Has anyone else seen the MacDonald’s advert? You know the one, where all someone needs is an answer to the question, What is a flat white?
Well, I am every person in that ad and at the end of my version is Kerry Sheehan who kindly answers my conundrum, what does AI mean for Public Relations and Communications professions? I ran to her with all my questions about artificial intelligence.
Now I have been around AI for a while, but I naively thought that I was secure because the robots aren’t writing the press releases yet or designing the agenda for the employee engagement events, so why care. But I too had to confront the existence that we now live and work in. In my day job I am surrounded by smart people who are well plugged into their niches and fields of expertise, so after our Women’s Day breakfast, a conversation started about how AI has become a stumbling block for women when applying to specific companies. The data that has been inputted is biased. The example of Amazon who had to scrap their AI recruiting tool as it showed bias against women. A colleague has since shared with me how AI is being used in the legal profession and examples from my world internal communications. Although there are already examples such as Attuned in Japan, Xexec, Yva, Trustsphere and Kronos. On further exploration, I discovered work being done by start-ups such as Fuel 50 and Gloat which will most definitely be taking me down a hole of learning. I want understand how AI can help us with employee engagement? How are companies such as Microsoft already using AI to boost employee engagement? Find resources for Microsoft employee engagement summit 2018 here.
It isn’t, however, all doom and gloom, I came to the realisation that AI in a way has been my saving grace. I am dyslexic and so 12 years ago when I started out as a young journalist, I struggled immensely and had to take a break from the media because of it. Today I have tools such as Grammarly which were non-existent. I have something that can help me develop my writing skills and gave me the confidence to come back into the industry five years ago. I'm now writing again, am working in the profession I love.
So what can one do to equip themselves for the ever-changing world? I remember being at Best and scanning through piles of nationals and dailies to clip the stories that would make great features of the magazine or going through look books every season, that now is a thing of the past. We all now have the freedom in my communications role to focus on mapping out change and developing new creative ways to communicate.
I want to share Kerry’s advice to me from our conversation which I hope helps anyone who is sometimes overwhelmed by all the new changes like me.
Start reading and learning about it. What is try AI and what is automation?
Understand what skills are in danger and where you need to equip yourself. The CIPR AI committee has produced a skills wheel, #AIinPR in 5 years, it is a concise and clear breakdown of where we are a profession. Where are we using AI now and how do we ensure we get the most out of it. Some ideas that come to mind are media monitoring, sentiment analysis, personalisation and audience segmentation.
AI is an intelligent assistant so use it to help you.
Understand the ethics, because when it goes wrong we will have to defend it and we will have to promote its success. Where has the tech world gotten it wrong and why?
There is nothing to fear.
This week has been very exciting as the Institute of Internal Communications celebrated its 70th birthday. I headed to the London region launch event. It was great to meet other Internal comms professionals and talk about our profession. Check our Rachel Dakin, IOIC London Director’s Video with Shootsta.
Keep your eyes peeled for Part 3 of Broke Girls Guide to Professional Development in Communications, there are a few surprises planned. You can read part One and Two here, and the unexpected post Broke Girl’s Pleas to Conference Producers .
Please head over to the CIPR AI which has some excellent resources to help you start laying the foundations and deepen your understanding of AI and automation. I recommend this week’s episode of The Internal Comms Podcast with Katie Macaulay and her guest Stephen Waddington aka @wadds.
This week has been a bit of a blur, but I did manage to listen to the astounding Dave Trott on beating creative blindness, (live from IAB Leadership Summit) on Bruce Daisley’s very insightful podcast Eat Sleep Work Repeat. I'm looking forward to The Joy of Work: An evening with Bruce Daisley, EMEA Vice President of Twitter hosted by the IOIC on 5th April. Sally Northeast shares her learning from the book in the latest episode of of #CU on The Air podcast, listen here.
Please do let me know your thoughts and experiences with AI in Comms, PR, Marketing, and Advertising as I want to learn and share experiences.