Is AI going to replace communications professionals? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this question this year, I would have at least $80! Not enough to retire on and let the AI take over…
But seriously, should communication professionals be looking for another gig? AI shines at ideation, managing repetitive tasks, crunching data, and sometimes that elusive perfect phrase. It’s also surprisingly good at a witty headline when you’re really stuck. But AI can’t:
- Master Strategy – only a human can join the dots and understand your business, your people, your industry’s pulse, and the media landscape. AI lacks the critical thinking to craft a holistic internal and external communications strategy that will support business objectives.
- Be Creative – AI cannot develop compelling narratives that will enhance your reputation and build market share. It mimics existing patterns, using algorithms to generate novel combinations, but it doesn’t invent. Human creativity stems from experience, cultural influences, emotions, and those unpredictable ‘eureka’ moments.
- Derive Intention and Meaning – Only humans understand deeper levels of intention and meaning whether that’s symbolic, emotional, or philosophical. AI doesn’t understand human loyalty, or the elusive ‘it’ factor that will build a strong reputation. AI lacks the subjective richness and the emotional nuance that truly makes stories resonate.
- Understand Complex Cultural and Social Interactions – whether or not your business is multi-national, chances are your audience will represent different cultures, backgrounds, and generations. AI misses the delicate subtleties of human interaction and cultural nuances.
- Be Authentic and Empathetic – AI won’t take you for coffee or genuinely understand you and your business. Trust, authenticity, empathy, and long-lasting relationships? You’ll need a human being for that. Human connection is the bedrock of stellar communication, whether you work with an internal team or an external agency.
- Manage Crisis communications and human judgement – When the going gets tough, you need a seasoned professional with the expertise, precision judgement, and care that will steer you and your company through
Is AI going to replace the comms profession? The answer, as for most professions, is a resounding ‘no’. AI is a tool that helps us to enhance our work and boost productivity and efficiency. It will help us to focus on the things that really matter – building and executing great communications strategy.