GPT-4o for Risk, Crisis and Emergency Communication

Dear reader,

On Monday, OpenAI announced the launch of its new AI model, GPT-4o, which represents a significant leap in artificial intelligence capabilities.

I see many practical applications for this model, which could become a reliable assistant for professionals like us.

Let’s take a look at how the features of GPT-4o can be used in practise to improve our work.

Table of Contents

Multimodal skills in crisis situations

One of the standout features of GPT-4o is its multimodal capability, which allows it to process and create content in text, speech, and image.

Imagine you are on the ground as a crisis communicator during a natural disaster. You need to relay information to the public and coordinate quickly and accurately with the emergency services.

With GPT-4o, you could use its voice interaction capabilities to deliver real-time updates and instructions via public address systems or social media livestreams.

The AI can process voice commands and respond instantly, allowing you to control communications hands-free while you attend to urgent tasks.

Real-time language translation for seamless coordination

Language barriers can make crisis management difficult, especially in linguistically diverse areas. The real-time language translation (more than 50 languages) function of the GPT-4o can bridge these gaps.

During a humanitarian crisis, for example, aid workers from different countries can communicate better with the local population, ensuring that relief supplies are distributed efficiently and the needs of those affected are met in a timely manner.

Storage capacities for continuity in ongoing crises

In protracted crisis situations, it is important to maintain continuity. GPT-4o’s ability to remember previous interactions would allow it to provide contextualised responses and maintain continuity across multiple sessions.

For crisis communication teams, this means that the AI could track the status of various issues or ongoing rescue operations and provide updates and reminders to ensure that no important tasks are overlooked.

This capability could be critical in managing complex, multi-layered crises where information is constantly evolving.

Emotion recognition for prioritising urgent needs

One of the most innovative features of GPT-4o is its ability to recognise emotions in speech and video.

In emergency hotlines, this capability could be used to prioritise calls based on the emotional state of the caller, potentially identifying people in urgent need.

One of my very first articles here on Wag The Dog covered this specific hotline application of AI. I simulated a recording, and then, with the help of 3 different AI tools completed the analysis workflow. You can read it here.

In prolonged crisis situations, such as refugee camps or areas affected by long-term natural disasters, monitoring people's mental health is crucial.

GPT-4o’s emotion detection could help identify those in need of psychological support, ensuring that mental health needs are not overlooked. 1

Accessibility and cost-effectiveness for wider implementation

Accessibility is a key benefit of GPT-4o. As it is available to all users free of charge, it democratises advanced AI technology and makes it accessible to smaller organisations and developing countries.

This can lead to a more equitable distribution of the technology and its benefits in crisis management.

For example, a small NGO in a developing country can use GPT-4o to improve their emergency communication systems without incurring excessive costs, so that even the most vulnerable populations can benefit from advanced AI capabilities.

Vision capabilities for rapid assessment

Using GPT-4o’s image processing capabilities, you could upload these images to the AI, which then analyses them to identify critical issues such as downed power lines, flooded roads, or damaged infrastructure.

The AI could quickly generate a report highlighting these issues, allowing you to prioritise your communications and allocation of resources. This rapid assessment could reduce response times and minimise the risk to human life.

Or, as shown on the demo video, you could use your mobile phone and its camera and ask the AI to describe the surroundings and give feedback or question it on what the AI is seeing.

What do you think?

The advanced features of GPT-4o could significantly improve risk, crisis, and emergency communication. By integrating these functions, organisations could manage crises more efficiently and with greater sensitivity to the needs of the affected population.

Let’s continue the conversation. What impact do you think GPT-4o will have on your crisis communication strategies? I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experiences.

References and further reading.

1  Zohar Elyoseph, Dorit Hadar-Shoval, Kfir Asraf, & Lvovsky, M. (2023). ChatGPT outperforms humans in emotional awareness evaluations. Frontiers in Psychology, 14.

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What I am reading/testing/checking out:

  • Article: AI will navigate a gray field, analyzing risk for crisis communications - by Burghardt Tenderich, PhD, professor of practice at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles.

  • Podcast: He Built an Al Model That Can Decode Your Emotions - Ep. 19 with Alan Cowen

  • Article: Introducing “Health Communication AI”: The Next Iteration of Opinion Leader for the Age of Artificial Intelligence

  • Merchandising: I had fun over the weekend and created “crisis management related” posters, t-shirts and mousepads… Have a look 😅

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Parts of this newsletter were created using AI technology to draft content. In addition, all AI-generated images include a caption stating, 'This image was created using AI'. These changes were made in line with the transparency requirements of the EU AI law for AI-generated content.

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