Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is something that the world is talking about more and more. It seems to have applications everywhere, from Siri or Alexa to movies, music and planning a holiday.

Generative AI brings great opportunities to:

  • foster innovation
  • increase productivity
  • improve quality of outputs
  • reduce time spent on activities

It can be a great tool to help you save time and money on your digital marketing as long as the AI is well-managed by a human being. In this article, we'll explain when and how it could be useful for your business.

Read on to discover some free AI tools that can help small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism sector. Please note that most of the AI programmes we list can be used without the need to first train the AI.

1. The do's and don'ts of AI

  • Things to do

    Ensure that any use of AI is carried out responsibly. Remember to consider data protection, copyright, confidential information, ethics, and legal compliance.   

    Be transparent about AI usage.

    Use AI to make processes more efficient where appropriate. just remember to check the outputs.  

    Be aware of the "opt-out" option before first use. This will prevent the data you enter into the prompt being used by the AI tool to train itself.

  • Things to avoid

    Do not share personal, sensitive, confidential, embargoed, or proprietary data or information.

    Do not assume AI tools are exempt from your organisation’s IT policies or legal obligations. They are not.

    Do not use AI to carry out any task that has legal and / or financial consequences (for example to draft terms and conditions or other legal documents).

    Do not use or publish any form of content that is 100% AI generated. Always fact-check information presented.

Protect your data privacy

It's always good to take a good look at the data and privacy protection policy of any AI tool that you use. You'll be using a tool that potentially can access personal data of you, your business, and your customers.

For example, if you use an AI tool to collate a list of people and their contact details, the creator of that tool could have access to this information.

Please always carefully read the terms and conditions and the privacy policy of any AI tool carefully before downloading.

2. How and when to use AI to generate text

Using AI to generate copy for your business website, social media posts, printed material, etc. can be useful to save time. It can also help you craft attractively sounding text without much effort.

Please keep in mind that AI, at the moment, occasionally produces bias, inaccuracies or "hallucinations". This is a term used to describe AI interpreting data to create things that never happened, e.g. legal cases or historical events.

AI is dependent on the internet to create answers. It continuously learns from reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF). So, always make sure that you thoroughly proof the text that the AI generates. This will ensure the quality of the text and will allow the AI to do a better job in the future.

Using prompts to have AI write better text

When instructing an AI tool to write text, it's good to set some parameters or "prompts" first. Ensure that you, for example, define the word count you want.

The more straightforward the English, the easier it is for your customers to consume. So, if you can, make sure that the AI writes for a reading level of someone who's at secondary school, around "S4".

 When proofing the AI-generated text, don't be afraid to be critical. Does the text make sense, sound human and is it free from jargon? When correcting the text, you can paste it in Word or in a readability tool to keep an eye on word count and readability respectively.

Using AI to respond to reviews

You might feel that you’re spending a lot of time on routine tasks when operating a business, such as responding to reviews. AI can help you save time and allow you to send much more objective responses to reviews, especially when dealing with negative reviews.

With the right prompts, you can tailor your response to show:

  • you take the complaint seriously
  • you have taken action to prevent the complaint from happening again  in the future
  • quality and great customer service to the person making the complaint specifically and to all customers in general

Make sure that you train your AI to only respond to frequently asked questions. This will let you save time by focusing on more complex complaints that need a nuanced human voice.

If possible, you could even only let the AI write a draft response to frequently asked questions. This way, you can edit the AI-generated response before publication as a means of quality control.

Lastly, it’s important to retrain your AI with new responses at least once per year. As your business evolves, your customer needs and wishes will change with it. So, it’s important that your AI continues to be able to effectively respond to this changing landscape.

3. How and when to use AI to generate images

Authentic images or images that are only slightly touched up, either manually or by AI, will do better on your website or social media channels.

AI generated images can be great for internal documents, such as staff communication. But when it comes to visitors, it's important to note that visitors love authenticity and authentic images.

Things to keep in mind regarding images

The following four tips can help set you up for success if you're considering to use AI technology for your images.

Showcasing authentic images

Did you take an impossibly beautiful image of your business or its surroundings? Put it up on social media or your business website, if appropriate, and say explicitly that it's an authentic image. This might attract more customers to your business. 

