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Mike Azzara

Member since April 2008Contact Mike

Mike Azzara is a principal at Content Marketing Partners, where he helps clients create content of intrinsic value for their customers, their prospects, and themselves. He's a former daily newspaper crime reporter who moved to high-tech business coverage at the dawn of the PC era and has been a technology industry journalist, publisher and content innovator ever since.

Articles by Mike All articles by Mike

  • The Scary Links Among AI, Data, Privacy -- And A $24M Fine in AI Insider on 05/24/2018

    The best kind of data to have is data about your audience of prospects - the more detailed and personal, the better. Marketers can use AI to analyze that data and better understand individual prospects, at scale. Therefore, collecting personally identifiable data on large audiences, and feeding that Big Data into machine-learning algorithms, offers marketers great power. Repeat after me: With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility. Now the European Union has put a price on that cybersecurity responsibility: EUR20 million, or $23.6 million. That's the lowest possible mandatory maximum fine that can be levied against your company by the EU if you fail to protect people's data, or if you don't properly manage your data according to the rules laid out in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • Both Ends Of The Data+AI Spectrum in AI Insider on 04/19/2018

    In late March, when the so-called "scandal" broke about how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data, there was a story in The Wall Street Journal about how crappy most companies' data is for actually understanding their customers. To me, these two stories represented two ends of the same data+AI spectrum, and together say something important about the potential impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms on the competitive landscape of just about every business.

  • On The Cusp Of 1-to-1, Face-To-Face in AI Insider on 04/05/2018

    A story in The Wall Street Journal this week took my breath away. The implications of "Police Want to Send AI Into the Street"? Marketers will have the power to know and directly address every individual in the U.S. far sooner than they can imagine.

  • Don't Underestimate AI Just Because It's Overhyped in AI Insider on 03/26/2018

    I've begun to get the sense that most marketers aren't yet taking AI seriously enough. Sure, it won't put you out of business next month. It won't make everything you know wrong, overnight. But consider the implications of Bill Gates' aphorism from "The Road Ahead": "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10." No, really, stop -- and think.

  • AI: The Door-To-Door Salesman Of The Future in AI Insider on 03/01/2018

    Once upon a time, expensive, high-value products like Electrolux vacuums and the Encyclopedia Britannica were sold "door-to-door." In the near future, an AI brain will see you coming, scan your profile, review your recent interactions, and then build a customized interaction - whether it's a banner ad, spoken conversation or a video avatar - that conveys what's most relevant to you, of all people.

  • Odds Are, You're An AI Laggard -- Already Too Far Behind in AI Insider on 02/15/2018

    Recent research, "Reshaping Business with Artificial Intelligence," produced by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group, reveals stark differences between companies that are leading the charge to adopt AI ("Pioneers") and those that are not ("Passives").

  • The Scary Links Among AI, Data, Privacy -- And A $24M Fine in AI Insider on 12/07/2017

    In other contexts, I write a lot about cybersecurity. So, when I saw the acronym "GDPR" in one of Kantar Millward Brown's 2018 predictions, very near this sentence: "The question that remains to be answered in the field of marketing AI will be one of privacy and control," I shuddered involuntarily.

  • Prepare Today For AI Tomorrow in AI Insider on 11/17/2017

    "Be prepared" is more than just the Boy Scout's solemn creed, or a fun-but-obscure song by Tom Lehrer, the great singer-songwriter-satirist and retired Harvard math professor. It's what marketers should do right now to get ready for the post-modern age of artificial intelligence hurtling toward them.

  • Odds Are, You're An AI Laggard -- Already Too Far Behind in AI Insider on 11/02/2017

    Very important artificial intelligence research was presented last week at the Oaklins Desilva+Phillips 2017 Dealmakers AI Summit, an elite invitation-only event in Manhattan to which a friend wrangled plebeian me an invitation. The research, "Reshaping Business with Artificial Intelligence," produced by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), reveals stark differences between companies that are leading the charge to adopt AI ("Pioneers") and those that are not ("Passives").

  • Watson Says I'm 'Shrewd, Somewhat Critical And Very Particular' in AI Insider on 10/19/2017

    If you believe the world's foremost (publicly available) artificial intelligence, I am much more intellectually curious, emotionally aware, sensitive to beauty and willing to try new things than just about all of you. Apparently, I'm also a bit of a boorish jerk: I value my own interests over yours, I'm extremely skeptical of your motives, I don't try to help others, and I take virtually no pleasure in life.

