Artificial Intelligence in the Public Relations World

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EloQ Communications
  • Date Published
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What is the role of artificial intelligence in public relations?

Continuing from our last thoughts on creativity in artificial intelligence (AI), here we consider the role of AI against the public relations (PR) background?

AI in the PR World

The rise of AI in the marketing world is both exciting and concerning for public relations and marketing agencies. While generative AI services like ChatGPT provide quick, low-cost content creation, agencies that focus on content creation and design worry that these tools may eat into their business. In the short-term, AI-powered content will lead to a flood of online content, which will make it harder for organizations to break through the noise.

Search engines like Google and Microsoft are touting their capabilities with AI-driven search, which will further diminish the value of content. However, creators are fighting back against generative AI tools by raising questions about how they leverage existing content to produce results, usually without crediting the original creators. Despite the uncertainty surrounding generative AI services, agencies must be prepared to identify ways to take advantage of these developments to produce better results for clients and improve the efficiency of their own operations.

One of the biggest advantages of generative AI services is that they can accelerate the content creation process, enabling agencies to quickly develop first drafts. However, these drafts still require careful fact-checking due to the well-publicized tendency of these services to make errors. Additionally, writing, strategy, and judgment cannot be outsourced to the cloud. Therefore, agencies must still rely on their human expertise to ensure the quality of content.

In the near-term, generative AI services will likely lead to a large influx of online content as many people seek to have computers create lots of content for websites and blogs. Some publications have already deployed these tools to bolster their content production with AI-written articles. While this may be beneficial for a short period of time, as more organizations take this approach, the benefits to search engine optimization (SEO) and other goals will diminish. The overwhelming flood of content that is coming will make it harder for anyone to break through the noise, especially if they are relying on a large volume of content created by these services.

Search engines like Google and Microsoft have moved swiftly to tout their coming capabilities with AI-driven search. While early reviews aren’t entirely positive, they will undoubtedly continue to improve, backed by massive budgets and large user bases. The rise of AI in search will further diminish the value of content that agencies and organizations flood the market with, as search engines will provide answers directly on their own sites instead of sending users elsewhere for the information they seek. It is also likely that search algorithms will attempt to devalue generative AI content, just as they have done with previous attempts to win higher rankings with the help of technology.

Legitimate questions have been raised about how generative AI leverages existing content to produce results, usually without compensating or even crediting the original creators. Some, like Getty Images, have gone to court to block the unlicensed use of their products to inform the AI algorithms. If generative AI tools lose access to their information sources, such as databases of images or content-heavy websites like Wikipedia and Quora, that could impair their ability to produce results. These blocks could be the result of a court ruling, but some sites could take more aggressive measures to block external scraping, which could end up hurting other services beyond those in the generative AI arena.

In a marketplace that will soon be flooded with a large increase in AI-driven content, agencies must work with their clients to find ways to rise to the top. With the capabilities of the current crop of generative AI services, the quality of content may not be that far off from what they might create on their own. Therefore, it is important to build a relationship with the audience that consumes your (and your clients’) content. By crafting blog posts, updates, and newsletters imbued with personality and individual expertise, agencies can create a community that is interested in the content because of who created it and how they interact with them.

Navigating the Ethical Challenges of AI

The development of generative AI is a groundbreaking technological advancement that has the potential to revolutionize the way we create content. However, as with any new technology, it also raises ethical concerns that must be addressed.

One of the most significant challenges is the potential for bias in the data sets used to train AI algorithms. If these data sets are skewed towards certain groups or perspectives, the resulting AI-generated content may perpetuate these biases. This could have serious implications for issues such as diversity and inclusion.

Another ethical challenge relates to the ownership of the content produced by generative AI. Legal challenges have already arisen regarding the use of copyrighted material to train AI algorithms. As these tools become more widespread, it will be essential to establish clear guidelines for the use of intellectual property and to ensure that creators are appropriately compensated for their work.

Final Thoughts

Generative AI technology is still in its infancy, and there are many questions about how it will evolve and impact the world of communication. However, one thing is clear: agencies that are quick to understand the opportunities and challenges of this new technology will be better positioned to adapt and thrive in the new environment.

While generative AI can accelerate the content creation process, agencies must also invest in developing their creative capabilities to stand out in a world where machines can create content. They must also navigate the ethical challenges raised by this technology, including bias in data sets, intellectual property, and employment displacement.

By embracing generative AI technology while also prioritizing creativity and ethical considerations, agencies can produce high-quality content efficiently and effectively while staying ahead of the curve.