That's not to say that there's no room for digital alterations, as long as these are strictly kept to minimal touch-ups of authentic images.

For example, you could use image filters to make the colours of an authentic image look more vibrant. Or you could instruct AI to remove unwanted background noise or distractions in your images.

Remember, you risk being viewed negatively if you use images that are clearly digitally altered.

Building your image stock

Consider offering free trials to people you know or trust to try your product and be photographed while doing so. This could be an easy way to get authentic pictures.

Just make sure that everyone has given their written consent for you to take their pictures and for you to use it to promote your product.

You can also use the free VisitScotland media toolkit for images to promote Scotland and your business. All images in our toolkit are authentic and not AI generated.

Browse free images of Scotland on

Who holds the copyright?

When using either AI-generated or authentic images, always consider the copyright. Are there any restrictions to using the image? Do you own the copyright to an AI-generated image or does it belong to the developer of the AI tool?

It's always best to use images where you own the copyright or have permissions or are very clear of the source and trust it implicitly. Ensure that you add disclaimers and give credit to the person who took the picture.

Browse how copyright protects your work on

Read the UK Government's code of practice on copyright and AI on

Image proofing and saving

If you have a suitable case to use AI-generated images, it's good to zoom in on it and critically look for any errors.

Does an image of a person have two hands with five fingers each? Is your concept art realistic or would it benefit from some small corrections with an image editing tool?

Is the image generated in the correct style or should I give it more specific prompt i.e. a realistically looking wild cat versus a cartoon drawing of one?

Always label your AI generated images as such to avoid there being mix ups between your authentic and digitally altered ones.

4. How and when to use AI to interpret data

You can use AI to analyse data such as a revenue report or a breakeven report. By using your own language you can get it to create formulas for complex analyses to achieve specific outputs.

Simply put, you won't need to spend your precious time weeding through complex data and transferring it into a report. AI will do it for you and will write it in a manner that makes the data easy to digest.

5. How and when to use AI to interpret questions

AI might help you manage your responses to customers via direct messaging. Phoning, emailing, and direct messaging have different customer expectations in how they're handled.

When a customer phones or messages you, they expect an almost immediate response. So, while only a human can pick up a phone and you can reply to emails at a time that suits you, there might be an opportunity to use AI for direct messaging.

To ensure your AI is effective at responding to potential customers, it's vital that you programme it well using the right information.

Try to create and answer as many likely questions a customer may have. Do this by putting yourself in the shoes of your customer types. Ask yourself and your team what are the common and not so common questions asked by phone, e-mail, or direct message.

How to make your AI excel at interpreting questions

  • Feed your AI with FAQs

    Do you find that your customers frequently ask the same or similar questions? You could list these questions along with the appropriate answers. You will then be able to feed this list to your AI who will answer to any of the pre-programmed questions.

    Once it encounters a more niche question, it can send you a notification to let you know the customer needs you to help with their query.

  • Focus on intent over questions

    While it's great to train your AI to answer pre-programmed questions, it's also good to train it to read between the lines. When we talk, we might use some words to convey our emotional state or thoughts, so it's useful for the AI to pick up on this.

    For example, imagine a customer who asks for a list of available time slots. Even though they're asking for some specific dates, they're clearly trying to get an overview for availability.

    In this case, it might be more useful for the AI to point the customer in the direction of where they can view this information, e.g. a "book now button". The alternative of saying "available" or "not available" per time slot might not be the best service to the user.

  • Programme your AI to avoid being abusive

    When you programme your AI tool, it’s also good to tell it when to ignore some instructions from customers. In the past, there have been instances where an AI chatbot used profane language despite programmed not to do so.

    The reason why the chatbot went “off script” was that users specifically asked the chatbot to use profane language. The chatbot, programmed to be polite and do as its user instructed, simply obliged.

    In short, programming an AI chatbot to be polite and follow instructions is good. But always set clear parameters when not to follow a user’s instruction, such as refusing to use profane language even when asked to.

    So, before launching your AI chat bot, it’s good to also programme it with a list of customer commands that it can ignore.

    It's also useful to do a closed test before you launch it to the public. Have coworkers, friends, family, volunteers use the chat bot to make it do things it's not supposed to do. If they can't abuse your AI tool, it's likely you programmed it well enough.

Related links