Do androids dream of electric PR sheep?

12 February 2024
Reading time 3 minuty

Breakthroughs in technological development are happening at increasingly shorter intervals. Ray Kurzweil points to the year 2045 as the beginning of the so-called Singularity, a point in the development of civilization where technological progress will become so rapid that all human predictions will become obsolete. The main event leading to this is the creation of artificial intelligences surpassing human intellect. Are we approaching a moment when the world depicted in Sci-Fi movies becomes reality? And if so, what impact will this have on the public relations industry?

The year 2021 certainly favors spinning apocalyptic visions also in the field of public relations. For now, however, we don’t have to worry that AI scripts will take over our work in a few months. This doesn’t mean that artificial intelligence cannot assist PR activities, on the same principle that Google supports us every day by suggesting searched phrases or Siri playing music after receiving a voice command.

There are already tools based on artificial intelligence that deal with tasks such as acquiring contacts for journalists or searching for their posts on social media. However, it should be noted that while the AI solutions we know operate on the principle of a Chinese room, the next winners of the Loebner Prize are getting closer to creating a bot that can be conversed with like a human. In the near future, thanks to machine learning, artificial intelligence will be able to constantly improve and update data based on its own experiences, on which it will create data tailored to the end user.

Artificial intelligence in the service of public relations

So how can AI support PR activities in the near future? Below are a few examples, assuming that the process of assimilating information will still be similar to the current one:

  • Natural Language Generation (NLG) is already used in simple chatbots, but in the coming years, this technology could be developed to the extent that, for example, after entering a few key pieces of information, a press release written in language tailored to the target audience could be generated.
  • Mapping journalists’ past publications and creating content or topics based on them, tailored to previously published content. Accurate speech-to-text conversion, which will support the transcription process and thus be useful in creating press releases or conducting interviews.
  • AI creating the appearance of a press office based on analysis of the user’s past behaviors on the website.
  • This way, relevant news can be displayed and brand perception by consumers can be shaped in real-time.
  • Creating forecasts regarding the demand for topics/expert articles based on internet searches.
  • Media monitoring expanded to searching for publications using logo identification or employee photos.
  • Automatic content analysis generated by competitors across different channels: social media, websites, newsletters, etc.
  • Precise sentiment analysis and forecasting comments about the brand or important social issues.

“The last Coca-Cola ad was stupid and too long, but Pepsi approached the topic brilliantly.”

It is worth noting here that the rabbit hole is already deep and will continue to deepen. One can imagine a situation where AI will support press officers and in the future fully take over some of their duties to some extent. Currently available solutions on the market are not yet perfect, and AI can get lost in sentiment analysis.

Despite Pepsi being praised in the above post, the entire text may be rated negatively for Pepsi due to the ratio of negative to positive comments (stupid, too long vs. Great).

It cannot be unambiguously stated whether 2045 will indeed be the year when artificial intelligence becomes more powerful than human, and we also do not know whether Ada Lovelace, when adding her comments to Charles Babbage’s analytical engine project in 1843, thought that almost 180 years later Elon Musk would present the world with the Neuralink chip, connecting the human mind with a computer. It can be assumed, therefore, that in Silicon Valley, the Demon of Laplace has already begun to emerge, inspired by the DEVS series. As for PR, it can be risky to say that in the pre-Singularity era, despite the rapid development of AI, it will still be difficult for it to function on principles similar to the human mind, similar to a human considering what it is like to be a bat. Will there be a breakthrough in 2045? It’s not excluded, but if it happens, it certainly won’t concern the current generation involved in public relations. Unless Singularity allows consciousness transfer straight from Ghost in the Shell or Altered Carbon.

[1] Chiński pokój – https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi%C5%84ski_pok%C3%B3j
[2] Nagroda Loebnera – https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagroda_Loebnera
[3] Uczenie maszynowe – https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uczenie_maszynowe
[4] Generowanie języka naturalnego – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-language_generation
[5] Ada Lovelace – https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace
[6] Maszyna Analityczna – https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maszyna_analityczna
[7] Charles Babbage – https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage
[8] Neuralink – https://neuralink.com/
[9] Demon Laplace’a – https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Laplace%E2%80%99a
[10] Więcej o serialu DEVS – https://www.filmweb.pl/serial/Devs-2020-829258
[11] Tomas Nagel – Jak to jest być nietoperzem; https://utw.uj.edu.pl/documents/6082181/afa4b63f-9633-49dd-a94c-c6e68dd8c9ff
[12] Więcej o Ghost in the Shell – https://www.filmweb.pl/film/Ghost+in+the+Shell-1995-31866
[13] Więcej o Altered Carbon – https://www.filmweb.pl/serial/Altered+Carbon-2018-769613

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