AI sure isn’t new, but ChatGPT, OpenAI and Bard are talked about almost as much as scoring Taylor Swift tickets. Half of the comms industry is either excited that AI will help win a new client or a promotion – or dig a hole for their career six feet deep.

What’s the future of AI likely to mean? Ask Google or Microsoft and you’ll get the company line: it’s a promising, but still experimental tool that can answer questions in plain language, create computer programs, save hours of drudgery creating research reports and, well, maybe tell you how to find tickets to the next Swift concert.

But wait. It’s only the first inning. Generative AI, without much doubt, will revolutionize many industries. College admissions, creating graphics – even video – doing your taxes and suggesting your investment portfolio are clearly in the cross-hairs. Social media content creators are shaking in their boots and high school students are using it to write their homework.

But where’s the content that feeds AI systems come from? Search results. Reddit filed suit because these systems are using the platform for raw material without paying for it. But we’re only at the beginning and search results will be more important than ever because those results will be the appetizer for these systems and the entrees will be the content that searches lead AI to find, digest and generate.

What’s it mean for the communications professional? Search results are now more important than ever. Monitoring, managing, correcting and strengthening results are now mandatory. If negative posts about your company or client are high up in results, that content is likely to make it high up in ChatGPT or Bard output. And just think about the massive loads of new content that AI systems will generate, creating more results on Google and Bing and other search engines.

Our Lightbox Search platform was built to make the process of tracking, managing and improving search not only easy, but automatic. It’s the best way we know to help control what’s likely to be an AI-generated report on what your firm has announced or what your client does. We think you should get friendly with