What do all the above have in common? Apart from the fact they're all firmly ingrained within popular culture they all feature a common enemy; artificial intelligence,
Is it any wonder that with rogue and benevolent AI featuring heavily within popular culture there are still a large amount of us that believe AI will still wipe out the human race?
In fact, a recent report by Hanover in November 2018 posed the question 'What is your biggest fear of AI?' and 15% responded that it will wipe out the human race. It should be noted that the sample size was 3,170 however, this still gives us a sense that fear of AI is certainly still a huge concern for a large proportion.
Most of the research carried out into public perception of AI finds that the most common fear is around jobs, which is understandable considering the large amount of propaganda around this. In fact the same section of research by Hanover found that 21% believed that AI will result in unemployment and a further 21% believed it would change the nature of their employment. Another fascinating statistic by this report is that 46% fear the long term implications of AI over the long-term impact of Brexit!
Another report, this time by PwC, suggested that it is likely that this fear of unemployment could be unfounded. They project that despite an average of 7 million jobs due to be lost, 7.2 million jobs could be created as a result. This potentially would balance out the losses and potentially even providing a small increase in jobs.
So what can we as PR and comms practitioners do about a very real fear? Do we have the same fears for our jobs? As the public relations industry has a large role regarding the thoughts and beliefs of the general public, do we have a responsibility to lead from the front with AI implementation in the workplace? It's a well known fact that public relations has been reluctant to adopt these emerging technologies as part of daily practice. Indeed, this is what has inspired my dissertation research into the perceptions of PR practitioners regarding AI!
I'm also delighted to be able to announce this will be the first of a series of blogs from myself regarding AI in PR. I'll also be looking at potential applications of AI, the ethical implications of integrating Ai into daily practice and following up with interviews on the subject! So watch this space!