by Diane Streleckis -
The explosion of coverage about ChatGPT crystalizes that AI is not just the future of communication, but its present. But how can communicators develop a clear-eyed, productive relationship with the technology? Communication industry leader Shel Holtz shared some ideas in advance of his virtual IABC Philadelphia session How to Make AI Your Friend and Improve Communications on Tuesday, April 25 at noon.
ChatGPT brings more to the relationship than just writing
“The fact that ChatGPT can write stuff is the least interesting thing about it,” said Holtz.
Pulling key points and trends out of dense materials
One thing the bot can do well is help teams synthesize meeting notes to spot trends and key points.
Holtz laid out the following scenario:
An executive conducts a strategy exercise, including a SWOT analysis, with a group. There are more than 100 bullet points between all the categories, plus an additional section for vision.
The executive goes to a communication professional, asking for the person to categorize all the elements under each of the major headings, eliminate redundancies, and generally make it a useful document. This type of detailed work could take around 12 hours to complete.
The professional puts the rough notes into ChatGPT and within two minutes has five buckets of bullet points, each made up of no more than five bullets.
Get many more tips from Shel Holtz on how to make AI your communication friend at IABC Philadelphia’s virtual event on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 12 noon-1 pm ET.
Holtz suggested asking ChatGPT, “What might someone who disagrees with me say (on a point you tell it)?” The bot will give you a document full of potential objections.
“You can use that to prep your executives who are about to speak on a topic,” he said. You’ll also be able to bake counters to objections into your materials.
But it can write—and save communicators time and creative energy
ChatGPT can get writers rolling on a first draft. “I use it to get kick started,” said Holtz. He recently used the bot to start a white paper draft on a general contractor’s role in planning for the appropriate signs needed for people to find their way around a building site during construction, as well as after construction is complete, known as wayfinding.
Another use for the bot is writing headlines and subheads. “I don’t need to apply my human creativity to put subheads every three paragraphs,” Holtz said.
It’s also handy for generating short summaries, especially for long content. As Holtz noted, people don’t always have time to sit and read long-form content. “I can just paste the whole article in and tell it to summarize the key elements in four bullet points,” he said.
Check out AI image tools, too
ChatGPT might be hogging all the headlines these days. But as Holtz pointed out, there are multiple generative imaging tools, notably three that have attracted attention: Dall-E2 (also from ChatGPT creator OpenAI), Mid-Journey, and Stable Diffusion.
These programs can help communication professionals create images that enhance their materials or illustrate key points. Holtz sometimes tries his prompt in all three tools to get an image that fits his concept.
What you bring to the relationship: The human touch
The process isn’t human-labor free—but it uses the human’s time on more valuable tasks. “You have to scrub it first. And you can’t give it any proprietary information,” said Holtz.
“Then you have to read through it. You have to make sure it doesn’t miss anything or invent something,” Holtz said. (ChatGPT is known to make inaccurate statements if it doesn’t have the correct information in its databank.)
ChatGPT and you: The beginnings of a beautiful friendship
“I use the tools that are available to me to produce the highest-quality outputs,” Holtz said. “You have to get out in front of using it.”