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Will Artificial Intelligence take over in marketing?

AI is already taking charge in all kinds of marketing activities as a matter of routine. But is artificial intelligence replacing us as marketers, designers, data specialists and writers?

Remember when this was suggested as the future of Artificial Intelligence?…

 

 

OK, so we haven’t quite reached the ‘Minority Report’ level of personalised advertising, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already taking charge in all kinds of marketing activities. Giants like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify have all built their offerings around being able to provide custom-made, real-time recommendations based on data. If you have Alexa, Siri or a Google Home Hub, you’re already used to interacting with machines; and any helpful advice you receive on a website is probably generated by a chatbot these days (you may even have them as part of your own marketing automation platform).

It’s not just about data analysis, though. Augmented reality has been around for a while, and one of the most useful applications we’ve come across so far is IKEA’s app, which enables shoppers to visualise a product in their home before purchase.

When you add visual search capability, computers can see and analyse the world around them, recognising and identifying objects. This can be used to recommend products based on how the consumer looks, and there even are some brands which allow you to try on clothes, makeup or jewellery without leaving the comfort of your own home. Oh, and if you do leave your home, you’ll soon be able to hop into a self-driving car.

IKEA Place app

 

Design your AI for success

Fortunately for us, the machines can’t quite go it alone (at least, not yet), as this coverage of AI failures in 2018 shows. Even the most sophisticated of systems still need to work with talented humans.

While data automation is certainly not news, it takes people with the right skillset to determine a strategy, understand the requirements, and then design a valid model. Human intervention, validation and monitoring is just as important for machine learning as it is for children – computers need to be prevented from picking up any bad habits. And, when new data becomes available, your strategy shifts or the marketplace takes a new direction, you still need the know-how to help your AI to adapt to these changes.

Machines simply aren’t as good as we are – *yet* – at understanding context, displaying empathy or even tapping into the current zeitgeist (and they certainly don’t do originality).

So as marketers, designers, data specialists and writers, I’m pleased to say that while we embrace AI and the innovations it brings, the WCC team is not going to be replaced by virtual assistants – not just yet at least.

 

Not up to speed with AI in marketing yet? Here are some articles we found useful:

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