AI has been lauded as the ‘next best thing to happen on the internet’ to get excited over. Getting your head around AI is not easy, however, when it’s not your field of expertise.
The feeling of being overwhelmed by tech advancements is understandable. For charitable organisations, utilising the latest technologies can be a challenging ask because you need buy-in from your trustees, directors, colleagues and beneficiaries. There are so many facets to the adoption process as well, that the why and how can get lost along the way. At Reason Digital, we want charities to get the adoption of AI right: to optimise its uses and have positive experiences with it.
This blog is just a teaser of how you can integrate AI into your workflow to increase your impact. We’re covering some things to consider as you explore AI’s role in your organisation, advancing on our To hear more about where we think AI is going, you should join us at the Digital Conference.
The history and development of AI: Why care?
Really understanding AI starts with busting myths. Artificial Intelligence is not as new as some make it out to be. In fact, AI could easily qualify for a state pension!
Computer scientists and engineers have known and used some form of AI since the 1950s with the Turing Machine – a model which proposed the computation of data according to a set of rules.
Since then, computational technology has gone through a myriad of fascinating changes that enables us to have smart computers in our pockets, on our wrists and cars. AI has been all around us, used by search engines, self-driving car software, recommendation algorithms and voice assistance.
It’s only lately that we have seen the new wave of AI software, known as Generative AI: ChatGPT, DALL-E, Claude 2, Bard, Bing Chat etc. This type of AI can generate near perfect text, images, videos, sounds and other media, marking the start of a new phase in technological developments that we’ll all have to consider in how we operate.
But why is the emergence of Generative AI getting everybody wary? I won’t dwell on the ethical considerations, since CharityComms has hosted a super informative chat a few months ago, discussing the topic.
But to answer this question simply: this is the first time that we can recognise technology that may – on large scales – replace us in the workplace. This concern is translating to creatives and communicators who are thinking about the future of their work.
While some tasks could be reassigned to AI, my view is that rather than being afraid of change, we should embrace it – in a calm, considerate way, of course.
Generative AI is far from completely replacing communication specialists altogether because it does not have the human element to know what connects best with people. Instead, I like to look at AI as a new tool in my communications arsenal, joining trusted old haunts such as Mailchimp, Canva and more.
Your entry into the world of AI
As charity communicators, you can introduce Generative AI into your daily work in an easy and cost-effective way. Chat GPT is probably the best gateway into exploring this new world.
I use ChatGPT or Claude2 in my weekly workflow as extra tools to:
- Summarise articles for me
- Shorten paragraphs/sentences to make them easily readable
- Generate a list of taglines for a campaign I’m working on
- Expand my knowledge on topics
AI can be used alongside your other tools to enhance your output and productivity as a comms professional. Look at AI as a colleague you can spit-ball with, or a personal assistant that can lend a hand when your to do list is too long.
Using AI to enhance charitable impact
Generative AI can also support in the digital infrastructure of your charity. For example, triaging web chats and connecting to the right (human) agent on a support request from a beneficiary.
This can be done using ChatGPT plugins that can be integrated into an existing chatbot program to extend the interactive capabilities. Tools like Botpress, for example, integrate ChatGPT with platforms like HubSpot to simplify the process of developing chatbots and help with the automation of your marketing campaigns. The benefits being an improved flow to keep supporters engaged and informed, leading to increased donations and volunteering.
AI can also be used in many other ways to increase charitable impact. It can be used for building knowledge databases, custom applications and more.
Learning from peers and experts
Learning from peers and experts can help you think about securing buy-in and adoption across an organisation; understanding the ethical implications and how to mitigate risk, and the potential and results for your charity’s impact.
If you’ve been thinking about AI and have questions about it, then our talk at the CharityComms Digital Conference is for you! Reason Digital’s Technical Director Mark Wheeler will talk through the different uses of AI and Machine Learning including: ChatGPT, Large Language Modelling tools, and more. He will also paint a picture of what the future of these technologies might look like to support your thinking.
To conclude, we are just at the beginning of exploring the world of AI. Those who jump on board now will have a better understanding of how these technologies work and how to harness their benefits when they become even more powerful and common in daily use.