Tuesday Tip-Off: Does AI Scare You? It Should.

I’m just back from the Public Relations Society of America’s annual international conference In Nashville. (Thank you PRSA for inviting me to conduct a media training program.) THE hot topic this year – hotter than the hottest Nashville chicken – was AI.

There was lots of talk about its benefits, like how it will give us all a four-day work week and put machines in charge of mundane tasks. There also was plenty of discussion about the dark side of AI as it relates to PR and crisis communications.

Effective communication is a cornerstone of crisis management. AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants can be used to disseminate accurate and timely information to the public. These chatbots can answer frequently asked questions, provide updates on the situation, and offer guidance on safety measures. By automating routine tasks, human resources can be focused on more complex aspects of crisis management.

Perhaps. But who is looking after the reputation robots? The potential for instantaneous spread of disinformation is downright frightening. As one conference panelist noted, fake posts and images will become an increasingly real problem. Another pointed out that many AI-related problems will be self-inflicted due to misuse of AI apps.

Three key recommendations from the conference experts:

  • Create an organizational policy on how AI may be used
  • Be cautious when using AI-generated content as it may be inaccurate or copyright-protected
  • Be very careful with sensitive queries as prompts are likely being stored

Machines have been replacing humans for more than 200 years, but even AI cannot sub in for a leader or spokesperson who is an experienced, skilled communicator. That’s where I come in. Please keep me in mind as you plan for 2024. Need some fresh coaching and training ideas? Let’s chat, without the GTP.

Disclaimer: ChatGTP was used in developing this Tip-Off.