PR and communication professionals expect technologies such as AI and machine learning to have a major impact on their fields, but at the same time, they have no idea what these new technologies are all about, nor how they can support their work activities. Therefore, the main conclusion of the annual USC Annenberg study of the future of communication is that AI desperately needs to work on its PR.
It turned out that the surveyed PR and communication staff were unaware that AI had long since found its way into everyday applications. Respondents expected, for example, that 35% of financial reporting would be performed by robots in 5 years’ time. However, once you realize that, even today, 30% of the financial articles issued by Bloomberg are already being written by robots, that percentage turns out to be a gross underestimation.
In addition, when asked which technologies are seen as important future tools, strikingly, the respondents mainly mention tools which are already commonplace, such as social media and website analytics, social media management and media monitoring. New technologies, such as AI, are mentioned much less often.