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Picture: John Conde/Pixabay
Picture: John Conde/Pixabay

Businesses aren’t just talking about artificial intelligence (AI) tools any longer but using them at exponentially increasing rates. The global AI market was worth more than $136bn last year, and is projected to grow by around 37% a year until 2030. 

Though the use of AI in media monitoring and reporting is nothing new, the new generation of AI tools are transforming the way media data is used, allowing for better strategic decision-making and improved reputation management.

The most obvious advantage of AI tools is their speed and efficiency in processing massive amounts of data across a multitude of media platforms. They also excel at detecting patterns and linkages in data that might otherwise go unnoticed.  

But the power of AI extends beyond data processing, says Joe Hamman, founder and CEO at local media monitoring company Novus Group. 

“AI is now able to understand context and sentiment far more accurately than ever across a range of channels. This can help organisations understand public opinion about their brand and their competitors in real time, and respond to emerging trends or crises more quickly,” he says. 

It can also use historical data to predict future trends. By predicting the popularity of a news topic based on past trends, it can help businesses focus their resources on the most impactful stories. But one of its most exciting capabilities lies in data visualisation, where it can help in creating dynamic and interactive data visualisations, making complex data more understandable and engaging for the audience.  

However, as powerful as AI is, it is not without its limitations, says Hamman. It can misinterpret sarcasm or humour, and it struggles to understand cultural nuances and subtleties of language. It’s also constrained by the quality and breadth of the data it’s been trained on. This is where human intelligence steps in. 

The most obvious advantage of AI tools is their speed and efficiency in processing massive amounts of data across a multitude of media platforms

“We need the human touch to verify and validate AI outputs, better understand context, detect nuances in language and tone, and overlay strategic insights. By combining human insight with AI’s computational power, we can elevate reputation management and real-time conversation monitoring to unprecedented levels,” he says, adding that the relationship between AI and human intelligence ensures that the insights garnered from media monitoring are not only accurate and timely but also injected with the richness of human understanding.

It’s crucial, he says, to establish an ethical framework around the use of AI, given its potential for bias and the impact that can have on the insights derived from media monitoring.  

“Europe is pioneering efforts to set up guardrails around AI usage, with the EU AI Act designed to govern any product or service that uses an AI system. It will classify AI systems according to levels of risk,” he explains.  

“The next generation of AI tools hold immense promise for media monitoring. By harnessing their power and coupling that with human intelligence, businesses can gain more valuable insights than ever. The future of media monitoring lies in the integration of human and AI to deliver far more effective solutions.”  

The big take-out: When coupled with human intelligence, the next generation of AI tools hold immense promise for media monitoring. 

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