The future’s bright. The future’s…artificial? 

The other night, my boyfriend and I sat down to watch a movie we’d found on Netflix titled Extinction. The blurb told us it was about an alien invasion, so I was ready for something along the lines of Alien/Skyline/Battle: Los Angeles. Imagine my surprise when…  

 **SPOILER ALERT** 

 … the mega twist turns out to be that the so-called ‘humans’ are in fact artificial intelligence humanoids and the ‘aliens’ are, in fact, humans trying to reclaim their planet following an AI rebellion 50 years earlier. The movie also touches on the human consciousness issue within AI, albeit not as much as other films such as A.I. and Ex Machina. This got me thinking – how long will it be until something like this could potentially happen?  

 Artificial Intelligence is everywhere; my household is one of only a few I know which doesn’t embrace the ‘smart’ lifestyle or deploy the latest Amazon/Google home hub – much to my boyfriend’s chagrin. This is because, working in and around cyber security, I have a pretty good idea of how much could go wrong. I mean, I won’t even have a connected car – I was driving an 18-year old Jimny up until only two weeks ago when the wheels literally fell off.  

 Given our agency’s focus on cyber security, we can’t go even a couple of hours without hearing, seeing or tweeting about the latest AI innovations and, whilst I understand the benefits of machine learning and automation in keeping organisations and individuals safe, I do have plenty of questions. Especially as it’s also a popular topic within the PR industry.   

 The market for PR tools is exploding and a recent report published by the CIPR found that 12% of a PR practitioner’s skills could be complemented or replaced by AI today, with a prediction that this could climb to 38% within five years. However, having given it some thought (mainly because this blog was written over two days), I’m pretty confident that we won’t see an extinction-level event, either on a global scale or within the PR industry. Whilst automation and machine learning are smart and efficient, there are still fundamental human traits such as empathy, humour and relationship-building that can’t be automated.  

 Which is good news for you reading this blog if you’re in need of some cyber security PR expertise. You can be safe in the knowledge that your thought-leadership and brand awareness is in the hands of real life, sometimes-clumsy, always humorous, ambitious and oh-so modest professionals here at éclat Marketing.  

Author

Why content should always be quality over quantity  

éclat Marketing speaks to freelance journalist, Jess Twentyman