Hosted at Takeda’s office in Cambridge, MA and in partnership with Page, an invigorating dinner meeting convened the Heads of Communications from the Boston region. The key topic? Generative AI and its impending impact on the realm of communications.

AI: A Different Breed of Disruption

We’ve previously navigated the disruptive currents brought forth by the internet, smartphones and social media. Yet, AI's distinguishing factor is its astonishingly rapid adoption. While the technology races forward, there's a palpable concern that many in the communications sector, even whole organizations, might lag behind.

Generative AI Experimentation: The Three Pillars

At Takeda, we're keenly exploring ways to bridge this digital divide. In our efforts so far, we’ve set a framework with three main avenues:

  1. Monitoring and Measurement: Let’s face it, traditionally, communicators haven't excelled in measuring the impact of our work. With Generative AI, the metrics game is poised for an overhaul. Thanks to advancements in natural language processing (NLP), gone are the days of Boolean search constraints and mere keyword-centric insights. Instead, with NLP, we can dive deeper, parsing context, sentiment, and nuance. What's truly groundbreaking is the ability to measure reputation impact in real-time, with unparalleled accuracy. For organizations equipped with insights into factors influencing their reputation, this can be a game-changer. We can now promptly gauge and react to reputation shifts, ensuring our communication strategies are always agile and informed.
  2. Content Creation: Generative AI can be harnessed to emulate specific voices, whether of a brand or an executive. This raises a fundamental query— how do we ensure that the AI-generated content remains authentic? The line blurs when you contrast a personal message from a CEO to a Generative AI-augmented video or even a fully AI-rendered avatar of the CEO. The challenge is twofold:
    1. Identifying when and where Generative AI can be utilized without hampering the authenticity.
    2. Clarifying the rights and disclosures, especially in a world where machine-generated content raises copyright questions.
  3. Pondering Productivity: A pivotal promise of Generative AI is heightened productivity through automation. As we leverage AI to accelerate or even fully undertake time-consuming tasks, we're left with the pertinent question: If each person on a team of 40 saves one hour a day, on average, that is one week’s worth of time saved every single day. What do we do with this freed-up time? Better strategic planning to leverage the improved insights we will now have? Delving into back-burner projects? Talent development? Perhaps all of the above.

It's Not Just About Generative AI

While Generative AI holds the limelight, it's paramount not to lose sight of timeless imperatives that add critical value to our function:

  • Strategic Counsel: As mundane tasks get automated, our focus should be on providing incisive counsel, and leveraging data-driven strategies.
  • Building Relationships: In an AI-saturated world, human relationships—with media, key opinion leaders, and others—become even more pivotal.

Future-proofing through Upskilling

The key to seamlessly integrating Generative AI might rest in upskilling. As we hurtle towards a future interspersed with AI, could a blend of mentoring roles and fostering convergence between early and late adopters be the answer?

In conclusion, as the dawn of Generative AI in communications quickly approaches, let us transition from passive spectators to proactive navigators, shaping the narrative and the future. The conversation has just begun. Let's ensure it continues.