Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are currently changing human life with a great implication in the communication field. This research focusses on understanding the current and growing impact of AI and automation in the role of communication professionals to identify what skills and training are needed to face its impacts leading to a recommendation.Design/methodology/approachThe research involves methodological triangulation, analysing and comparing data gathered from consulting with experts using the Delphi method, focus group with communication students, and literature review.FindingsFindings show that the likely impacts are on the one hand the enhancing of efficiency and productivity, as well as freeing communication professionals to focus on the creative side, strategy and analytical thinking, on the other hand, repetitive and low-level jobs could be lost, being higher position jobs or those involving creativity and decision making harder to automate. Two types of training are needed: to gather experience with the current AI and automated tools, and to focus on developing human qualities that AI cannot replicate.Originality/valueThe outcomes of this research are valuable to help current and future communication practitioners, as well as organisations, to be one step ahead and survive the age AI and automation, being aware of its current and near-future impacts. The paper offers a list of recommended soft and technical skills, as well as training needed, categorizing them in low, medium and high priority.
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 4, 2021
Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Training; Impact; Delphi method; Automation; Technology resistance