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PR comes fourth in a study on the risk of AI dependence

AI is dominating the headlines, with reports naming artificial intelligence as the biggest spend for nearly half of top tech businesses across the economy; a signal of just how much the AI boom is spreading. The use of AI across all sectors is at an all-time high, with 77% of businesses globally using or exploring AI. In a recent study web security company Indusface gathered insights into UK businesses to determine the sectors most at risk of AI dependence. Media, advertising, marketing and PR comes in at number 4 for their use of AI.

Which UK industries use AI the most?

Rank

Industry

Businesses currently using AI (%)

Businesses planning to use AI (%)

1

Legal

30%

31%

2

IT and Telecoms

29.5%

27%

3

Finance and Accounting

26%

20%

4

Media, Advertising and Sales

20%

21%

5

Transport and Distribution

17%

16%

6

Manufacturing

16.5%

14.5%

7

Education

15.5%

15.5%

8

Construction

12%

15%

9

Real estate

12%

14.5%

10

Hospitality and Leisure

11%

9%

*Figures according to Capital Economics and DCMS

Marketers and PRs must take care

Most media, marketing, PR and advertising companies are starting to rely on AI for website landing pages, promotional campaign pages and company blogs. Whilst AI can help the marketing sector conceptualise on-site content, if the marketing team is depending on AI to develop these websites and widgets, it can come across as inauthentic content to Google.

Bounce rates increase

Marketing is all about human creativity, and the personal relationship your audience might have to the product. Content that is obviously AI generated means the site can not only lead to higher bounce rates as the audience gets bored whilst reading generic content, but also be blacklisted - as Google's algorithms are designed to prioritise content that provides value to users, and authenticity is a key component of that value. When advertising or marketing, you want your content to have that human touch, which is essential in building that connection with your target audience.

It’s important to be able to strike a balance between leveraging AI for efficiency and ensuring that the final content involves human oversight. AI should be used as more of a sidekick in marketing and advertising, not a dependent.

Security risk

As well as creating content, the marketing and advertising sector is also starting to rely on AI for software development, generating website codes, code reviews and testing.

If a campaign page is solely AI generated, this can create a big security risk as there is a higher chance that the page could be hacked into and the whole campaign will fail. For example, let’s say you use AI to code a website and that website has an XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) vulnerability, then hackers could use that website and deface the site with malware.

Because of malware, the site could not only be blacklisted in terms of the immediate impact on the campaign, but also for the long-term reputation and SEO of the brand itself. Regular security audits and updates are crucial to minimise these risks.

Methodology

The stats in the table have also been taken from the Capital Economics and DCMS analysis on UK businesses.

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