Is AI compromising our curiosity?

Is AI compromising our curiosity?

Selina Jardim

Selina Jardim

As we know, AI has been all the buzz and communicators have been scrambling to figure out which tools are best to use to integrate into their workflows as well as the rules of engagement. There is a flood of information on the various tools at our disposal and rapid advancements have placed governments in a race to regulate AI.

The debate also rages on about whether AI will indeed contribute towards productivity, replace jobs and so forth. But have we stopped to think about the impact AI could have on our curiosity - a key characteristic of any communicator worth their salt.

A narrow view of AI

A few months back, I attended a PRCA conference and one keynote address by Paul Spiers, Founder of The New P&L – Principles & Leadership in Business®’ Podcast Series & The New P&L® Institute,  really put this into perspective for me. In his talk, titled ‘Are we outsourcing our curiosity to an algorithm', Paul outlined a powerful paradox – we have access to more information than ever before, but because of our search history, the algorithms feed us a narrow view of the world, compromising our curiosity. The concern? Entertainment over inspiration, information over knowledge.

As communicators, we have to dig deeper into a story to unpack the key essence of our client’s brand or offering in order to capture imaginations, make it relevant for our client’s audiences and in the process shape our client’s reputation. By relying on an algorithm to deliver our inspiration we run the risk of narrowing our scope of inspiration, turning us inwards and not outwards. We need to ensure that we use AI and any other technology to drive our natural sense of curiosity instead of diminishing it.

Curiosity, Creativity, Innovation

Did you know that three of the top five skills needed in business are based on curiosity? Analytical thinking, creative thinking, curiosity and lifelong learning.

Curiosity is ultimately the basis of our expansion of knowledge and empathy of others; it drives creativity which in turn drives innovation. As Paul notes, seismic challenges in society offer tremendous opportunities to rethink the way we live and do business and all of this relies on curiosity. “The ability to determine the future of business relies on the levels of curiosity needed to imagine it,” says Paul Spiers.

Creative Courage

An interesting insight from research by The P&L Institute is that many people in the creative and comms industries feel that they’re losing their creative courage. Clearly, we need more diversity to open it up, to grow and to do this we need to become more intentional about our curiosity.

These are just some of the ways businesses can commit to more conscious curiosity:

  1. Commit to the moment, in the moment
  2. Create a process for capture and curation - tap into intergenerational opportunities to share knowledge
  3. Look at old ideas with fresh eyes
  4. Start with each other
  5. Listen, ask, listen, repeat
  6. Build cultures of curiosity

Some may argue that ‘Curiosity killed the cat” but as bold communicators and reputation shapers we’re tossing that old proverb out the window. We need to continue to think more consciously about how and why we engage with technology and pick out the best bits to support our skills and imagination.

So, let’s draw a line in the sand today and commit to our curiosity first!

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