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Forget About AI Taking Our Comms Jobs—It's a Ticket to Show Our Strategic Value

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 — January 31st, 2023

Forget About AI Taking Our Comms Jobs—It's a Ticket to Show Our Strategic Value

The availability of Artificial Intelligence (AI) content and AI image generators has recently exploded.

I’ve found myself playing with all sorts of crazy word prompts in AI-driven photo editing apps and AI content generators like the incredible, new Chat GPT.

Above: an AI-generated image by Photoleap from the word prompt: "Colourful cat surfing in sky with fish."

These tools are a game changer; Clear, sophisticated content can now be created at lightning speed. How Professional Communicators make use of AI could set us apart in significant and exciting new ways. But there are also some risks—the impact will depend on how it is implemented and used.

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Should Communicators be concerned about AI taking our jobs? I don’t think so. Effective communication is more than just writing—we’ve always rallied against this idea.

I do think we’ll have to get better at demonstrating how we deliver strategic business value over producing tactical output. AI could well be our ticket: making the tactical more efficient, freeing up time for more strategic efforts, and enabling creativity in a way we’ve never seen before. 

What are AI content and AI image generators?

Based on inputting keywords, phrases, and topics, AI content generators can automatically create copy for blogs, marketing materials, news articles, social media posts, and product descriptions.

Some examples are Jasper, CopyAI, Peppertype, and the more recently launched ChatGPT, which is creating a lot of buzz. You can input anything from “Explain Quantum computing in simple terms to “Creative ideas for a 10-year-old’s birthday.” And it can even write code. 

Similarly, AI image generators turn text into original images in a range of styles; from highly realistic to more stylized or abstract images. Some examples are DALL-E 2, Midjourney, Craiyon, and Dream Studio.

These tools put design in the hands of everyone and could save hours searching for the perfect image to accompany a story. Significantly, the images generated are all original, avoiding any copyright or IP issues. You can even turn your image into an NFT and sell it for crypto!

The quality of the generated content can vary widely depending on the specific system and the amount of data it has been exposed to. 

AI-driven tools have many potential benefits that Professional Communicators can leverage: 

Improved customer experience: AI is significantly faster because computers can handle enormous volumes of data in much less time than humans can. Tasks such as answering customer inquiries or providing information to employees can be done much more efficiently.

For example, many companies are using custom GPT chatbots, voice bots and virtual assistants to handle customer inquiries. These tools can quickly and efficiently respond to common questions, freeing up human customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues. This not only improves customer satisfaction, but also reduces the workload of employees.

Automating tasks: Many companies are now using AI-powered tools to automatically sort and prioritize emails, calendar invites, and generate responses to customer inquiries. This allows employees to focus on the most important messages and improves their ability to respond quickly to time-sensitive information.

Research & insights: AI tools can also help managers track and analyze employee engagement, sentiment, and productivity in real time. This provides valuable insights into how employees are feeling about the company and its culture, and can help managers identify and address any issues that may be affecting employee morale.

Enhanced collaboration: AI tools, such as virtual assistants and project management software can help to facilitate collaboration and communication among team members, even if they are located in different parts of the world.

Increased personalization: AI can be used to customize communication based on an individual's preferences and needs. For example, AI-powered email systems can prioritize and suggest responses to messages based on the content of the email and the user's past behavior.

Of course, we should also be aware of the risks of using these tools:

Bias: AI is only as unbiased as the data it is trained on. If the data used to train an AI system is biased, the system will also be biased. This can lead to biased decision-making and communication within an organization. 

Lack of transparency: AI systems often operate in ways that are difficult for humans to comprehend, making it difficult to understand how decisions are being made and how communication is being affected.

Job loss: The automation of certain tasks through AI can lead to job loss in some cases. Of course, the potential for new job creation is also compelling and a reason for all of us to keep learning and developing our skills.

Security risks: AI systems can be vulnerable to hacking and other security breaches, which can compromise sensitive communication within an organization.

Misuse: There is a risk that AI systems may be used for malicious purposes, such as spreading misinformation or manipulating communication within an organization.

It is important to carefully consider these risks when implementing AI in communication processes, and to put measures in place to mitigate potential negative consequences.

And in case you haven’t already guessed it, this article was written with the help of an AI content generator, Chat GPT. Some editing was required but the key points on benefits and risks above were all auto generated from a few different prompts. It’s more formal than my usual writing style but overall, I was very impressed.

As clever as it is, the most effective communication must come from a deep understanding of context and connection to your audience. It’s unlikely AI will ever understand the complexities of organizational culture, politics, and belonging that enables a good communication strategy.

It doesn’t understand body language, emotion, or the nuances of human communication. Nor can it draw on engaging personal anecdotes to bring authenticity, color, and meaning to company goals.

Like any new technology, it’s just a tool. I don’t think we need to vacate our jobs for the robots any time soon.

I think a bigger issue right now is ensuring the ethical application of AI. For example, universities are now having to spring in to action to deal with students cheating by using AI to write their essays.

Some reports say Chat GPT is even capable of passing medical licensing exams. Of course, representing someone else’s work as your own is not ok, and all content must be attributed to its correct source. To help address plagiarism concerns, one enterprising student has already created an app that can detect AI-generated content. 

One of the constant challenges for professional Communicators is keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of communication. But I do think it’s important we stay on top of these emerging technologies so we can use them to our advantage, influence how they are dopted and ensure their ethical application. I highly recommend everyone has a play!

Above, an AI generated image by Photoleap from the word prompt: “Woman writing a colorful article about the benefits and risks of AI content generation.”

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