By Therese Umerlik | July 10, 2023
Media company CNET laid off reporters, making room for generative AI to write around 75 stories. This cost-saving measure resulted in more than 40 corrections being made to those articles for plagiarism and content, among other issues.
The National Eating Disorder Association replaced its unionized human staff with chatbots on its eating disorder hotline. This conversational AI, Tessa, was unplugged because of the problematic dieting advice it was sharing.
These are just two examples of how generative AI can regurgitate existing online content without having to consider any consequences.
This precarious situation, however, may have a silver lining for associations in two ways.
First, your association has among its membership and sphere of influence subject matter experts, those pioneers of the industry for which your association advocates. They elevate and advance the industry with their own unique professional knowledge and experience, something generative AI cannot do.
Second, the dedicated staff supporting your association could benefit from generative AI’s content gathering and marketing ideas to streamline processes and create efficiencies.
With your association’s subject matter expert at the helm, generative AI can help in conceiving ideas for articles. A strategic query should start with a strong premise based on an understanding of an aspect of your industry. A request for a list of ideas limited to a certain number can be helpful in focusing the response. Generative AI then can produce various ideas and angles within your industry’s wheelhouse. AI may even help your experts discover ideas they might not have thought of on their own. From this list, they can refine the ideas further to make them truly unique and aligned with their expertise and experience.
As indicated earlier, not everything generative AI spits out is necessarily correct, high-quality, or relevant. Your thought leaders would be wise to approach these responses with a healthy dose of skepticism. Their knowledge of your industry is essential as they assess the sources cited and the information fetched from them as well as evaluate the different results yielded from the same query made in different ways. Also, because generative AI culls content that is not completely up to date, your expert’s understanding of current developments in the industry is invaluable.
Your association’s staff members make it their main priority to know your members. Time-consuming responsibilities could be less burdensome with generative AI and afford your staff more time to work with your members. Generative AI could draft simple, readable first drafts of emails, for example. However, your staff would need to review the emails for readability, grammar, accuracy, and quality. Then, they could add association-related information, along with the personal touch your members expect.
The prospects of using generative AI to find ideas that develop thought leadership in your industry and create efficiencies for your staff so they can work with your members are exciting. However, any content strategy that incorporates AI-generated content needs to be balanced by human expertise. Generative AI still has some problems that will require the vigilance of your thought leaders and association staff members to identify and rectify. Incorrect information may be presented as credible. Content recommendations may be biased or originate in biased sources. Copyrights may be violated, and plagiarism introduced that damages your association’s brand as a trusted source of industry developments and news.
Your thought leaders and staff can oversee these larger issues, but your association should leave your member communications to a trusted vendor partner who knows associations and can take a personal, human approach to meeting members where they want to be met.
If you want any human assistance with your communication needs, YGS Association Solutions is ready to help.