Change, employee engagement, and artificial intelligence Uncategorized

There was plenty of interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) from IABC members in Sydney, with a fully booked session led by Jo Curkpatrick and Lee Hopkins of Better Communication Results and hosted by PwC on Monday 13 May. 

Lee and Jo were also delighted to find an audience that was both knowledgeable and eager to learn from one another. Questions raised from the floor—and there were many—highlighted broad experience with artificial intelligence across the communication profession.

Some were new to the corporate use of AI, others were interested in hearing about current uses and case studies of AI in change and engagement.

Artificial intelligence, it was discussed, did not have one simple definition. Indeed, there are as many different definitions as there are pundits trying to define it. One useful definition comes from The Internet Society: ‘Artificial intelligence (AI) traditionally refers to an artificial creation of human-like intelligence that can learn, reason, plan, perceive, or process natural language’. The two presenters honed that definition down to its working-level bare bones: ‘machines behaving intelligently’. 

Also sought were definitions for machine learning and deep learning. Lee suggested a definition suitable for both machine and deep learning: “… a field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed” Arthur Samuel, 1959. 

The difference between machine learning and deep learning is slight but important. The following quote from iamwire makes the point:

In the case of machine learning, the algorithm needs to be told how to make an accurate prediction by providing it with more information, whereas, in the case of deep learning, the algorithm is able to learn that through its own data processing. It is similar to how a human being would identify something, think about it, and then draw any kind of conclusion.

Many members at the session were keen to hear about case studies on the use of artificial intelligence in business communication. It is certainly something Lee and Jo are following up, but in the meantime they suggested reviewing 100 user cases of AI tools. 

There is little in the form of case studies that talk specifically to business communicators as a profession. However, the Marketing teams of many organisations have taken a firm grip on AI and there are plenty of case studies available on Marketing-led organisational initiatives. A list of case studies from Europe shows the diversity of AI initiatives, and Bernard Marr has a very useful list of case studies involving companies from around the globe.

However, the lack of case studies for business communicators is no reason to hold off on joining the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As Lee and Jo suggest, it is better to launch an initiative now and get some valuable runs on the board, than wait for a slower ball. With the number of companies launching AI initiatives growing daily, it is the savvy communicator who jumps on board now and learns all they can about AI, if not for the organisation they represent then for their own future employability. 

On this point, Lee reminded us about our tardiness with the potential for social media for professional communicators. Back then many of us said we were too busy with business as usual and would get to social media when it eventually landed on our desk. As a result, the profession missed the opportunity to influence how their organisations would use these new social media tools and many business communicators were largely sidelined. Jo and Lee are certainly determined to do all they can to make sure business communicators are key stakeholders and influencers in this rapidly developing world of AI.

“Let’s not have that happen with artificial intelligence (AI). Let’s be on the front foot and lead.” 

Beginning with the definition of artificial intelligence, ‘machines behaving intelligently’, Lee and Jo took us through to what we as communicators need to do if we are to engage successfully with our peers and our audiences in this new artificial intelligence age. They offered a useful framework to help make a start. 

Do you have the resilience skills you need to thrive?

After this AI member only workshop programme was a sell-out, we’re thrilled to offer members access to the second in the series.  

As communicators and marketers in our increasingly busy, pressured and volatile environments we require deep reservoirs of tenacity, optimism and hardiness. 

Who looks after us and our wellbeing? It’s usually down to us to dig deep.

But the good news is that mental toughness and resilience can be learned. This highly engaging, application-rich session run by facilitators from Phuel will introduce you to contemporary tools and techniques allowing you to understand and begin to strengthen how you relate to adversity.

Purchase your ticket here and use the passcode IABCNSWMEMBER

Please note as an exclusive workshop approach this is for current IABC NSW members only. As part of our commitment of providing exceptional value this will be $25 including a light breakfast. Attendees will be asked to provide evidence of their current IABC membership. Places are strictly limited.