Being a student of communication theory, I often grapple with a fundamental question: Will the advent of the AI era reshape our world? This question leads me to reflect on various communication concepts specifically in the area of media effects such as cultivation , agenda setting, framing, uses and gratification, and social learning effects, each put forth by scholars across the globe.

Yet, what truly captivated me was the concept of the Medium actively shaping the Message- The Medium Writes the message! This revelation was championed by ingenious minds such as Andrew McLuhan, The McLuhan Institute, and Generalists. The reason for my fascination lies in the novel perspective it offers on AI. Rather than perceiving AI as a mere tool within the medium, this concept elevates AI to an entity separate from the medium itself. This shift is critical, as the profound evolution of media through the digital age suggests that AI plays a far more transformative role. It’s not just a part of the mechanism; it is an influential force that redefines how we access information through various devices. Additionally, it revolutionizes our creative processes, designs, photography methods, and overall communication strategies. In essence, AI equips us with tools that significantly enhance both work efficiency and daily life.

As I put my thoughts into words, one notable tool in content development stands out—MJ, or Midjourney. This tool accomplishes the remarkable feat of generating consistent characters in diverse formats. This achievement was once thought to be virtually impossible.

See consistent work done by Hazwan Hassan.

Who is Marshall McLuhan?

To begin at the start, let’s delve into the persona of Marshall McLuhan. Who was he, what were his concepts, and why do his ideas hold significance in the world of Communication Technology?

Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian philosopher, scholar, and media theorist, stands as a pivotal figure in understanding the impact of media on society. His pioneering theories, collectively termed “media ecology,” delve deep into how diverse forms of media shape our cognition, perceptions, and behaviors.

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1911, McLuhan pursued studies in English literature at the University of Manitoba and Cambridge University. His journey in academia commenced as a professor of English across several universities in both the United States and Canada. Ultimately, he settled at the University of Toronto in 1946, marking a lifelong commitment to the institution.

The Medium is the Message- 

What are my views about the Medium writing the message.

A cornerstone of McLuhan’s legacy lies in his famous maxim, “The medium is the message.” This assertion underscores that the medium’s nature holds greater import than the content it carries. Take, for instance, the written word, a linear medium necessitating sequential reading from left to right. Contrastingly, spoken language is a dynamic and interactive medium. The essence of McLuhan’s idea lies in the distinct effects these mediums exert on our cognitive processes.

In My View: While our media consumption modes have evolved to include screens and paper, the fundamental framework of message delivery largely persists. Unless a revolutionary new medium emerges, the underlying principles remain consistent.

Hot and Cool Media:

McLuhan’s classification of media into hot and cool categories underscores their information density and level of engagement. Hot media, exemplified by television, boast high information content but are relatively passive. On the other hand, cool media, such as radio, exhibit low information content yet engage users more actively.

In My View: Despite shifts in technology, our media consumption habits have not drastically departed from screens and paper. A phone is a screen, a book on phone remains a screen yet in away retains its cool classification.  As a mobile screen becomes hotter as users are tasked with the development of the messages e.g. TikTok

The division between hot and cool media largely endures.

The Global Village

McLuhan’s coinage, “the global village,” encapsulates the electronic media’s role in fostering a closely interconnected world. This digital proximity cultivates a sense of community and interdependence. However, this phenomenon also introduces challenges like misinformation proliferation and the erosion of geographical boundaries.

The village’s transformation from a global to a neighborhood is evident.- The Neighborhood Classroom  Crossing geographical borders now seems effortless, resulting in a virtual global classroom. However, time zones remain a minor hurdle, as we consume similar content across the board.

Extension of Human Senses

McLuhan’s assertion that media extends our senses is profound. For instance, the printing press extends our visual senses, while the telephone amplifies our auditory senses. McLuhan posits that media can augment human capabilities but can also distort our perceptions and humanity.


Extension of our identity 

This insight remains true, particularly as emerging technologies like VR/AR utilize brain waves for user interaction. Media is evolving from being mere extensions to becoming integral aspects of our identity. Our dependence on devices and gadgets raises questions about how media influences our reality and shapes our long-term experiences.

