Communication in the world of AI

A lively discussion followed the presentation from Better Communication Results’ Jo Curkpatrick and Lee Hopkins on communication in the world of artificial intelligence at ChangeHub.


The discussion began with an update on how Bendigo Bank is approaching artificial intelligence, starting with a low-key but high-impact chatbot system. Very relevant to the event venue, which was the Bank’s recently renovated branch in the Parade. Amazing to see their approach to what a branch can look like, but perhaps not that surprising when we understand how people want to bank. Lots of space, colour and light, and even a spot for community and small business to show their wares. And if clients have questions they can talk to CJ, BB’s first branch engagement officer. Very un-bank-like!

The fear of job losses remains a concern, despite research suggesting there is likely to be more jobs in the age of AI, new jobs and different jobs. It’s a tough issue to get past, with Lee and Jo encouraging us to take a leadership role in our organisations, pointing to the 80:20 rule that can be applied to AI, 80% human and 20% technology.  People are and will remain critical in the workplace, and as change communicators we can take a leadership role in establishing the right culture for transformation.

The need for a planned approach to change communication programs that will meet the need for security and user-friendliness of widely divergent expectations and experiences was highlighted. Jo talked about establishing a cross-functional hub for AI bringing together the techies and specialists with groups such as marketing and HR, and to establish the organisation’s AI strategy.

It was no surprise that the gathering talked a lot about how a multi-generational workforce will cope with the new skills AI will demand of us. While Baby Boomers and Gen X might find it challenging, there is little doubt the following generations will ‘eat up’ AI developments. After all, in kindergartens across the country, kids are already nose-down to their screens.

Culture and ethics and the implications for decision-making were of real concern and another tough one to address. What we can do is keep an eye on tone and messaging, whether our AI reflects our values, how our AI is interacting with other AI and when to intervene.

Another point of discussion was our collective expectation for user-friendliness and customer service. It’s something that keeps being ramped up by players not always in our industry.

People are asking “if the Uber app is so useful, then why isn’t my banking app?”

“If I can order a high-value designer item and receive it the same day, why can’t my bank or my service provider deliver the same value?”

As Lee explained, it isn’t something to ignore—keep looking, listening, learning and testing.

After all, either you manage the manage the machines, or they’ll manage you. Jo ended the session with advice to reach out, look around your organisation, help, enable where you can, and lead where necessary.

For further information, and to keep abreast of developments in the world of employee engagement and artificial intelligence, visit or call Lee and Jo on (08) 8120 0300.

Don’t be left behind in the artificial intelligence revolution

A FREE checklist for communicators in an AI world. A handy two-page guide to preparing for the introduction of artificial intelligence in your workplace.

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