For 10 years we’ve been making sure evidence and communities drive change. And in 2024 we’re further exploring the possibilities for how AI will help us enable this even more for the next 10 years.
We know AI will evolve things for us in business, but what about the ability to strengthen our impact in community?
We have embraced the application of generative AI within The Social Deck; we think of AI as like training an assistant for each of our staff to have at hand in their various specialties and roles. It won’t replace our team members—everything we do needs human intervention—but creating and refining this kind of AI help for team members has helped them to be more creative, solutions focused, efficient and have a bigger impact.
By equipping our team with comprehensive knowledge and skills in AI, we ensure that our work, particularly with government, is efficient and effective but also ethically responsible.
Our internal training has a strong emphasis on the ethical use of AI. We ensure that its applications align seamlessly with our own and public sector values and standards. The Government’s interim response to the Safe and responsible AI in Australia consultation is a good guide for how the public sector is responding to these opportunities as well, and we’re looking forward to working with our clients on principled, ethical and productive uses of AI that put the Australian community at the centre.
As we work with our government and other clients to help upskill and improve use of AI, we believe we can expect greater productivity, enhanced data-driven policy making, and innovation in the delivery of public services.
For now, here are 4 of my own reflections on the use of AI in strategic government engagement and communication:
- From creative to copy writing, it’s playing in all communication spaces, even strategy. It offers a great starting point on strategy, for those stuck to get started. And it draws out the examples that can truly help to make a plan that gets better outcomes. We often rely on going back to our own previous examples, but AI is allowing us to broaden our horizons and therefore, what’s possible within a communication strategy and delivery.
- We’re excited about the opportunities AI Is bringing to help us explain concepts and information more visually. We already have our amazing illustrator who delivers illustrative storyboarding and animation within our projects. But AI will make it even more possible to bring this to life, and with more team members able to adapt Kirstin’s original creations into creative product. This is important to us because in much of our work we communicate with people who may have lower literacy levels or other barriers to understanding written communication. The more we can explain visually, the better.
- When we make repeatable tasks more efficient using AI (e.g. setting up event registration pages), it frees up our team for more strategic thinking and delivery. In terms of our engagement work, over time, this is going to allow us to do even more within a project, for the same budget.
- It's an obvious game changer, but needs to managed with impact, integrity and privacy top of mind. As an issues management specialist, I’m the first to think of all the risks and this has certainly partly affected my own uptake of AI into The Social Deck. But as we learn and apply more, we are understanding how to use AI tools for the value they offer in data mining and analysis without putting any sensitive information at risk. I’ve learnt that managing AI is all about having control and a careful human eye on what you put in to it, to get the best out of it.
I’m very lucky to have Steve (our Director of Digital and Innovation) by my side who’s a natural early adopter and rapid learner on most things digital and tech. We’ve also recently added specific capability in the team to focus on these opportunities in the form of our Senior Research Consultant, Dr Isaac Baker, who’s working across our team to look at the opportunities the latest of AI can bring to different aspects of our work.
If you’re exploring how to best use AI in your work, reach out to us. Isaac’s available to help create internal strategies and training for our government clients, as we stay across the latest guidelines and policies in government and public service use.