Omnicom Public Relations Group launches AI 'risk' consultancy

Omnicom's PR division has launched a consultancy focused on mitigating the risks to brand reputation from artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

Andrew Koneschusky: 'There are serious consequences for those who blindly chase the benefits of AI'
Andrew Koneschusky: 'There are serious consequences for those who blindly chase the benefits of AI'

Omnicom Public Relations Group (OPRG) said the new AI Impact Group will be able to "apply robust research and advanced analytics to create proprietary reputation-focused risk assessments for any company deploying AI".

It will be staffed by a cross-agency team, including employees of FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, as well as CLS Strategies, Maslansky + Partners and VOX Global. It will be led by Andrew Koneschusky, partner at CLS Strategies.

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OPRG cited figures from the International Data Corporation that said worldwide spending on AI is set to more than quadruple between 2017 and 2021 to $57.6bn.

Koneschusky said: "We are in the midst of the biggest technological change in recent history. Companies that plan for AI and communicate effectively around it will be well positioned to take advantage of the many benefits the technology brings, including cost savings, improved customer service, rich data insights and other efficiencies.

"On the other hand, there are serious consequences for those who blindly chase the benefits of AI without understanding the risks. We are already seeing examples of backlash against AI, and the technology is still in its infancy."

To coincide with the launch of the AI Impact Group, the new consultancy released findings of research that suggests the retail industry is the least prepared for the impact of AI.

The AI Risk Index gave a score out of 100 for preparedness. In retail, the company least prepared for the risk scored 27.9, and the most prepared scored 52.6. It trailed manufacturing (least prepared: 33.3, most prepared 62) and transportation (least prepared: 37.7, most prepared 68.8).

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