The Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ artificial intelligence (AIinPR) panel has published a literature repository following an intensive 12-month review of nearly 200 global publications on AI and its impact on the professions. It includes academic and popular cultural sources. Prof Anne Gregory (University of Huddersfield) has led the project. The review of the literature repository has been written by Prof Gregory and Dr Swati Virmani (De Montfort University), highlighting the exclusive research on AI in the professions including the picture on AI in the PR industry. The report identifies and discusses key themes which are of specific relevance to the professions and which came out of an analysis of all the material.
The literature on AI as a whole is huge and burgeoning, but a focus on the professions has enabled us to look at how it will change the nature of work overall, and specifically how it will impact on those who offer a professional service either as specialist consultants or in-house practitioners in public, private and not for profit sectors. It does not claim to be exhaustive, but every topic that is currently under consideration about and arising from AI and the professions is covered here.
The report draws a number of conclusions, such as:
- Significant and lasting threat on professional skills because they are often based on closed systems of knowledge and routine and comprise many repetitive tasks which, until now, have been successfully claimed as exclusively the domain of a particular profession.
- Major impact on the professional workforce, especially women, ethnic minorities, those who have lesser qualifications and undertake routine work, and entrants to the professions, including public relations.
In particular, the review suggests a detailed and urgent conversation and action about what public relations needs to do as a profession to prepare itself for a world that is going through the 4th industrial revolution. The profession has some catching up to do, it is behind the curve on thinking on the impact of AI.
The report was launched at the Alan Turing Institute on the 16th January and is available here.