We are seeing more companies use AI and robots to replace people in the workplace. There are coffee shops that use robots to make and serve coffee, like Cafe X in San Francisco. There are also restaurants relying on robots to cook, rather than having employees, including CaliBurger in Pasadena, California. Slowly but surely, in the near future, we will see many more restaurants of this nature. Afterall, even self-driving cars will soon be tested more and more. We see robots and AI slowly taking jobs away from people, but one thing is for sure. AI cannot replace PR and Communications professionals, and here’s why:

Think About Siri…

Siri can be great. If you ask the right question it’s programmed to answer. Have you ever asked Siri a question and not received the answer you were looking for? Did Siri just pull up a wikipedia page for you to click on? That’s because it can’t answer something that isn’t within the code she is programmed for. Something you would imagine Siri being programmed to answer are questions about the Iphone you have. Ask Siri if your phone is waterproof. It won’t have the answer. As PR and Communications professionals, we have answers that Siri doesn’t have.

AI Is Programmed

The world around us is constantly changing. Think back to a week, month and year ago. Things are different now with the new political and environmental/health climate. Change is a natural process in life; However, AI cannot adapt like humans can. Was there a huge disaster you wanted to find data on, while simultaneously searching for data on unemployment? AI won’t focus on which one you find more important or which one is more prevalent within the area you are in at that moment. Rather, it will build data in the order you put it in the computer. This is because it doesn’t know the difference between what’s urgent and what is not. It also likely won’t find the data at the same time. You can’t build a strategy on programming because the world is constantly changing and you need to pivot with it – as we’re all learning from COVID and the Black Lives Matter protests circling the globe. 

AI Doesn’t Know Who To Reach

So much of PR and communications jobs are building relationships with reporters and other journalists. For this to be successful, you have to know what each individual reporter and journalist’s niche is and when the right time is to reach out. In this article, Forbes discusses the importance of being able to turnover stories quickly and efficiently, while also adding a creative spin to it. While AI and robots may be able to pick up keywords in an interview or story, it cannot dive deeper into the meaning and how to respond based solely on this. 

AI lacks emotion

AI stands for artificial intelligence, not emotional intelligence. Part of PR and Communications jobs is that human to human connection. How do you build that connection looking at a screen? You can’t. According to PR Weekly, “The fact is that data is emotionally driven. Buzzy phrases like “data-driven decisions” only reinforce the misapprehension, if not the false ideology, that the best way to make decisions is rationally and devoid of emotion.”

What does this mean? It means that the data, which AI can produce, isn’t the full answer, because it is data and numbers driven. However, true data has an emotional side to it. Making decisions means being able to think rationally and logically, which AI simply cannot do. Therefore, in PR humans are an absolute necessity. Now that doesn’t mean AI can’t help improve what we do and can’t be used simultaneously. It means that we, as humans, are designed to be more agile than computers but we should still work on updating “our own systems” with constant learning and professional development so we don’t outdate ourselves the way computers and AI do.