At Gravitate PR, since the emergence of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, we’ve been keeping an eye on the rapid developments in artificial intelligence–helping clients that work in spaces that touch AI craft compelling narratives, while simultaneously assessing how else it can be used in day-to-day tasks.
Associations such as the PR Council have published guidelines about the use of generative AI in our field (which we’ve also summarized into the following key takeaways). We’re still very cautious in how we use AI, and currently use it primarily for several core but very basic activities–transcribing/summarizing calls, research, ideation, and extremely fundamental writing. However, all of our own content, like this blog post, and anything produced for our clients is entirely created by people.
Since ChatGPT launched a year ago it’s evolved at such a rapid pace, that we will undoubtedly see more innovations than we could possibly fathom in the next 12 months. We have a couple of additional blog posts about predictions in the marketing communications industry and the tech sector (read our more general predictions post here), but given AI’s omnipresence, we’ve created a specific post about how it could evolve next year.
Outside of ChatGPT, there are a slew of AI tools that focus on making tasks more efficient. These include Grammarly, which checks for grammar, tone of voice, and readability, Otter.ai, which is a meeting note taker and transcription tool, and Midjourney, which uses generative AI to create images.
Within the PR industry, there have been a number of tools launched specifically for PR professionals, including an AI-powered software that surfaces relevant journalists based on press release keywords. Next year, we can expect more products for PR tasks that will capitalize on the capabilities of inference in AI systems. With all that is possible, we could easily see AI-powered tools that summarize a reporter’s stories and the key elements of their articles over the past year, and provide suggestions on new topics to pitch those reporters based on current trends. Tools that capitalize on inference will help to rapidly shorten the research associated with incisive PR strategy and instead allow PR pros to focus on creativity.
A number of publications uploaded policies on how they plan to use generative AI to support reporting (here’s Wired’s policy, and the Associated Press’ policy for example). While some publications have staunchly opposed publishing stories with text generated by AI, others have been more open in embracing it. However, not all publications that used AI to produce articles were upfront–CNET’s stories triggered backlash after it was found that many articles contained factual errors or plagiarized material, and Sports Illustrated deleted articles with fake author names and AI-generated photos.
Despite this, with the media landscape continuing to shift each year and with more publications cutting staff or shuttering their doors, the trend is looking like AI-generated content will almost certainly proliferate. But that’s not all bad! AI can be effective in information dense reporting, like recapping a company’s quarterly earnings, or the US jobs report that is released on the first Friday of every month. With journalists more time crunched each year, ideally AI will alleviate the need to report on certain topics and allow more time to dedicate on stories that require more analysis and insight.
ChatGPT’s record-breaking growth (it reached 100 million monthly active users two months after launch) naturally led to an AI technology frenzy–in San Francisco that same month, one neighborhood was nicknamed “Cerebral Valley” due to it becoming a hub for AI startups.
Based on some estimates, there are almost 58,000 AI companies worldwide, with 1 in 4 based in the US. But like many other hot technologies that have preceded it, next year we’ll likely see this number decrease as some companies may be acquired, but a significant number will also fail in such a competitive and saturated market. On the other hand, AI is quickly becoming dominated by the tech titans with deep pockets to invest in the top AI talent, R&D, and innovation. The top companies today with the largest AI investments are Microsoft, OpenAI, Meta, Amazon, Alphabet, and Anthropic. A few years ago, US big tech was known by the acronym FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet). Could we see a new “Big Tech” acronym dominating the headlines next year–MOMAAA, anyone?
There’s plenty of literature about how AI will replace jobs. According to McKinsey, 70% of jobs will be automated by generative AI, while a report from Goldman Sachs estimated that AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs.
While AI has been touted as driving efficiencies and making our lives easier, so far technology hasn’t reduced our work–rather, it’s just evolved it. Remember when email was meant to cut down on time needed to communicate in the workplace? For many of us, the ease of typing and sending emails has actually made it more difficult to disconnect from work. Similarly, while AI can cut down time or automate certain tasks, the consequence is that, as a society, we will likely evolve to create a new set of roles and responsibilities. There’s already been a rise in the “Chief AI Officer” role, with 11% of midsize to large organizations already designating the role. Next year, we can expect more emphasis on AI skills training, AI-centered positions, and consequently, a new set of responsibilities, expectations and goals where teams work alongside AI to get work done.
Do you agree with these predictions? What predictions do you have about AI in 2024? And of course, if you’re a company that’s looking to cut through the competitive tech (or specifically AI!) space, we’re here to help. Drop us a line here.