Comments by Mike All comments by Mike

  • Prepare Today For AI Tomorrow by Mike Azzara (AI Insider on 08/24/2017)

    Thanks for the correction. IDK why I was so certain about Mr. Lehrer that I didn't even double check, but I'm glad to be wrong. And thanks for the kind words. 

  • Conde Nast Drops Publisher Title, Adds New Ones by Erik Sass (The Daily Blog on 01/27/2017)

    Someone please let Jonathan Newhouse know that this news greatly disappoints Mike Azzara (Jr.). 

  • AI, Big Data And Ethics by Mike Azzara (AI Insider on 01/05/2017)

    James - there will be plenty of mistakes along the way. My dad has been forwarding me "reminder" emails for years from the Subaru dealer, and I get emails when my son's car is due for service; I figured out it's because they buy from those big data brokers and think they're so smart but they'll ultimately figure out they're POing us. I don't let it bother me, but when I get emails (or snail mail) about the beloved car I lost in Sandy, that's upsetting. If that dealer understood how much so, they would invest in a simple check of totaled-car VINs to ID exclusions. John, your Aussie example is much more problematic. Any organization public or private, wielding that much power has a responsibility to make sure they're getting it right. I hope your press holds their feet to the fire.

  • The Calcification Of A Columnist by Gord Hotchkiss (Online Spin on 11/29/2016)

    Not that you need validation from me, but you've hit all the nails on the head. I, too, am old and at times grumpy, but I always return to a fundamentally positive outlook. The way I say your first core point is that technology amplifies all aspects of human nature. I once heard computer scientist/futurist Ray Kurzweil explain that advancing technology is simply the modern extension of human evolution. Note, he didn't say it should be viewed as an extension of human evolution; it is, in his view, the current stage of human evolution. People who hear only the sound bite and not the whole talk (with supporting charts) think he's an oddball. 

  • AI And Marketing's Holy Grail by Mike Azzara (AI Insider on 11/10/2016)

    Thanks Jim! Always weird to see that "CRN" next to your name and know it's not THAT CRN! :)

  • Digital Disruption? Just Getting Started, And Going Horizontal by Dave Morgan (Online Spin on 05/14/2015)

    that's an interview I'd like to listen in on. Will it be webcast? 

  • What David Letterman Means To Me by Larry Dobrow (Video Critique on 05/01/2015)

    Larry, you said it all for me. I'm kinda amazed that someone else shares the nuances of my relationship with Dave. Except I do watch it the next day, while riding my elliptical machine. But yeah, I often skip the monologue. And I left off watching for a few years, all but the guests that interested me, or that promised that bizarre kind of awkward tension .... but I decided to be a part of the end, and watch it all from here on out.Anyway, thanks for this article.

  • Ad Tech M&As Trumped IPOs In 2014 by Tyler Loechner (RTBlog on 12/30/2014)

    This is interesting. But what would be more useful is insight into why. Is it something about investor expectations being set to high? Or is there something fundamentally wrong with the market or the technology?

  • I,Cyborg by Laurie Sullivan (MediaPost Weekend on 10/05/2014)

    Thanks for a very interesting article - this is a topic I've been following. Perhaps most interesting, though, is how the article as a whole kind of contradicts the opening. The article goes on to describe what I believe - that the current "wearable" growth is just a phase on the way toward "integrated" technology. In other words, the sic-fi authors were right, they just skipped a step to get to the more interesting stories! Here's an article from UC-San Diego about a continuous, wireless fetal monitor in what amounts to a "tattoo" applied to the skin. I saw this example from a report on mobile health technology a few years ago, and remember it because I thought it was so cool. http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/grand_challenges_explorations_grant_funds_groundbreaking_health_research

  • Nudes Flash: It Could Happen To You by Barbara Lippert (Mad Blog on 09/04/2014)

    Good post. Speaking as a man, this is a hard thing for men to grok. I was lucky in that two women I considered good friends walked into my office (this was in the late 1980s), closed the door and walked me through how what I considered innocent behavior actually was upsetting to them. What you've written about is much more egregious than what I was taken to task for, but it is of the same species. It took them a long time to get through to me, but it was time well spent. Ever since, I've remained sensitive to this issue.

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