It's only artificial if you ignore the intelligence

When it comes to AI, be strategic and avoid shiny object syndrome at all costs.

I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days in Austin for the Sirius Decisions Summit, which brings together B2B-focused marketers from a wide range of businesses.

Though much of the content was not PR related, the discussions around technology and brand strategy were 100% germane to professional communicators.

What stood out the most was how frequently artificial intelligence came up. It was present in discussions about marketing automation, content generation, measurement, and even strategy. From chatbots that help buyers to tools that track the quality of content, AI-related topics were everywhere.

The more I thought about how AI and related technologies were already being deployed effectively, the more I realized the comms space is ripe for strategic overhaul. It’s not about getting rid of human talent, it just means our work is going to change, likely for the better.

That’s where the whole adaptability thing comes in. Just as ad firms incorporated broader comms and PR functions and PR firms built out social media skills, we must now start transitioning what our outputs will look and feel like two, three, even five years down the road.

We should be training our teams on AI tech and figuring out how to augment our teams. We shouldn’t look at AI as a shiny object, but we should talk with our clients or teams about how they’re thinking it should be best implemented.

At a bare minimum, we all need to get up to speed on how AI can help us with bandwidth and utilization, to help with reporting tasks like quarterly business reviews and other chores.

The question is, how do we do this without throwing customer trust out the window. Simple. Business transformations using AI, like anything else, deserve fine tuning, testing, and most importantly, balance.

What’s important is that we stay aware of what’s ahead of us so we’re not run over by future technological changes.

Let’s be strategic and figure out how to properly roll out solutions that solve, not cause problems (like those that address biases in our writing) and work to ensure we avoid Shiny Object Syndrome at all costs.

Tom Biro resides in Seattle and is VP of client success for Yesler. His column focuses on how digital media affects and shifts PR. He can be reached on Twitter @tombiro or via email at

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