AI for communicators: What’s new and what’s next

Many AI products are seeing delays — and companies are disappointed in current capabilities.

AI news for communicators

Lots of AI news today — and not all of it positive steps forward for the industry. We’ve got plenty of missteps, delays, question marks and roadblocks cropping up this week. But organizations and industries are keeping plenty busy with the rise of generative content: Read on to learn about the first AI-generated commercial, big changes in the Chinese market and the rise of consultants.

Let’s get into it.


This week, the promises that AI will revolutionize our lives and make everything more convenient are smacking directly into the reality of what the technology is actually capable of doing today.

OpenAI widely touted next-gen voice features that sound and react more like a real person. But a planned launch has been delayed over a need for additional “safety testing.” The tech company did not specify what is currently unsafe about the technology. One also has to wonder if the delay is related to a lawsuit from Scarlett Johansson, who is accusing the company of copying her voice.

Indeed, the Washington Post pointed to a litany of delayed launches and broken promises on AI technology, ranging from Amazon still not delivering on its AI-powered Alexa revamp nine months later to Microsoft pumping the brakes on AI integrations into the Windows operating system to Google backpedaling on some of its AI-driven search results.



The column cautions that, “it’s important to recognize that your imagination may outpace the capabilities of AI.”

Companies who have tried to use AI as a virtual assistant are also finding that it’s more work than they anticipated, the Wall Street Journal reports. Organizations like Cargill and Eli Lilly are finding that the technology is failing even when answering straightforward questions on expense policies and who’s on executive teams. Experts say companies are currently underestimating just how detailed they need to be in pointing AI toward the right resources. That, of course, raises the question of whether it isn’t easier to just find the darn documents yourself rather than learning complex prompt engineering tactics.

But even if these tools aren’t perfect yet, they’re still coming. And they will change how we all work, even If behind the scenes. LLMs have a voracious appetite for data, and companies are beginning to run out of publicly available data. This is especially true as content producers and social media sites tighten their belts and cut off scrapers from their data buffets.

Reddit is the latest to do so, updating its sci-fi-sounding “Robot Exclusion Protocol” in an attempt to stop unauthorized bots from scooping up its content. Reddit is forging agreements with some LLM models, getting paid for access to the tons of content its users generate every day. But some unscrupulous bots might find ways to circumvent the robot instructions and gobble up the content anyway — potentially causing legal trouble for their creators down the road.

Google is incorporating more optional AI tools for users across Gmail, Sheets, Docs and more. New “side panels” will offer writing suggestions and summarize information. Web browser Mozilla is also going the sidebar route, allowing users to choose from several chatbots that can summarize the information on sites they visit.

But some tech is going far beyond simple productivity tools. Toys ‘R’ Us, the resurrected toy brand, has created a commercial entirely with OpenAI’s Sora video tool. The results waver between impressively photorealistic video to the depths of the uncanny valley.

“Everything you see was created with text but some shots came together quicker than others; some took more iterations,” Native Foreign chief creative officer Nik Kleverov, which developed the ad with Toys ‘R’ Us, told CNN. “The blocking, the way the character looks, what they’re wearing, the emotion, the background — it has to be a perfect dance. Sometimes you would create something that was almost right and other times not so right.”

Is it a great commercial? No. But is it a novel use that got some media attention? Yes. And there are certainly more to come.

Regulation and risk

Nations around the world are still grappling with how to deal with the onslaught of AI. The European Union has taken one of the most active regulatory stances. This comes with more protection for consumers, but it also comes with a cost, says Dutch Prince Constantijn, who is also a special envoy for Dutch startup accelerator Techleap.

“Our ambition seems to be limited to being good regulators,” the prince told CNBC.

That regulation, he argues, could make it difficult for Europe to compete with the more laxly regulated U.S. and China.

But China is facing its own difficulties as OpenAI moves to restrict its API from developers in that country. While ChatGPT itself is not available in mainland China due to internet restrictions, developers integrate the LLM into their own products. That’s leading to a scramble for homegrown AI models to acquire that market share, including Baidu and Alibaba.

And of course, there are new copyright lawsuits cropping up around the use of AI tools. This week, it’s the world’s biggest music companies, including Sony, Universal and Warner, which accuse AI companies Suno and Udio of using their music to create derivative works via AI.

Udio claims that its product was “explicitly designed to create music reflecting new musical ideas.”

It will take years to see how the copyright wars shake out — and what content will remain available for these models.

AI at work

And finally, despite all its trials and questions, AI is changing the workplace today. One early winner? Consultants. Boston Consulting Group told the New York Times that one-fifth of all its work is now related to AI — up from zero just two years ago.

The exact work these consultants are tasked with ranges widely, from regulatory compliance to creating guardrails around AI to creating customer service programs. Because consultancies are learning the technology too, some are undergoing the work as “joint experiments,” sometimes offering work for free to build case studies and expertise.

In other words, you might be able to score a bargain just now.

Last but not least, yet another Hollywood union has inked a deal that governs how AI will be used in the industry. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which includes behind-the-scenes workers like lighting technicians and set builders, “language that ensures no employee is required to provide Al prompts in any manner that would result in the displacement of any covered employee,” Reuters reported.

What trends and news are you tracking in the AI space? What would you like to see covered in our biweekly AI roundups, which are 100% written by humans? Let us know in the comments!

Allison Carter is editor-in-chief of PR Daily. Follow her on or LinkedIn.

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