One of my side interests is Artificial Intelligence and how supercomputers will impact all of our lives in the – not so far away – future.
So I was immediately triggered by a new book called “The Automation of Public Relations” by David Phillips.
In his self published book David talks about the automation of our profession… Not the automation of smaller tasks like we see in PR Hacking but the complete replacement of tasks, skills and PR people by super computers.
Throughout this episode of Wag The Dog FM David and I talk about the impact of AI on our jobs and we cover some early day – but already very impressive – examples of automation taking place in the media and in stakeholder relations.
About my guest:
A career that included political organisation in the mid sixties through to the 1970’s, a spell as PR manager and then corporate affairs director for a leading engineering company.
He then set up his own PR consultancy and launched the deeply computerised Media Measurement evaluation company and the beginning of an academic interest lecturing at Leeds Beckett University
He is author of a number of books including Evaluating Press Coverage (Kogan Page), Managing Reputation Online (Hawkesmere) , Online PR ( second edition with Philip Young) (Kogan Page) and his latest book is The Automation of Public Relations (Blurb).
Links for this podcast:
“Public relations has been pulled into the modern world (complaining about the extra work of social) but not much has really changed. It’s still very much a hand-crafted, artisanal business, its use of technology is a Twitter hashtag and a dashboard of likes and shares.
But without a significant tech component PR is at a big disadvantage because it can’t scale, it can’t grow without growing more people. Which is also why valuations of PR firms are low compared to their revenues.
And it makes PR firms vulnerable to competitors outside their field that can figure out and automate technologies of promotion.” – Tom Forenski.
Minutes after Apple released its record-breaking quarterly earnings this week, the Associated Press published (by way of CNBC, Yahoo, and others) “Apple tops Street 1Q forecasts.”
It’s a story without a byline, or rather, without a human byline — a financial story written and published by an automated system well-versed in the AP Style Guide.
The AP implemented the system six months ago and now publishes 3,000 such stories every quarter — and that number is poised to grow.
‘These are systems that learn automatically. They’re not pre-programmed, they’re not handcrafted features. We try to provide a large-a-set of raw information to our algorithms as possible so that the systems themselves can learn the very best representations to use those for action or classification or predictions.’
IBM today announced that Watson will gain the ability to “see” by bringing together Watson’s advanced image analytics and cognitive capabilities with data and images obtained from Merge Healthcare Incorporated’s medical imaging management platform.