By: Irene Connors, Blogger

Tools that use artificial intelligence (AI) have great potential to help people improve their performance in the workplace and make a difference in the bottom line. For example, AI is used in everyday tools such as virtual assistants (Alexa and Siri), media streaming services and navigation applications.

However, AI might not be embraced because some believe they might lose their jobs due to automation. Sebastian James, owner of PR & Technology Shop, cautions against this type of thinking. 

“AI is a new set of tools that can add to your value as a communicator and employee,” James said. “People should start to worry when AI can console a client, yell at a vendor, conceptualize a creative theme, review analytics reports and do a new business presentation in one day,” he joked.

Defining AI can be perplexing, but James simplifies it this way: “AI has the ability to use memory, knowledge, experience, understanding, reasoning, imagination, and judgment to solve problems and adapt to new situations.” Mary Hills, IABC fellow and business principal at HeimannHills Marketing Group, uses this shorthand to describe it – automated decision-making.

AI is especially important to communication, marketing and PR professionals. According to the Centre for Strategic Communications Excellence in its 2019 AI Survey, 84 percent feel AI gives us an opportunity to provide significant value to the organization. The same number felt that advocating for adoption of AI communication tools is an important role for us to assume in our jobs. The 2020 survey, specifically on communication tools, is underway now.

Artificial Intelligence can identify trends, add more context, and make educated predictions to report outcomes. It can give your business an edge, removing the most mundane tasks, so the focus could be on higher-level functions such as strategic planning, reputation management and social media strategies.

Depending on the scope, assessing AI tools isn’t that much different than evaluating other technologies, according to Hills and James. The key thing to remember is that AI is not some shadowy monster looming on the horizon.

“There are some AI tools that do a great job without needing to dig deep into the technology behind it,” he explained. “SummarizeBot is a cool tool that provides in-depth summaries of whatever document you feed it—whitepapers, articles, studies, or legal cases. The summaries are written by a computer, but you don’t need a certificate in AI to understand how it works.”

“However, if you’re thinking about adopting an enterprise AI solution with an impact across the company, like a robust AI-powered customer service agent; your approach needs to adjust accordingly,” he added.

As communication professionals adopt AI, understanding its strengths and weaknesses is crucial input into the path AI should take in the world. And that is where we can add the greatest value.

To get an inside look at AI tools, plan to attend a presentation by James and Hills at CONVERGENCE Summit.

Join us for CONVERGENCE Summit 2020 on Thursday, March 19, where we will provide communications, marketing and PR leaders with 2020 Vision and Clarity for the Future.

Check out the fantastic lineup of speakers and links to great session-related content in our complete interactive conference program. Printed copies, provided by Bolger, will be available at the event.

The countdown to CONVERGENCE Summit 2020 is on – and we can’t wait to see you there! Save $50 by registering by end of day Friday, March 13.