PR can expect 'dangerous crap' around AI in 2020

The PR industry can expect some "pretty dangerous crap" regarding artificial intelligence (AI) this year, one agency CEO has warned.

Will AI have a significant effect on PR in 2020? (©GettyImages)
Will AI have a significant effect on PR in 2020? (©GettyImages)

Ian Hood of Babel told a panel at a PRCA seminar on Thursday: "There is a company that recently launched an AI-driven platform that talks about having a database of 750,000 journalists.

"This is how they promote themselves: 'Get press coverage automatically by emailing journalists when they mention key words in articles and tweets.'

"I can't imagine anything that's going to put off a journalist more."

According to Hood, this company says it has the ability to "build trigger-based email campaigns to fit and build relationships while you sleep".

"That's the sort of dangerous nonsense that we're gong to see quite a lot of in 2020, and, quite frankly, I would run naked down Oxford Street if there's any AI involved in that - I'm battling to see any human intelligence."

Hood continued: "There is an awful lot of nonsense talked about AI at the moment and mostly what we're seeing is 'scrape, organise and present'. There's nothing wrong with that but some intelligence has to be applied to this somehow.

"AI will have an impact on this industry; it will have a significant impact. It's not there yet and it certainly won't happen in 2020.

"2020, as far as AI concerned, it going to be the year of some pretty dangerous crap."

The seminar, called 2020: The Year Of..., was hosted at Golin's London office.

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