By Katherine Gotts, SVP, Research and Analytics
Emerging innovations in tech can generate a lot of excitement in a short time. Conversations around ChatGPT and all things AI/Machine Learning, the metaverse and Web3 explore big implications for both business and culture. But what does this mean for your media strategy and how can you best plug in?
The Access Intelligence Team examined the data to find what tech topics resonate with media most – and which stories are sticking. These news drivers will allow us to spot fresh opportunities to participate in discussions and showcase new expertise from our clients. Let’s dig into the findings:
Our research found that most themes on AI/ML topics center on how the technology can be applied to solve larger real-world problems and bring potential benefits (or issues) to humanity.
There’s a rightful buzz around the uses and ethics of “chatbots” including OpenAI’s ChatGPT platform, a generative AI that simulates human conversation via natural language processing and machine learning. Business leaders in every industry are currently identifying ways to incorporate ChatGPT abilities into their toolbox to maximize efficiencies in the workspace. Many are newly adopting it for customer service, automation of repetitive tasks, data gathering and analysis, and more. In fact, data from UBS shows that ChatGPT is the “fastest-growing consumer application in history.”
Increased curiosity into AI “consciousness”: A discussion of whether or not AI has reached or can reach equivalence to human sentience was a major driver of media discussion in the past year (17%) and is a subject of both significant curiosity and controversy across outlets and prominent thought leaders.
AI/ML is increasingly represented across verticals, including business and tech outlets. Forbes, The Verge and Associated Press have covered the topic most frequently. Trend roundups and prediction pieces are the most common media narrative related to AI/ML. This suggests these technologies are still seen as strong growth drivers for the future.
Media is still fully immersed in the metaverse and the new frontier it promises. While Meta remains the primary focal point of brand discussions, more opportunities for new industries have opened.
Nearly a quarter (19%) of metaverse themes center on how the metaverse will interface with different industries and lend potential benefits to businesses. Of note, after luxury fashion houses like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Burberry found success with digitally enriched experiences, major fashion brands, including Nike and Adidas, have been creating virtual concepts within the metaverse this past year, allowing for greater crossover in mainstream consumer and lifestyle publications.
High association with crypto: The metaverse concept is seen as nascent and future-oriented through the eyes of the media, and for now it still tied to other tech industry discussions like crypto (nearly 25%) or NFT applications – and the controversies that come along with them. The top outlets that covered the metaverse over the past year include Forbes, VentureBeat, and CNBC.
The meaning of Web3 is more layered than your average buzzword. Because Web3 encompasses other crypto topics, you’ll see more coverage of this new consumer engagement and digital asset ownership vision.
Predictions about how Web3 will reshape the internet and “what is web3” explainer pieces make up the majority of media discussion (36%), suggesting that this industry space is still full of opportunity and settling following the speculative gold rush that dominated the early days.
Because gaming has long been associated with multi-player and in-experience purchasing (not to mention product placement), it’s no surprise that stories examining Web3 applications for gaming make up the second largest conversation theme over the past year (14%), making gaming the top industry space in media focus connected to Web3.
NFTs and Web3 go hand-in-hand: Discussion of NFTs and their role in the Web3 landscape was the third largest driver of media coverage (and now that the speculative period has quieted, there are more opportunities for brands to take advantage of the foundational advantages of NFTs – innovative collaborations, digital ownership, fan connection, collectibles, etc.).
Of prominent U.S.-based media outlets, Forbes, VentureBeat and Associated Press have covered Web3 most frequently in the past year. The topic has good visibility across major business and tech outlets.
The digital future is upon us. As innovations arise within these realms, so does the opportunity for businesses to be a part of the larger story. It’s up to PR professionals to keep the pulse of these everchanging conversations and spot the themes where clients and business leaders can add value or pioneer new ideas.