Unlike March, April had no $15 billion deals for artificial intelligence technology. What's more, not one April AI deal included an announced value. But the number of deals AI picked up - nine - remained well above last year's average of six per month. Being a long-time observer of tech M&A, however, I've seen this pattern before. While I don't expect another $15 billion deal all that soon, the combination of low value plus (relatively) high deal volume usually means timing is a factor. Expect more large AI deals to come.
For the latest/greatest marketing technology -- and, more to the point, still-emerging machine-learning capabilities -- to really create awesome value, marketers must connect it to brands' emotional roots. Only by combining technology with core insights about the emotions motivating human behavior can we genuinely touch hearts and minds -- and thereby influence behavior.
Artificial intelligence offers endless possibilities for marketers - and everyone else, for that matter. It can predict disease from patient records far better and faster than any human method, and it can drive cars far more safely. For marketers, it can improve audience insights, helping us to better understand what content will most engage them. It can individualize ad campaigns, automatically, and at scale. But there's a problem looming: the most advanced computer intelligences cannot explain their thinking. They can't say why they do what they do.
Perhaps, like me, you're amazed and also find it ironic that some iconic science fiction stories are coming true. The Jetson's original video chat, for instance, is now part of everyday life.