Can Influence and Business Communication Be Re-Imagined with Technology?

Even as technology grows, human communication in business still remains a necessity. Human interaction between employees and customers hasn’t changed much, other than the technology used to facilitate easier communication. The technology used to communicate continues to change, but the conversations remain the same. Consistent patterns in most human activities can be mimicked and recreated using artificial intelligence, so it stands to reason that communication and the ways humans present information can also be enhanced and re-imagined using technology.

Traditional Business Communication is Considered an Art

Effective communication is often considered an art, mainly because the right brain controls thinking, emotions, and spatial orientation. This isn’t to say that the left side has no part in communication. The left side of the brain controls the ability to speak and translate speech from other people into thoughts and ideas. In other words, the right side controls the ideas and imagination in communication and the left side controls the technical capabilities to carry out the right side’s thoughts.

Good communicators are often thought of as artists of sorts. They have the ingenuity and thoughtfulness to empathize with the listener. This empathy can translate into the ability to persuade an audience, which can then turn into better sales and higher profits. Some of the most powerful CEOs are great at communicating their ideas to the public, proving that soft skills are just as important as technical skills for successful business leaders.

Artificial intelligence already effectively generates output in some creative industries—for example, in Forbes magazine, AI was used to write a financial earnings report a few years back. Financial reports are more formulaic than, for example, creative writing, but artificial intelligence can emulate human writing patterns provided there is enough data to feed into algorithms. The data used to teach these algorithms depends on humans, so the output and training are controllable factors.

Can Empathy and Business Context Be Codified?

For businesses that don’t feel their communication is effective, they outsource to agencies and consultants who can improve the business’ public relations. These third-party resources can help CEOs and other executives communicate better should they have difficulties presenting ideas. They can also consult with management and any public-facing employees to help them improve their presentations.

Using agencies has its advantages, but the art of communication remains the same. They bring the artistic approach of communication and bridge the gap between the business ideas and the general public. The effectiveness of a consultant’s communication will determine results in terms of sales, brand recognition, and revenue. Should the business lack empathy with their customers, the agency can take an objective view of current communication and improve on it using their own strategies, but these strategies still fall into the same communication patterns traditionally used to present ideas to customers. 

Even as artificial intelligence evolves and continues to mimic human characteristics, the market for technology that can generate effective communication and presentations is new and has very few competitors. The businesses that provide art-based technology must be able to understand communication and the art of persuasion and empathy and turn it into code.

For artificial intelligence developers, the goal is to harness the same human communication patterns and codify them into algorithms that can turn elements of empathy and persuasion into assets. It might seem like creativity and artistic talent cannot be turned into computer algorithms, but the technology has evolved to a point where the common elements in human communication can be emulated. The algorithms in artificial intelligence can “learn” how to speak to an audience, most importantly your customers.

With Artificial Intelligence Benefits Comes Perils and Pitfalls

As with any technology, AI must be closely managed, and it has come under fire when algorithms get it wrong. Algorithms have no ethics or the human capacity to identify immoral behavior. They rely on human coders and data scientists to provide the right data so that output is not only accurate but avoids the perils and pitfalls of emotionless communication.

Bias is another major issue in artificial intelligence engineering. The data gathered and fed to algorithms comes from humans, and any bias from data scientists can create bias in artificial intelligence output. It’s important for engineers to review their data to ensure that no bias is introduced, which can lead to brand damage and litigation.

Finally, another pitfall comes in the form of unethical manipulation. Because artificial intelligence does not have the ability to understand ethics, the communication output can be manipulated and the creation of an unwanted persuasion direction that could disengage customers. It’s critical that businesses test their output to ensure it is ethical and contains the information that helps the business convey ideas.

Rajat Mishra | prezent.ai
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Rajat Mishra is the President of award-winning presentation design firm, PREZENTIUM and CEO at prezent.ai, the AI-powered presentation productivity platform for enterprise teams.