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5 things for PR pros to know about AI in media intelligence

17 September 2021 by

It wasn’t that long ago when the use of artificial intelligence (AI) was considered novel, but we’re in a time where it is being applied to almost all the technology we use daily, at work and at home. Whether it’s an AI-powered chatbot on your favourite brand’s website, or your iPhone learning and remembering what time you like to see the weather in the morning, we’re surrounded by Artificial Intelligence.

But when it comes to PR and Communications tech, what does it all mean? What is AI? How is AI used in media intelligence? What are the benefits and pitfalls to look out for and question?

Here’s 5 things you need to know as a communications professional, plus some handy resources to help you on your way…

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

IBM defines AI as “Artificial intelligence leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.” Put shortly, it’s about smart machines performing tasks that would usually require human intelligence.

What is the difference between AI and machine learning?

Machine Learning (ML) is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Where ML is about learning from data to predict results from new data, the aim of AI is to replicate human intelligence to make a decision from what has been learnt from that data, or solve a broader problem.

How is AI used in media intelligence?

The main application of AI in media intelligence is to structure and classify large sets of data using a method called entity extraction.

Entity extraction picks out ‘entities’ in unstructured text, such as news articles, and classifies them into pre-defined categories such as people, places, dates and events.

What are the benefits and pitfalls of AI in media monitoring and measurement?

The benefit of applying AI to media intelligence is the way you can structure data, and improve sentiment for example. However the pitfall is relying on AI for high quality analysis. At last month’s PRCA National Conference AI Panel, CARMA’s Richard Bagnall explains “AI tools can do the heavy lifting, but they can’t do the thinking for you. They can’t give you the relevance, the context, or the critical thinking that you need to do.” Right now, technology alone doesn’t have the empathy, context and socio-political understanding needed to derive true insights, and that’s why we believe in layering these technologies with human intelligence – experience and expertise.

Does AI work in different languages?

A big challenge with using AI in global media monitoring is most development has been done in English or European languages. There is an ongoing challenge to solve the complexities of machine learning and entity extraction in Chinese and Arabic for example and that is one of the reasons many global organisations need to work with a partner with native speakers, and experts on the ground.

 

When it comes to your PR tech stack, including your media monitoring and measurement partner, it’s important to get it right. We’ll bring you more hints, tips and advice on TMS Blog each week, so subscribe if you don’t want to miss our insights. In the meantime, here are some AI resources for PR pros.

 

Useful resources for AI in PR & Comms:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/machine-learning-ai-explained

The CIPR’s AIinPR panel has produced useful guides to tools and the ethics of using AI: https://www.cipr.co.uk/ai

Free online courses on AI basics:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/ai-for-everyone/home/welcome

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/artificial-intelligence

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