In last week’s guest episode, Lorraine heard how AI was impacting the beauty industry and what can be expected of this powerful technology in the future. AI is, for example, being leveraged by the sector to help increase productivity, reduce costs, automate task and improve decision-making.
Taking a cue from her interviewee, Lorraine decided to take up the challenge of seeing how capable one commonly-used AI tool – tech darling ChatGPT – is of formulation. Could it help, for example, formulate a solid facial serum bar with vitamin C?
In this opinion episode Lorraine walks us through her experiment with ChatGPT, which went through a number of stages before ending with a stunning conclusion. Listen in to find out if AI is able to formulate skincare successfully despite lacking that essential ingredient – “human-ness” – formulators everywhere, especially the Formula Botanica and indie beauty community, bring to the equation.
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ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that uses natural language processing to create conversational dialogue. It can respond to questions and compose various written content, including articles, social media posts, essays and emails. You can prompt it to receive images, text or video that is created by its AI technology.
At Formula Botanica, students are taught first a formulaic approach to formulating skincare layering ingredients, and ensuring the product is safe, stable and pleasant to use. So, in theory, AI should be able to assist with a task such as this.
Lorraine asked ChatGPT to help her create a product brief for her solid facial serum bar emphasising certain parameters such as the need for the bar to appeal to the eco-conscious shopper, be long lasting, have a heavenly scent and neutral colour, and exude a luxurious experience.
While that initial step went quite well, Lorraine noticed that as her prompts became more specific about which ingredients to use and in what amounts, the stability of ingredients and IFRA dermal limits, ChatGPT became more convoluted.
What started out as a fun experiment turned into an argument: Chatbot versus chartered environmentalist and CEO. Back and forth it went until finally Lorraine called it a day with the experiment. But listen in to this short episode as you may be surprised with ChatGPT’s final answer.
Lorraine’s challenge to you for this week is to play with ChatGPT to discover how fun and helpful it can be in assisting with a number of tasks. But, remember that while AI is a miraculous, wonderful tool, it won’t be replacing the formulation community any time soon as it is missing one critical component: humanity. Formulation is a skill that involves not only understanding the technicalities and legalities of putting together a cosmetic, but it also requires being able to experiment, touch, feel and smell. AI is missing some key components so please remind yourselves of that each time you are creatively formulating your products.
Note: This blog was written by a real human!Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.