I was recently discussing the future of digital marketing with a senior creative head of a leading mainline agency. He advised, “AI (artificial intelligence) is THE THING. People are clueless about it, and adding AI to your advertising strategies and pitch notes will gain big bucks”. It is safe to say I was immensely unimpressed; his vanity was coated with false assumption. Furthermore, people are smarter than what he expects them to be.
Indian tech and media companies have joined the AI bandwagon, without understanding the essence of AI. I am grateful to have first learnt the fundamentals and then the intricacies of AI back in 1997/98. Prof. (Dr) Anne Kenneke, a computer science professor at California State University, Chico imparted his research and knowledge at the time. AI research in fact dates back to 1956. The subject matter was intriguing, and I expected AI to catch up more quickly. However, it is not playing catch up anymore. There is rather a rising expectation and fear that AI will supersede human intelligence to the extent that humankind in its entirety will be susceptible to slavery.
Elon Musk famously sought after actionable policies to thwart the misuse of AI practices, and thus battled several years for the cause. However after several unsuccessful attempts he was forced to give in and opined, “If we cannot stop it, let’s join the force”. When a man of his caliber has such opinions, ripples of concern are bound to spread like wildfire.
It is true that AI is gaining popularity, but mingled with a façade. For instance, one of our clients in the US was approached with an apparently ‘cutting-edge AI agency’. They proclaimed that they could do wonders with AI. They were successful — in letting our clients down. The delivery was nothing but an email marketing tool to send automated emails to a large database of users. They were intelligent enough to deny going ahead with such activities that would fail to deliver results.
In order to understand what AI truly is, we must first understand basic human intelligence –
- Remembering data
- Processing data; which becomes information
- Decision making; where relevant information is accessed as per the requirement
- Adapting to dynamic environments
These criteria have been included in the Turing test, which tests the intelligence of a machine. Hence, the test involves –
- Knowledge Representation: to store information before and during a conversation and use it
- Natural Language Processing: to communicate successfully.
- Automated Reasoning: to use stored information for answer and conclusion
- Machine Learning: adapt new circumstances; to detect and explore patterns.
Thus, AI is a machine having human intelligence, and designed in such a manner that it doesn’t look like it is doing a task. AI is predicted to become less ‘artificial’ and more ‘intelligent’ because learning is in its core functioning. Some of the popular examples of AI application are as follows.
- Alexa ordering pizza through voice commands
- Netflix’s knowledge of users’ preferences
- Google maps displaying mode and corresponding duration of transportation
- Weatherbots displaying temperature, wind speed, humidity etc.
- Facebook displaying videos pertaining to users’ interests and hobbies
An information superhighway has hence been created led by tech giants like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, IBM, Amazon, and Netflix in many useful applications, eventually generating more data. Every second we are introduced to massive amounts of data; due to faster processing, it is further converted into useful information.
The advantages of AI include –
- Increased precision, efficiency, and accounts while reducing errors
- In-depth analyses of more data and provides valuable insights
- The smart and complex algorithms are useful in adding capabilities of various devices
- Adaptability to new input through progressive learning algorithms.
It is evident that the potential use and power of AI is unfathomable. Having said that, it is not only immoral on the part of companies to falsely leverage AI in their marketing strategies, but also unwise. The intellect and understanding of customers and clients must not be taken for granted as they are more informed and aware than ever before; considering information is at the disposal of audiences at the click of a button today. Understanding the meaning of concept and AI will give companies an insight into whether they have the knowledge and capabilities to implement AI in their development strategies.
About the Author
Chandan Bagwe, is the Founder and Managing Director of C Com Digital. This ingenious leader founded the company two decades ago in 1998. He has successfully positioned his brain child to amass more than 100% year-on-year business growth in 2014. This can be attributed to consistent and immaculate services in online development and marketing along with recruitment of an experienced and specialized team under his stewardship. Chandan has established the company as the leading techno digital marketing agency in Mumbai essentially focusing on the digital publicity of brands by integrating Content Curation & Creation, influencer marketing, digital public relations and distribution of varied content via online channels including social, search and OTT.