If you doubt artificial intelligence is bringing a tsunami of change to a wide array of industries, business functions, and consumer experiences, this piece of intelligence should set you straight: "Amplifying Human Potential Towards Purposeful Artificial Intelligence" was released by the global technology services and consulting firm Infosys this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The report points to a high level of activity in large global organizations to adopt and implement AI technologies. There are implications for marketers that should get your competitive juices flowing.
Just because the constant acceleration of technology advancement has become cliche doesn't mean you're prepared. You may think that's OK because everyone is in the same boat, right? Wrong. Some big companies are already way ahead. And the gap between you and the leaders is getting bigger every day. .If you're an agency of any size or a marketer in anything bigger than a small business, it's a little way past time to get very serious about AI.
AI ethics makes my brain hurt. The issues and questions are that big. Never mind corporate behavior; people, governments, policies and global geopolitics will all evolve differently depending on how we answer those questions. My brain is hurting right now. But if you're a marketer planning to use AI, you're going to hurt a lot more than your brain if you don't start examining the ethical questions.
There's a bit of a sotto voce debate going on among agencies right now about the best organizational model for exploiting the potential of artificial intelligence for their clients. Some say AI and machine learning are so new and impactful, you've got to focus a team and fence it off in a separate division or subsidiary so that it can explore their potential free of the politics and mundane, everyday influences of current mainstream work. Others say AI and ML need to be integrated into everything you do for each client.
I first met Amy Ingram through an email she sent to arrange a meeting with the CEO of a New York AI company. My exchanges with her were peppered with phrases like "I'm sorry," "Have a nice weekend," "Thank you." I had no idea Amy Ingram was a bot.
What if you knew the concerns that were uppermost in your customer's mind, right now? Or, which of the folks in your Eloqua database are most intensively researching the topic of the white paper you're about to blast out - this week? Or, best of all: Which Fortune 1000 companies are intent about buying something you have on offer - ASAP? I recently learned these things actually are knowable, today, given just a few machine-learning algorithms and a database the size of a small outer planet.
If there are roughly 400,000 journalists, bloggers, and other potential influencers publishing in the English-speaking world, wouldn't it be great if you could send that press release about your lovingly brewed craft beer only to those who actually cared? Last week, I learned of a U.K. start-up using AI machine learning technology to solve this problem. Trimaldi Ltd., just shy of nine months old, recently announced an AI-backed press release distribution service that uses machine learning algorithms to send a marketer's release only to relevant influencers.
The use of chatbots is in an early stage of marketing experimentation. Some brands are just starting to dip their toes in the water, while others are merely eyeing the water's edge.
The current generation of AI-powered chatbots exciting brand marketers today are not blowing my mind. The problem is, what they do is mundane. It's a big important step in the right direction that Twitter, Facebook, Google and a host of other companies and start-ups make AI-powered chatbots available for marketers to engage audiences. But so far, they're not really doing anything that you couldn't do - probably better - with old-fashioned software, a database and some business rules.
Artificial intelligence and its machine learning branch, in particular, are still rapidly ascending the steep slope of Gartner's infamous Hype Cycle. AI/ML promises to provide marketers with tools to meet potential buyers wherever they are hiding, deduce their intent, serve them content ideally suited to their momentary needs, incite their action and achieve desired business outcomes.