Gini Dietrich

The Fireside Chat: Artificial Intelligence with Christopher Penn

By: Gini Dietrich | February 24, 2017 | 
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Fireside ChatRegular Spin Sucks readers have gathered by now that I’m a bit obsessed with the potential artificial intelligence has for the future of the PR profession.

That’s why I am so excited to have Christopher Penn join us for our second Fireside Chat.

He gives us a crash course in artificial intelligence and how it will change PR in the next three to five years.

I should also note that I have spent the past several years trying to get him to smile.

Challenge. Accepted.

Fireside Chat: Artificial Intelligence with Christopher Penn

Here’s the outline we started with for our conversation:

  1. When many people think of artificial intelligence, they think of the Terminator. So let’s start off by having you define artificial intelligence and machine learning in the context of their current business applications.
  2. Are robots going to take our jobs?
  3. Where does AI and machine learning have the biggest opportunity for PR professionals?
  4. At INBOUND, you and I were talking about IBM Watson, which I know is an area of particular interest for you. Can you share what you told me?
  5. How does a small business explore using AI without a big budget? What kind of team do you need in place?

My favorite parts of the conversation were:

  1. His use of the idea of “digital LEGOS” in his very approachable explanation of machine learning.
  2. What PR pros need to do in the next five years to stay employable.
  3. How his team is using Watson to analyze media coverage and gain insight into how people feel about the brand, and journalist preferences, going well beyond the traditional sentiment analysis.

Your heads are going to explode, both with the opportunities and the challenges.

Enjoy the conversation…and let us know what you think!

(If you can’t view the video below, click here and you’ll be magically transported to YouTube to watch it.)

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • Love, love, love this!

    Such a great, mind blowing interview.

    Chris, I can’t wait for your book to come out! Thank you for such great insights in the world of AI.

  • Such fascinating content! Truly mind blowing. Thank you Chris and Gini for this, added Chris’s blog and the other two he suggested (googled them ;)) to my Feedly!

    Would love to extend on the topic of using A.I. to analyze sentiment on social media. Would it work for traditional media as well?

    • I think it would, Juliano. I JUST started my test with Watson so I’m not entirely sure HOW it will work, but I imagine it’s fairly similar. I’ll report back.

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