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In this episode, we focus on the growing use of AI in internal communications. Host Debbie West is joined by guests:
AI in Internal Communications:
Shalini began by outlining credible sources for AI in internal comms, citing the CIPR Humans Needed More Than Ever report, IOIC’s AI white paper, and insights from Simply’s Internal Comms conference. She recommended following Dr. Joy Buolamwini, an influential figure advocating for responsible and ethical AI use.
Frank encouraged experimentation, urging listeners to explore freelancers, consultants, and agencies sharing AI insights on platforms like LinkedIn. He also recommended following Jonas Bladt Hansen; a Danish comms lead known for sharing practical insights.
Melanie discussed the potential benefits of AI in internal comms processes. She highlighted the efficiency gained from using OpenAI to create initial drafts, emphasised the importance of fact-checking and remaining vigilant about biases. Melanie spoke on the dynamic nature of technology, quoting Stephen Fry, and encouraged embracing AI as a tool to enhance efficiency without replacing the human touch in communications.
Barriers and Concerns:
Frank Dias contributed by highlighting barriers and concerns surrounding AI in internal comms. He touched on issues such as traceability of sources, copyright challenges, and the distinctions between open and closed models. He highlighted the urgent need for organisations to establish clear principles and for communicators to engage in ongoing self-education to navigate the complexities of AI.
Melanie Wheeler added depth to the discussion by focusing on specific concerns related to authentic imagery. She addressed the challenge of maintaining trust when using AI-generated visuals and stressed the responsibility communicators must be transparent with employees about the tools being employed.
The conversation extended to ethical considerations surrounding AI use. All participants emphasised the critical need for transparency, accountability, and alignment of AI applications with organisational values. As the guests explored the ethical implications, they stressed the importance of ethical guidelines to navigate the blurred lines between AI and human influence.
Using AI in Communication Strategy:
Frank Dias shared his nuanced approach to integrating AI into his internal comms strategy. He stressed the importance of building trust with organisational leaders by highlighting AI as a tool that enhances, rather than replaces, human creativity. Frank provided practical examples of how he collaborated with AI to generate initial content, which he then refined to align with the unique nuances of the organisation.
Shalini Gupta offered additional insights, encouraging communicators to join cross-departmental AI task forces. She suggested that collaboration with other functions fosters shared learning and helps communicators incorporate AI discussions into broader organisational strategies. The guests collectively highlighted the importance of a strategic, collaborative, and ethical approach to integrating AI into communication strategies.
Upskilling and Learning:
All guests unanimously recommended upskilling in AI basics for communicators. Shalini Gupta stressed the comprehensiveness of the IOIC AI framework, providing a solid foundation for making informed decisions about AI applications. The guests collectively understood the importance of exploring free courses, learning from industry leaders, and building a foundational understanding of AI technology.
Frank Dias extended the conversation to the opportunity for communicators to connect with learning teams. He encouraged them to contribute to AI upskilling initiatives within their organisations, highlighting the potential for communicators to play a pivotal role in guiding businesses toward ethical and effective AI use.
Advice for Communicators:
The episode concluded with practical advice for communicators venturing into AI experimentation. The guests collectively suggested starting small and experimenting with AI applications, such as generating catchy headlines or summaries of reports.
They underlined the importance of playing with AI to become familiar with its capabilities and gradually expanding its use within organisational contexts.
The guests also highlighted the value of collaboration, recommending that communicators join hands with other functions in their organisations to foster shared learning and collaborative AI initiatives.
Melanie Wheeler underscored the importance of becoming more efficient in AI use and refining prompts to achieve desired communication outcomes. The overarching advice centred on curiosity, learning, and a strategic approach to harnessing the potential of AI in internal communications.
The episode concluded with an in-agreement note, capturing the essence of starting small, experimenting, and embracing the AI journey with strategic curiosity.
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