Generative AI is making huge strides every day, achieving unimaginable tasks at a breakneck pace - from writing a novel to even passing the bar exam. Any emerging technology that brings with it endless potential also brings an array of challenges, unknowns and risks. For generative AI those risks include copyright infringement or issues surrounding intellectual property rights. But there is also great opportunity, such as cost savings and increased productivity. For communications professionals, understanding how to use AI honestly and effectively is critical and doing it right can help communicators evolve their entire craft. When company communications teams deploy AI correctly, it can serve as a valuable tool to unlock creativity and maximize efficiencies in ways that ultimately impact your bottom line and reputation.
Here’s our perspective on a few of the benefits and pitfalls communications teams should consider in the short- and long-term when leveraging the power of AI in your communications strategies:
PRO: AI can’t think for itself just yet, but it can still be a valuable timesaver or thought-starter for advertising scripts, marketing emails, social media posts, long-form blog posts or website copy.
CON: AI can produce content that potentially infringes on existing copyrights or creates outputs that may be owned by the platform and not the user. It could also generate content that is inaccurate or misleading, particularly if it is trained on biased or incomplete data. This can be particularly problematic when accuracy and objectivity are essential. It’s important to remember that AI is only emulating content that it’s seen before—it can’t bring you big new ideas. For that, you’ll still need the human touch of your in-house experts.
PRO: AI has long been a part of paid media through automated online platform optimizations, but new tech like ChatGPT will make this process even more efficient. AI-powered tools can help automate some of the repetitive tasks involved in media buying, such as audience segmentation and targeting. Generative AI can help advertisers personalize their messages for individual users based on their interests, behaviors and other data points. As the technology evolves, advertisers will be sure to find more ways Generative AI can save time and resources while allowing them to optimize their campaigns more effectively.
CON: The risk of overreliance on technology is a concern and it’s important for advertisers to maintain human oversight to ensure that their campaigns align with their overall marketing strategy and business goals. Additionally, there is a risk of the technology being misused, such as using AI to target vulnerable populations or perpetuate harmful stereotypes. As AI technology becomes more sophisticated, it may be difficult for advertisers to keep up with the latest developments and ensure that their campaigns are using the most effective tools.
Online Search (Paid and Organic)
PRO: Microsoft and Google are rapidly working to incorporate their own AI into Internet search, which will create an almost immediate impact on how the public finds and accesses information. Users will no longer need to sift through multiple links but will instead receive fully formed responses to their inquiries.
CON: While AI-powered search engines can provide quick and accurate responses to user inquiries, they may also limit users' exposure to diverse perspectives and information. The algorithms used by AI-powered search engines can be biased or incomplete, leading to inaccurate or incomplete information being presented to users. This can be particularly problematic in areas such as healthcare, where inaccurate or incomplete information can have serious consequences. There is also a risk that AI-powered search engines could be used to manipulate search results or to promote certain products or services over others, particularly in the realm of paid search advertising.
It’s impossible to know all the answers right now since new versions of Generative AI are continually being released, including ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. As generative AI continues to evolve and become even more prevalent across industries as a resource and tool, it’s important for communications teams and professionals to continue to assess and understand associated risks and opportunities.