Welcome to What the Four – a guide to the latest news, trends and insights on emerging technologies – by the team from Four Marketing Technology Venture. In this article, we’ll be discussing the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
As Business Leaders, Marketers and Technologists, we’ve been hearing a lot about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) recently. But we don’t hear enough about how these technologies are actually being put into use in our daily lives.
Traditionally, machines have performed tasks based on a fixed set of rules or programs that they are coded with. Artificial Intelligence is helping to make machines or software capable of coming up with solutions, that they were not explicitly programmed to solve.
Machine Learning is a method that is used to create Artificially Intelligent problem solving systems. This is accomplished by basically giving a machine some initial data and teaching it to recognise patterns and trends in the data. It then uses these patterns, plus additional feedback (from humans) to iteratively build optimised solutions for similar problems.
Hundreds of times across the day, each of us interact with machines. We use them to communicate, read, entertain, shop, travel, and even enhance our business productivity. These machines learn from us, processing terabytes of data daily. They are helping transform the world, in the same way as the industrial revolution did, way back in the 19 th century .
Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To us at 4 Marketing Technology Venture, Artificial Intelligence is a spectrum of technologies which are exponentially transforming human capabilities. AI gives us the power to transcend our limitations and imbues us with the ability to sense, act and learn smarter. In short, to do so much more than we could before! Our lives will never be the same again. The AI market is growing rapidly, and is estimated to be worth 190 billion dollars by 2025.
The Future of AI
We know that AI and ML are already transforming the technological landscape. From digital assistants to image-recognition software, what was once sci-fi is now becoming a reality. But how will this impact the future of marketing and advertising?
In the long run, AI could get us closer to solving one of the biggest issues that advertisers and marketers have. It would allow us to accomplish Relevance at Scale. We will be able to create unique personalised, impactful and immersive messages, for each and every customer. This can be enhanced through advanced marketing automation, powered by Artificial Intelligence.
Customer experiences can also be enhanced through the use of AI assistants. Google debuted a major update to their Assistant Application with the Duplex at Google IO 2018. This update extends Assistant’s existing AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities and improves human-computer interaction. It enables the application to interact in a conversational style, with an almost human sounding voice. Assistants based on technologies like Duplex will eventually help make our lives easier. They will handle menial tasks like booking appointments, ordering groceries and paying bills.
Before then, we’re going to see changes to the way we do business. AI will change how people interact with information, technology, brands, and services. For now however, it is helping us create more personalised, engaging and relevant experiences – on a smaller scale. One major way that AI is already being used in marketing is through Recommendation Engines. AI Algorithms analyse and filter historical user behaviour and actions, worldwide trends and other third party data to help optimise and deliver more relevant and engaging content to audiences. Today, artificial intelligence is helping businesses like Amazon and Netflix personalise their content in order to increase sales and customer delight.
Programmatic advertising utilises AI to help brands decide what audiences to advertise to and what content should be shown to these audiences in real-time, based on particular profiles or behaviour triggers.
Viacom is using also using AI in an interesting way. Viacom’s Data Science team has developed a pipeline that uses real time and historical campaign performance data to benchmark and predict how well audiences will respond to their social media campaigns.
Bank of America’s AI powered assistant – Erica – is also pretty impressive, garnering over 1m users in only 2 months. Erica helps users search for transactions, view balance information and bills and get their credit scores or send money to friends and family. Users can interact with Erica by texting, talking or tapping options on their smartphone.
Another innovative application is how Uber is using AI to help predict how likely it is that passengers are drunk, in order to increase safety measures for drivers and passengers, or even match drunk passengers with more experienced drivers with the required skills to handle them.
AI for Customer Delight
AI offers ML based platforms that allow you to gain a deeper understanding of customer behaviour, in real time. This gives you the ability to take quicker decisions, trigger actions that influence behaviour, and send out relevant communication to customers, at the right time and the right place.
It also provides the ability to analyse large blocks of open content and identify trends. This allows brands to interact directly with their customers through online conversations or events. Communicating with consumers at the precise decision-making ‘micro moment’ can help influence buying decisions and improve conversions.
Recently, one of the most fun ways that AI was used recently was to predict the winner of the Football World Cup. Unfortunately, most AI models predicted Brazil, Spain or Germany to be the winners, based on their statistical performances. While this can now be seen as a major fail, it does show us that AI is not perfect, yet. Although it is improving exponentially, there is only so much that a machine can learn. Human behaviour may just be too complex, random and unpredictable to be completely accurately modelled.
Improving Efficiency with AI
Nowadays, there are a huge number of data sources and marketing technology tools and services available. However, most of the insights and data that are available sit in silos, and are not integrated with each other. This is another area where AI can help power change. It can help to integrate data and insights across various platforms and use these to generate more insightful and unbiased analyses.
Companies are also developing technologies to help make AI even more efficient. Currently one of the reasons AI is not as quick or accurate is because it is built on software based neural networks, which run on regular computer chips. IBM is working on a technology to build neural networks directly into their physical hardware chips which can make it upto 100 times more efficient and accurate!
We’ve got really exciting times ahead of us! The intelligence quotient of our civilisation will be multiplied a billion-fold by 2040, through the power of artificial intelligence.