Eats – what everyone will be looking for in 2024 is something… real.
And if you are looking for authenticity, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I love getting meta in my role as Senior Content Writer at Hunt & Hawk.