‘AI is your partner, not your secret’: Making use of your ‘digital doppelganger’

Make AI your collaborator.

Andrew Davis

“AI feels like magic,” Andrew Davis said. “AI feels like magic.”

The keynoter for PR Daily’s Media Relations Conference, held this week in Washington, D.C. stressed this point over and over, even invoking a famed Arthur C. Clarke quote:“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

And it’s true, when you see generative AI flawlessly scrolling out text that would have taken you hours to write on your own, there’s an element of sorcery at play.



But that magic isn’t all happening due to the sophisticated language learning model that fuels ChatGPT and other AI programs.

It’s also due, in part, to you.

Davis, a bestselling author, said that the output of any generative AI product is a collaboration between you and the tool. Your training, guidance and voice is what inspires the final product the machine creates.

This creator  becomes something Davis calls a “digital doppelganger”: that new being created by AI learning and your training. Your digital doppelganger is unique to you and your prompts. No one else has  your exact doppelganger.

And like most doppelgangers in myth and legend, that creature can be used for good — or for ill.

What AI is good for

Davis outlined four main areas that AI excels in:

  • Natural language understanding and generation. That is, understanding text and speech, including tone, nuances and even jokes.
  • Deep knowledge extraction and information retrieval. It’s like tapping into the entire history of the written word. AI can dive in deep to any topic, no matter how obscure, and become an expert almost instantly.
  • Classifting text and analyzing sentiment. AI can draw out opinion and emotions in order to understand the attitude toward something.
  • Mimicry and imitation. Davis is most excited about the possibility of AI mimicking you.. This takes some training to get it to know you, but if you’re good at that training, it can be very powerful. It can understand the kinds of jokes you like to tell or dissect your style and write to sound like you.

This mimicry is what we expect from AI when we ask it to draft a press release, article or email. We want something that seems indistinguishable from our own human-generated output. And AI is getting better and better at this by the day.

That’s where we can choose to turn to the light or the dark.

The possibility and peril of AI

“(AI) is your partner. Not your secret,” Davis explained.

The danger of these tools comes when we use them in hiding. When others find out that they’re reading the words of a doppleganger instead of reading a direct communication from us, the revelation can engender feelings of betrayal and hurt. It can suggest that they  weren’t special or important enough to earn personal attention.

But being transparent about how AI was used can do exactly the opposite: It can inspire trust.

Davis also suggests using a matrix that looks at how useful AI is in any given task versus how important the relationship is with the person or audience the finished product will be sent to. If AI doesn’t add a lot to the equation and the relationship is very important, maybe forego the AI. But if AI adds a lot and it’s an important relationship — add transparency.

Let’s say you use AI to perform data analysis, then you write an email sending it to others. Writing a simple line that says: “This email was written by me, but the analysis was performed by ChatGPT,” can help build relationships because of its transparency and honesty. People know which parts were human and which were machine. By bringing our doppelganger into the light, Davis believes, we can strengthen trust, grow engagement and come closer as people.

You’ve got a decision to make: Will you embrace your doppelganger as your digital partner or will you hide them?

Allison Carter is executive editor of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Topics: PR


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