Shaping the Public Perception of Artificial Intelligence

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While some may find this surprising, artificial intelligence tools and technologies actually date back to the 1950s. Only recently has AI infiltrated our everyday experiences, with applications in agriculture, gaming, automobiles, marketing, travel, finance and more. In fact, 73% of U.S. companies harness the power of AI in their business.

Despite the technology’s recent proliferation, the general public’s knowledge and perception of AI vary incredibly. Some people have a decent understanding of what the technology is and does, but many do not. Some are optimistic about AI’s future and impact on society, while others fear its ability to replace human jobs.

Given the rapid advancement and fear, uncertainty and doubt associated with AI, effective communication strategies can help shape perceptions among the general public and empower AI-focused organizations to distribute accurate, timely, and engaging information that moves their businesses forward.

Building Trust and Transparency

From both an ethical and legal perspective, a transparent approach to AI benefits companies that embrace it — and detrimental to those that avoid it. Though AI has a wealth of positive use cases, 52% of Americans are more concerned than excited about AI in daily life. Stories surrounding privacy violations, deepfakes, password guessers and discriminatory practices can further negatively impact overall perception and cloud the benefits AI brings to society.

PR can demystify the technology and address several stereotypes by promoting ethical guidelines and standards in AI development, highlighting how AI positively impacts various industries — such as health care, education and environmental conservation — and emphasizing examples where the technology works in collaboration with humans, rather than replacing them.

Educating the Masses

Terms like “generative AI,” “deep learning” and “machine learning” may not be easily understood by the average consumer. For AI-related businesses looking to build awareness, generate acceptance, improve perception and increase adoption, effective communications can help make complex AI topics more accessible, digestible and engaging.

AI companies can use various communication tactics to build a comprehensive and educational narrative surrounding AI technologies and where their solution fits in that ecosystem:

  • Case studies highlighting real-world examples of its practical benefits.
  • Public speaking events providing experts with an open forum to educate audiences, assuaging common fears and combatting harmful misconceptions.
  • Infographics and videos explaining intricate AI concepts in simple terms, making the information easier to grasp.
  • Influencers that reach specific audiences and boost the credibility of AI solutions.

Combining these strategies also helps improve user experience. When users understand how AI systems work, they can better and more effectively interact with them and realize the benefits. All in all, people who understand how AI works are more likely to trust and accept it.

Engaging with the Media

The media is a valuable tool for shaping public perception, attracting investors’ attention and influencing public policy. AI organizations that effectively connect with media members create opportunities to openly share their processes, ethical considerations and safety measures.

Targeted pitches to reporters and well-timed company announcements can help AI companies reach a broader audience. Securing interviews with reputable newspaper, TV and radio journalists helps translate technical jargon into simple, relatable language, thus enabling consumers to more easily grasp how AI works and its potential impact. Well-informed media coverage can also help policymakers understand the nuances of AI technology, leading to more effective and informed regulations.

Navigating Crisis Communication

As the application of AI in modern society increases, the potential for crises — such as ethical dilemmas, data breaches and technical failures — also increases. Crisis communication is a critical aspect of managing AI technologies responsibly and maintaining transparency before, during and after potential crises. However, only half of U.S. companies have a formal crisis communications plan.

In tandem with experienced PR experts, AI companies can prepare for crises before they arise by defining clear protocols for identifying and managing them. A comprehensive crisis communication plan may include preapproved statements to media, consumers, stakeholders and employees, follow-up reports detailing the outcomes of investigations and planned discussions with technical experts, senior executives and legal advisors.

Transformative Technology Requires Informative Communication

Strategic PR and effective communications bridge the gap between technological advancements and public understanding. As AI use cases evolve exponentially, the need for adaptable, results-driven communications only grows alongside them.

Are you in need of an algorithm that helps impactfully tell your story? We’ve actually built one.

Learn more about The Comprise Way® to shaping narratives and discussing complex technologies today.

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