There has been a lot of talk about AI around these parts lately. You can’t get through an article without me talking about it. We even have guest authors talking about it. You can’t escape it!

That is for two reasons: 1) Many readers still are overwhelmed and/or scared by it; and 2) Things change so quickly that there is plenty to discuss. 

There is no reason to be overwhelmed or scared. Is it changing how we do our jobs? Absolutely! Will it cause us to lose our jobs and face an uncertain future of unemployment? Absolutely not! 

Well, I guess the answer to that one is…it depends. If you continue to deny its abilities and how effective it’s getting, then maybe you will face an uncertain future of unemployment. So let’s prevent that from happening! 

There are many reasons to use AI right now, which we’ll discuss, and we’ll also go through how you can use it and what I think the future holds. 

Ask Yourself These Questions

I’d like you to ask yourself some questions. And be honest about your answers. Don’t respond (in your head or out loud, if you want) with “I don’t know,” “Maybe,” or “It depends.” We can all assume those answers work for any of these questions.

I’d rather you respond to each with a meaningful answer.

Ready?

  • Should we use AI to write the first draft of our content? 
  • Can AI edit social media videos and posts? What would make it even better?
  • Should we use AI to pitch journalists and influencers?
  • Can AI perform A/B testing and recommend headline and copy revisions?
  • Is it easier to have AI review monthly reports and provide an ROI report?
  • Should we use AI to do the administrative tasks we dislike, such as media research, list development, sentiment analysis, and even editorial calendar development? 
  • Is there anything in marketing or communications that a robot won’t eventually be able to do?

The general reaction I get when I ask these questions is denial. Most grasp where AI struggles versus noting where it has reached or passed the human level. For instance, “Well, it can’t write a blog post yet, so I’m still needed.”

And that’s true if you don’t know how to prompt it accurately or provide the data it needs to craft something intelligent. 

But if you do know how to do those things? Look out, Nelly! The opportunities are vast. 

What AI Can (and Can’t) Do

Let’s say you’re a technical writer, and your skill is to take something complex and, for lack of a better term, dumb it down for the audience. In that case, you are right: AI will replace you. It can take something complex and make it easier to comprehend in seconds. But you know what it can’t do? It can’t add the experience and expertise important in content creation today.

In this case, you can use AI to help you dumb down the content as a shitty first draft and then get to work adding what only you can do.

If you’re a blogger or podcaster and your insights are valuable to your audience, AI can help you research and draft an outline, but it’s not going to provide the personality that only you can do.

For instance, one of our writers was on vacation last week, so I did some of her work. There was an article due for a client about the slow work movement. She left me a couple of links to stories about it, but I needed more if I was going to write 2,000 words or more. So I went to my trusty AI and asked it to tell me all about it. Then I asked it to write an outline for me. And then I got to work.

All of that research would have typically taken me an hour or two in the past. With AI, it took about three minutes, including me prompting it for more information. 

It didn’t write the article for me, but it saved me about three hours, all in. Those three hours were divided among other things I needed to do and account for the constant interruptions because summer camps hadn’t begun yet. 

“Mom, mom, mom. Look at this. Mom, I’m bored. Mom, can I have my hour of screen time yet? Mom, do you want to see the dances I made up to every song Olivia Rodrigo has ever recorded? Mom, why is it Mother Nature instead of Father Nature? Mom, do you want to hear my British accent? Mom, does Duolingo count as screentime? Mom, what should we do now? Mom! The puppy needs you! Mom, can we hard boil some eggs, peel them, and soak them in vinegar to make them squishy?”

I needed those extra three hours!

Can AI Do That?

I asked you several questions to get your brain juices flowing with creativity and curiosity. Now ask yourself if you’ve done anything during your career, whether it’s been two months or thirty years, that a computer can’t do now or in the next few years.

Those things might include meeting notes, meeting agendas, data analysis, media list development, proposal creation, writing, editing, research, strategic development, social media creation and scheduling, editorial calendar creation, goal setting, results reporting, and more. 

What else is on your list?

Now ask yourself what you would love for AI or software to do—laundry and dishes, notwithstanding. These are the things you have to do that you don’t necessarily love to do or things that you love to do but could get more efficient at doing.

For me, that might include in-person networking, book writing, book editing and revisions, landing page copy, sales funnels, and even speaking (I really want to be a hologram projected on a stage so I don’t have to leave my desk). 

Some of those things are close to being here. You can use some software for book writing, but it’s pretty terrible right now. It’ll just get better and better, though. 

But It Can’t Do This

Now, ask yourself which things are difficult for software or AI to duplicate. Again, housework notwithstanding, it probably involves interpersonal skills—communication, collaboration, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence. Though I’d argue that a couple of those things—problem-solving and conflict resolution—can probably be addressed with AI.

Now, I want you to consider the jobs where AI is being used in interesting ways, such as early detection of diseases, car driving, fraud detection, social companions, personalized shopping, legal cases, and more. 

To boot, there isn’t a senior executive on earth who doesn’t consider replacing human beings at scale and improving profitability. Most of our clients have asked us how we are using AI to improve efficiencies and budget spend—and we’ve gotten in front of why that means we can do more for them rather than reduce their budget. 

End of the Knowledge Worker?

Peter Drucker popularized the term “knowledge worker,” which refers to someone who “thinks for a living to drive innovation, solve problems, and manage personnel.”

But what happens when robots or software can do all that for us?

It’s not a rosy scenario, and understandably, you are scared. We talked last week about how to become the conductor of your AI orchestra, and that still stands. Your job is going to evolve. It’s going to change pretty drastically.

Five years from now, you’ll laugh at the fact that we had this conversation. But because we did, you’ll be ready for it all—and be ready to evolve as the technology gets better and better.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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