Weighing the benefits and risks of AI in the world of PR and beyond
As marketing and PR professionals, we always have a pulse on the newest communication tricks and tools. One many can’t stop talking about is the highly-contested ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that allows users to have human-like conversations and can answer a whole slew of questions and create content in mere moments.
From answering a trivia question to creating a grocery list or even drafting a personalized financial plan, many are using ChatGPT to help make their lives a little easier. For PR professionals specifically, ChatGPT helps craft content, draft social copy, develop press releases and more, which can streamline some of the more time-consuming work.
While arguably useful, many critics claim the use of AI is lazy, unimaginative or just plain creepy. Giving a balanced perspective, Pierce PR pros Mckenzie Masters and Carson Brown weigh the benefits and risks to using the latest trending tool.
ChatGPT saves valuable time
Everyone is busy these days, regardless of what industry they’re in. One of the most significant benefits of using ChatGPT is that it saves time by helping users get data and answers they need quickly. Forget scrolling through pages on Google. Now, you can simply type in a question or prompt and receive an answer in a few seconds. For those writing content, it can be extremely useful. Within a few seconds, ChatGPT can draft a 1,200-word byline, marketing and social copy, pitches, business documents and more. These are items that not only take the typical person a chunk of time, but brain power, as well.
The results are typically good
While some may argue ChatGPT’s responses are lacking the ‘human touch,’ it’s often hard to distinguish whether or not they’re written by AI. This is because GPT-3 is an autoregressive language and language prediction model developed by OpenAI, making it one of the most important AI systems ever produced. In layman’s terms, it’s smart. This is not your regular robot. Even the responses that do feel a little more robotic can provide great jumping off points for marketers and PR professionals to build out and edit in their company’s voice.
It’s great for learning new things
ChatGPT can even be used to help sharpen your skills. For example, you can provide content that you’ve written in your own words and ask the system to rewrite it using a different style – clever, humorous, reminiscent of Mark Twain. ChatGPT spits out the fresh content right before your eyes, and you can compare the new version with your original to see what to keep and what to replace. This is a great way to hone your voice and learn new writing styles, words and terminologies.
The content risks ambiguity
While ChatGPT can pull together a strong argument, fact-checking isn’t off the table. ChatGPT was officially launched in November of 2022 and currently can only reference public material up until 2021, meaning that much of the “insight” it’s using to generate content is already outdated. Additionally, the tool doesn’t include references or citations, and although it usually seems correct, the algorithms that drive ChatGPT are designed to predict, rather than fact-check, information. With ChatGPT, you may not know what corner of the internet it’s pulling from or the validity of the responses it shares.
Results may include unintended biases
ChatGPT works by harnessing AI-generated language models that pull from all over the internet. Anyone who’s online knows the wide range of conversations that can take place. Any online conversation is fair game for this model to reference, and some of those may include intentional or unintentional biases. This means ChatGPT-generated content is at risk for greater biased or discriminatory content, which can pose a problem for companies sharing content to their websites and socials and in some cases can lead to legal implications.
AI lacks an authentic human touch
One concept true for any PR pro or marketer is that it is imperative to create content that resonates with your audience. While ChatGPT offers various voice and tone options, it doesn’t quite understand the nuances of specific brand styles. Even with parameters and guidelines, no one knows your client or target market quite like you. It has been noted that one of ChatGPT’s weaknesses is mimicking human emotion or natural conversation, and by its very definition, it’s unable to form an original thought. To be effective when using this tool, remember to add back in the human element to trigger the emotional connection that valuable content creates.
ChatGPT is a major tech innovation that has the entire world enthralled and excited – or paranoid and worried, depending on which camp you fall into – to see how it will continue to alleviate some of the tedious tasks that plague our 9-5s. We know it isn’t a complete, perfect workflow companion quite yet., but in the end, ChatGPT serves as an added tool, not a replacement, for what makes humans unique – our brain power and creativity.
Mckenzie Masters is a senior account manager and Carson Brown is an account manager at Pierce Public Relations.