Results of pioneering research led by Jean Valin in Canada have just been released that provide a comprehensive assessment of the impact of Artificial Intelligence on public relations skills.
Obviously this is of much more interest to people in the PR industry but it got me thinking about all our clients, suppliers and other stakeholders and how AI will affect them, which in turn will affect us.
Do you know the impact of technology, and specifically AI, on your business and your industry? Not just now but in the timeframe of five years.
Are you keeping up?
What new skills and technology do you need to introduce to your business?
What investments do you need to make so you are on top of the industry?
A visit to my dentist the other day proved that no industry is immune. The surgery has just installed new software and after a slightly extended consultation about the state of my teeth, I was shown a 3D colour image of what I have (and no longer have!) in my mouth.
While this may not be considered AI* it is certainly a step in that direction.
“All AI tools use technology but not all tech is AI.” Jean Valin
The report says: AI can be incredibly useful, but if it is used without complementing human awareness, it can be detrimental. We need humans to think creatively and abstractly about problems to devise new and innovative strategies, test out different approaches and look to the future. Parts of what we do – or in some cases entire tasks – are or will be automated and will benefit from AI.
The report describes more than 50 capabilities in public relations to visually represent the skills that AI is most likely to replace.
It found that 12% of a public relations practitioner’s total skills (out of 52 skills) could be complemented or replaced by AI today, with a prediction that this could climb to 38% within five years. Fundamental human traits such as empathy, trust, humour and relationship building can’t be automated it said.
Technology is impacting practice in other areas including the simplification of tasks; listening and monitoring; and automation. Another 27% of the practitioner’s skill set benefits from the support of some technology to assist indecision making or deep analysis.
In five years, there may be more assistance from AI tools which will contribute more directly to the application of skills in this category but on balance human intervention is dominant.
And I’m glad to hear that!
Author, Jean Valin Hon FCIPR, Principal of Valin Strategic Communications, said AI is about to massively change our lives.
“Regardless of the tasks and skills that can be automated or benefit from AI, human intervention, editing, sensitivity, emotional intelligence, applying good judgement and ethics will always be needed.”
Many other industries can learn from this research and you can download a copy of the discussion paper from here:
* In this research AI is defined as a sophisticated application of technology whereby a machine demonstrates human cognitive functions such as learning, analysis and problem solving.
Thanks to CIPR for much of this information.
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