To Understand AI Lets explore a couple of ideas:

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence, more commonly known as AI, entails the simulation of human cognitive processes by computer systems. It encompasses the creation of algorithms and software that empower machines to execute tasks that traditionally required human intelligence. These tasks encompass understanding natural language, identifying patterns, decision-making, and experiential learning. AI’s objective is to replicate and automate cognitive functions that were conventionally attributed to human intellect, thereby enabling computers to process information, reason, solve problems, and adapt to diverse scenarios. This expansive field encompasses various subdomains, including machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and robotics. In essence, AI’s simulation of human-like tasks holds transformative potential, eliminating the need for human intervention. In the sphere of communication, the impact of AI is palpable, necessitating a fresh perspective on this phenomenon due to its rapid evolution.

How is AI developed?

The mechanics of training AI constitute a complex discussion in itself. Nevertheless, these tools have significantly reshaped the world as we know it. Certain quarters have examined these processes with apprehension and anxiety, fearing that robots might eventually seize control. 

The process is however more or less the same:

Learning from Data Sets: The first facet involves AI models learning from data sets curated by humans. The adage “garbage in, garbage out” underscores the importance of the quality of data input.

Interpretation and Analysis: The second dimension is the AI tool itself and how it processes data. These tools employ algorithms to decipher patterns and forecast future events or categorize data.

Generating Output: Lastly, the AI tools generate output—be it images, speech, or sound—for human consumption.

Many tech firms are still grappling with  capabilities of self-teaching AI tools (an unsettling space for many tech enthusiast and  communication tech firms), these tools will remain bound by the data they’ve been exposed to.

By looking at how each tool is developed, McLuhan couldn’t have foreseen that mediums would evolve to the extent of actively generating messages, you also realize that when Marshall McLuhan first introduced the concept that “The Medium is the message,” he emphasized that a medium’s form carries more significance than the content it conveys. The medium itself shapes how we interpret and comprehend messages. McLuhan also argued that mediums wield considerable influence over society. He attributed the rise of individualism and the scientific revolution to the printing press and saw television as a driver of globalization and interconnectedness. However, . The far-reaching consequences of this transformation warrant contemplation.

What are the tools in the market

 From ChatGPT and Google Bard to MetricoolMurf Studio, Quilbot, Adcreative, and more—the array of tools seems limitless and astonishingly innovative. Developing of the messages becomes easier and better over time. The communication process becomes as easy as yes!

Let’s critically evaluate an underutilized yet groundbreaking AI tool—Adcreative . For many, it stands as a tool of marvel, enabling the creation of art from an uncharted space that transcends our imagination. Countless artists are immersed in developing posters at ease from text to design. Another remarkable tool is Quilbot, which, when linked to your email, Word, or article, can generate flawless written content within seconds. Scientific citation become a space that you can explore on the tool and the tedious research time required to generate one article is reduce to almost less than half.

In the realm of 3D, text prompts can instantaneously craft immersive environments. The VR/AR domain is equally dynamic; recent advancements have produced codes enabling the creation of environments in Blender, streamlining design work. What used to be a prolonged process now unfolds within weeks, with rendering taking mere seconds. Innovators like NVIDIA contribute to easier rendering and design processes, revitalizing the industry.The landscape of tools is now vast and diverse and the influence in developing messages changes how we know media.

The discourse on Andrews McLuhan’s ideas o the Medium writing the message is an invitation to share thoughts.  Do AI-generated messages blur our sense of reality? What are the differences between the AI generated- media generated messages to those that are human generated? What are the long terms effects? Do we still have hot and cold media? These are queries that beckon for exploration and collective contemplation. Your insights and perspectives are welcomed as we navigate this transformative journey.

In any case, the Generalists have skillfully surfaced thought-provoking inquiries regarding the prolonged impact of AI on users…

Let’s delve into these inquiries together, inviting the Generalists team to contribute their insights on the “When the Medium Writes the Message” fireside chat through the SXSW panel picker.

You can find the details of their compelling ideas and perspectives on this crucial topic at the following link Vote Here

To support our work purchase the tools listed above, with each offerings upto a 40% discount.

Categorized in: