AI is on every marketer’s lips right now, which at least means that 2017’s ghastly Purpose is forced to take a back seat whilst column inches fill up instead with eyebrow raising accounts of chatbots, driverless cars, decimation of jobs and robots doing our grocery shopping for us.
Last week Twice Reply attended an excellent Campaign Breakfast Briefing chaired by Gideon Spanier, concerning how businesses will profit from AI.
An excellent mix of panellists comprising Agency, Client and AI Technology industry leaders did a good job of segmenting AI by benefit; we learned how Just Eat used big data insights from 10m British fast food lovers to power chatbots that serve and stimulate the most jaded palettes, and why the definition of who subsequently owns creativity in a world of AI and machine learning is blurring, hotly debated by IBM, Fjord and CHI’s Sarah Gold.
We learnt that the biggest investment in AI (from M&A data) was perhaps unsurprisingly directed at advertising and marketing. What was perhaps more surprising, was the various ways that panellists responded to this information.
Put simply, the panellists (and therefore the world, Twice Reply would hypothesise), seem to divide into two camps: those who see AI as an awe-inspiring but ultimately threatening development that will take away our livelihoods, and therefore needs careful stewardship from ‘humans’, and those who see it as a wonderful opportunity to stop engaging in ‘you’re taking too much of my precious time’ type activities, and focus instead on more stimulating and valuable activities: being more creative, and as a consequence enjoying life more, living longer and healthier.
We think this glass half full or empty attitude will draw a powerful line in the sand, either side of which businesses will win and lose in the race to delight the customer at every touchpoint.
Yes, there is a negative dark cloud hanging over Marketing, but that isn’t AI…the dark cloud is the horrible distraction of having to make sense of Big Data and marketing technology, which distracts from what Marketers are brilliant at in the first instance; being creative and lateral thinkers who can bring transformational change to their businesses through ideas.
We believe AI will take over the grunt work of making sense of Big Data which means Marketers will spend more time on the things they’re good at doing. Who wouldn’t want to automate complexity, and liberate creativity? What’s not to like?