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Artificial Intelligence’s (Notorious) B.I.G. Unresolved Communications Challenges

By Kristen Ingraham

President, North America

While 2023 was an inflection point in the mass awareness of AI and its role in society, 2024 proves to be an even greater challenge for the technology’s evolution. Many of AI developers’ greatest communications challenges remain unsolved, or continue to expand more rapidly than the technology itself. 

AI companies continue to innovate – and fundraise – at a pace not seen since the boom. But, in their haste to spend and unveil new offerings, they often fail to plan for the meticulous messaging needed to communicate both positive benefits and risk mitigation.  Each communications challenge requires a delicate balancing act between two priorities that seem in direct conflict with one another. A “this” versus “that.” 

Perhaps The Notorious B.I.G. had a finger on the pulse of this problem without even realizing it – in short, it’s a “Mo Money, Mo Problems” reality that AI companies now face.

Imagination vs. Application

“Now, who's hot, who not? Tell me who rock, who sell out in the stores? You tell me who flopped…?”

Every day, AI companies have the spark of a new and compelling idea, but few take the time to prove out the valuable usage case behind the spark. It is within this storytelling development that a communications agency partner can pressure test if a launch will sell out in stores or flop.

Hype vs. Staying Power

10 years from now we'll still be on top. Yo, I thought I told you that we won't stop…”

There’s a fundamental difference between 15-minutes of fame and brand longevity. Many AI brands are unveiling AI outputs purely to steal the media spotlight, but few take the time to communicate and prove their potential for longevity. This is a huge communications mistake – and one that reporters have learned to detect and reject covering. A strategic comms partner can ensure that 10 years from now (and beyond), an AI brand is still on top of the industry.

Curiosity vs. Mass Adoption

'Ain't enough lime here for you to shine here. And I'm bigger than the city lights down in Times Square…”

Curiosity breeds customer AI trial, but the creation of a daily, must-have habit ensures mass, lasting adoption. AI companies need to understand customers’ behaviors, needs, and motivations in order to align and inspire their brand messaging and product positioning. An agency partner can develop both the key message map, audience connection strategy, and competitor assessment to guarantee limelight bigger than Times Square.

Speed Supremacy vs. Ethical Debt Consideration

Federal agents mad 'cause I'm flagrant. Tap my cell and the phone in the basement. My team supreme, stay clean, triple beam lyrical dream…”

AI engineers hope quick tweaks to neural-net algorithms can expedite new AI applications, but speed can also cause system calamities that go beyond the comedic to sleazy, harmful, or tragic. Backlash towards deepfakes and indistinguishable AI-generated videos, voices, and images is stronger than ever. AI companies must engage a trusted agency partner to keep a clean reputation and remain beyond reproach to have long-term success in the industry.

Open Source LLMs vs. Policy and Regulation

“Violate me this’ll be your day, we don’t play…”

The very people (i.e. Sam Altman and Elon Musk) sounding the loudest alarm about the need for policy and regulation of multi-modal AI models, are the same individuals building even more powerful AI tools without consideration of source quality or copyright. AI companies launching the next generation of LLM-powered applications must not “launch now, atone later”; they need a strategic agency partner, or crisis specialist, who can anticipate the transformative power of each launch and properly prepare corporate positioning on its benefits, capabilities, and ethical legitimacy.

Fear vs. Education

I don't know what they want from me. It's like the more money we come across, the more problems we see…”

Fear of what AI might one day be continues to deter the public from learning about its current reality. As a society, we default to fearing the unknown, especially if that unknown seems rich and powerful.  But, it is the role of a quality communications partner to replace fear with knowledge, so future AI investments lead to improved innovation (not more problems.)

If you're interested in solving these challenges for your AI company, check out our sector specialism here.

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