The communication landscape is changing fast with artificial intelligence, robot journalism and bots interacting with our audience on our behalf. It is more and more likely that the content you read and the dialogues you have are in part managed by technology with marketing and customer care as early adopters. How will this affect what we can and should do in corporate communication?
The development of robots and artificial intelligence is moving at a fast speed, both in terms of actual physical robots such as Atlas, the humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics who recently broke the internet with the backflip video, to digital personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri. Another application for artificial intelligence is also on the rise – the digital buddies such as Shimor Replica.
We often read in the media that robots will soon take over and replace us, starting with tasks such as warehouse work, housekeeping and truck driving, but also more qualified and complex tasks such as journalism, legal work and medical diagnosis. At the conference Internetdagarna, Sofia Serholt from Chalmers School of Technology spoke about her research in to how children interact with robots in school. Will teachers be replaced as well?
However, the voices within the communications business all united in the idea that there is still a long way to go before robots have the same intelligence and ability to interact and communicate such as humans. When it comes to humanoid robots there is also the so called “uncanny valley” factor to be considered. This means that when a robot is almost humanlike, but not fully, it can make us uneasy and unwilling to have it in our homes or workplaces.
Although we are not at an immediate risk of losing our jobs to robots there are some fields where artificial intelligence can help us improve and make corporate communications more efficient. Some examples:
We already have automated customer support in the form of chatbots popping up on websites and on Facebook to help with commonly asked questions. There are also pioneers in the employer branding field, for example French construction company Vinci who created a chatbot to attract and communicate with talents. We will probably see more and more companies using chatbots to communicate with their corporate stakeholders.
There is already such a thing as automated journalism or robot journalism. Systems that can sift through large sets of data to produce news stories and articles. We will most likely see this technology be enhanced and used for different types of corporate communication in the coming years. Automated translation services will also improve, diminishing the need for human translators.
Will robots be designing the user experiences of tomorrow? According to some sources, the answer is yes. There is, for example, a company called the Grid which promises AI websites which will design themselves. Adobe is also building an AI to design websites. The purpose of having AI creating design is to create "better" design, meaning to make it work better the perspective that it works better and gives the result and feel that you strive for. We are still at the early stages but it remains to be seen which role the traditional web designer will play in the future when robots are more integrated.
Want to chat over a coffee and discuss the future of corporate communication? Contact Sara Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or +46 761 09 05 06.
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