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Siri, do you even PR?

17th July 2018


Remember when the last big wave of tech revolution came? Were you by the shore? In case you weren’t, let me tell you what happened. It was 2009 and it so became that every imaginable question could be answered with “There’s an app for that.” So much so, Apple trademarked the phrase.

A decade later, the second wave is here. The phrase now is “There’s AI for that…”

Enter Siri, Alexa.

“Siri, call mum.”

“Siri, what’s Emily’s address?”

“Siri, what is the meaning of life?”

Now only if Siri could do the coverage reports you think.

AI and machine learning will be able to do a lot of things, revolutionizing your life as a PR professional.

AI driven tracking:  Imagine if Siri could analyze posts and articles so fast, that you could take immediate action against negative coverage? No more deploying human resources to report and analyze 24/7.

Last year using AI, South African brand tracking company Newsclip analyzed more than 4000 social media posts in minutes using Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Better Risk Management and Crisis Communications: This has a two-pronged approach, firstly AI can analyze the digital landscape within minutes and be able to interpret the probabilities and possible reactions. Which in turn can help you prevent a ton of the crises.

Secondly, on the occasion of an actual communications crisis, AI can instantly analyze sentiment, allowing the team to take control of any situations within minutes so you the human can take a better-informed decision. Remember AI doesn’t emote, so they can assist crisis communication teams without being swayed emotionally. 

Dubai is already adopting AI to respond to medical emergencies faster bringing down the response time to under four minutes, which has been something hospitals and medical teams around the world have been struggling to achieve but is now possible thanks to AI.

AI can help reach more people faster: Think holograms of senior management delivering media training without ever leaving office! Exciting? It only gets better. You will be able to hold media briefings virtually through augmented reality without worrying about the dreaded questions: “Will the media turn up today? Oh no, is it raining? Is it deadline day?”

I know what you are thinking, will AI take my job? No. Simply because of Newton’s third law of motion: every action will have an equal and opposite reaction. From my understanding of the history of Industrial Revolution and now of automation, authentic human experiences will only increase in value, so AI will help assist you better, but will not take your job.

Now you must be thinking, AI is all cool but who has the money to adopt it? It will take years.

When Graham Bell invented the telephone only the Lords of the Manor owned a pair of them and my grandparents gathered in front of the radio to catch the late-night news. Here I am asking Siri about the news. That’s two generations from radio to AI. It’s happening faster than ever, you can either learn to swim with the waves or be washed over by them.


Sohini Datta

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