Updated: May 2, 2020
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer science fiction—you are increasingly exposed to it, whether you know it or not.
Melbourne-based communications guru Adrian Cropley got the Wellington members of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) talking about AI last night. It made me think about the implications of AI for my learning and development work.
But first, the communications angle! Adrian runs an annual ‘communicating AI’ survey. The data shows high uncertainty about AI within the communications profession. That starts with respondents being unsure about whether their business is using the technology, or even if they are using it themselves.
Was your last consumer query resolved by online chat? Who or what was on the other side of the screen?
The challenge Adrian laid down was to get ahead of the curve.
He is using the survey data to develop the Communciating AI playbook, guidelines on how to use AI ethically and strategically.
We also got a demonstration of Crystal, which uses ‘millions of data points’ to accurately predict personality and offer advice on how best to communicate with an individual.
What value can communications people bring when AI can target audiences and modify language and style to suit them?
That question made me think about the value I bring, and how I can get ahead of the curve of AI adoption.
AI could deliver targeted preparation activities before workshops
We often ask participants to prepare for workshops with readings and online learning. How can we use AI to make that preparation more meaningful? Can we use the data to modify course content to meet participants at their level of knowledge? And what are the ethical implications of using AI to assess training needs, e.g. for unconscious bias?
AI coaches could replace human ones
Learning to listen, to hold a silence, and asking open questions are some of the hardest coaching skills for people to learn (me included). How different would coaching be if delivered by AI that was not encumbered by the need to suggest, the tendency to judge, and the weight of biases? Or is this the spur I need to learn and apply those skills consistently?
AI is part of change management
I can’t think of a business I’ve worked with this year that will not have the opportunity to use AI. Or is already doing so without realising it. That means that anyone leading change needs to understand what AI means for their people. And that means I have to sharpen up both on how AI generates change and how AI can be used to communicate change. Thanks for the prompt Adrian!