How To Distinguish AI Hype from AI Happening?

August 10, 2023

In the chaotic year of 2023, figuring out AI fact from fiction is like trying to spot the fake in a room full of masterful forgeries. The business world is drunk on AI snake oil, toasting to clichés about revolutions, disruptions, and transformations like they’re the cocktail of the day.

The media, meanwhile, is exacerbating existential angst with clickbait catastrophizing and AI fearmongering. Do you know what you get if you cross Hal 9000 with The Terminator? ChatGPT. 

By: Paul Marsden, SYZYGY GROUP’s consultant psychologist



In business, AI-talk is everywhere, particularly the new funky variant known as Generative AI, because, well, it generates stuff – like text, images, video, code, music, and voice. Conferences, slide decks, social media feeds, news stories, whitepapers, analyst calls, sales-spam, and increasingly the Web are being infused with content about AI, often generated – ironically – by AI itself.

Sly sceptics will note that if you look closely, you’ll see much of last year’s content being recycled, but with the words ‘NFT’, ‘metaverse’, or ‘Web3’ crossed out, and the AI trend-du-jour scribbled in, in crayon. It’s not just AI that’s an autocomplete machine regurgitating old content with a find-and-replace twist; so is the sales machine. 

Finding the truth in a world of deep-fakes, AI hype, and AI naysayers? It’s like searching for sense in a word cloud of digital buzzwords. But the truth is out there, and in my attempt to find it, I have teamed up with the SYZYGY GROUP and created a generative AI timeline of real-world examples, evidence, and events.

The timeline is as tech-light and jargon-free as possible, and unapologetically only covers what has actually happened or been done in the field of applied generative AI, not what could happen or could be done. It’s also highly curated. There are countless newsletters out there for those hungry for a latest bajillion events in AI this week.  

Paul Marsden

Ive picked timeline items that I think are pertinent to businesses and brands because they reveal opportunities, provoke ideas, or stimulate action.

Paul Marsden


So, head over to, and you’ll find, surprise, our Generative AI timeline, which provides a quick visual overview of the latest key happenings in the world of generative AI – the voguish subfield of artificial intelligence known for generating synthetic content that could pass for human-created material.

Rather than focus on AI hype, the timeline highlights real-world achievements and accomplishments. These range from ‘Human vs AI’ smackdowns in the fields of creativity, productivity, coding and performance to Generative AI experiments from big consumer brands like Coca-Cola, Guerlain, McDonald’s, Levi’s, SHEIN, BMW, and Volkswagen.  

Updated every month so it works as a live AI monitor, complete with source-linked events and custom icons that you can snag for free.  

Here on the blog, I’ll also provide a monthly summary of the latest timeline events. Our game plan with this timeline? To provide teams, clients and you with a fresh briefing of key ‘need-to-knows’ to keep you up to date on what’s happening.  

An Early Takeaway

No one knows what the future of Generative AI will hold.

Perhaps AI overlords will render humanity obsolete. Or perhaps Generative AI will be guillotined by Gartner’s merciless hype cycle. But I am clear on one thing: it’ll be built on practical real-world achievements and not snake-oil, spin, or speculation. One early takeaway from timeline events so far? The early achievements of Generative AI, whether choreographed and curated, appear to be real and compelling.

The technology seems ready to thumb its nose at the age-old wisdom of ‘Faster, Cheaper, Better – Pick Two‘. Instead, new AI content generators look set to nail all three, and even throw in a fourth perk that plays nicely with human psychology – Generative AI makes things easier, too.

Just imagine the ‘write-it-for-me’, ‘visualise-it-for-me’, and ‘code-it-for-me’ buttons coming to your screens. They will be irresistible.

Expect a tsunami of AI-generated content to be coming your way. In the meantime, here’s a simple, practical first step for brands and businesses. Talk to your suppliers and service providers and ask them this: ‘How are you using AI to get me more and better, for less money, time, and hassle?  

Intrigued by what your business or brand could learn from real-world examples, evidence, and events in Generative AI? Reach out to us we’ve got the executive briefings and workshops tailored just for you. 

Plus, for those eager to delve even deeper, we’re thrilled to share our Generative AI Timeline Paper covering the first months up to June.  This comprehensive resource provides a meticulous breakdown of real-world applications, cutting through the noise and bringing you the hard-hitting facts about Generative AI. You won’t want to miss this download!

Let’s talk about AI
Dr. Paul Marsden
Dr Paul Marsden Digital Strategist
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