If you’re hoping for a comforting pat on the shoulder and assurances that online marketing will stay the same in 2017, I’ve got some bad news. AI powered marketing is already here and our soon-to-be digital overlords are outpacing human capabilities in some key areas.
The fact of the matter is, a lot of us are already using AI in some way, whether we’re asking Siri for directions to the nearest pub or scrolling through the curated content on our Facebook feed. Marketers are also leveraging this technology in new and interesting ways to drive when, where, and how they sell you products and services. And what have we learned?
In come cases, machines are better at marketing than we are.The AI revolution already happened and it's in your pocket. Click To Tweet
Before we continue, I want to make sure that when we talk about AI, we aren’t picturing this:
… or this…
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.
AI Powered Marketing: A Brief Introduction
This isn’t the AI we pictured in the late 20th century: It’s much more useful, much less malicious and (thankfully) not obsessed with its own self preservation. Jokes aside, the point I’m trying to make is that intelligence exists on a sliding scale. When we talk about AI powered marketing, the intelligence on display does not have an organic equivalent — comparing artificial intelligence to human intelligence is a lot like trying to compare apples to oranges.
Intelligence (n) The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
Most examples of modern AI involve highly complex pieces of software that are built to analyze and detect patterns in large sets of data. Depending on its level of sophistication, the software can then draw conclusions from that data. The people working on these learning algorithms have aptly referred to their creations as a form of artificial intelligence — after all, they acquire data and then apply it, either through detecting patterns or making recommendations based upon a set of predetermined variables.
Why is this useful? Because when it comes to data analytics, a well-programmed AI can do in minutes or hours what would take an army of highly paid data scientists days or weeks. But before we lump artificial intelligence in with other job-killing calamities such as automation, industrialization, and the cotton gin, let’s look at the benefits:
The AI Revolution Already Happened
That’s right! It’s already happened. You missed it.
The fact of the matter is, we’ve already let AI take over in some significant ways and we’re realizing that artificial intelligence really isn’t something to be afraid of. In fact, most of us use it all the time whether we know it or not:
An AI for Everyone