21.11.2017 | Marketing Automation

AI technology is on your meeting room table

When it comes to artificial intelligence, 2016 is particularly remembered as the year of the Google AlphaGo app. It was the first one to win a human in the Go board game. Discussion related to self-driving cars, chatbots and robotics has got much media exposure. So, there is a clear trend of shifting from hype to concreteness. A big change amid the hype has, however, been ignored to some extent: AI technology is becoming available for free use by everyone. This change will mean stirring opportunities for small firms too and in any industry.

 

At the AI hype climax, it is still worth remembering that even though developing human-like super intelligence were possible someday, we are still very far away from that. In practice, AI and its current applications are only a heap of machine-learning algorithms with which machines ostensibly can perform “intelligent” tasks.

Machine learning has, however, seen major strides, as the available data volumes and computing powers have increased. For example, in the NLP category (Natural Language Processing), it has already been possible to develop various chatbots and personal assistants like the iPhone Siri to a quite useful level. Tireless chatbots enable 24/7 customer service for companies and voice recognition applications make consumers’ daily life easier, for example, by helping in information search.

Transformation of business models

In the hype of chatbots and flying cars that are to expected in the near future, many have ignored a major change: during the last 12 months, all big players have released AI platforms for open use. They are freely available through APIs.

Such interfaces are provided by all famous names of AI technology: Amazon, Baidu, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. Even Apple that overprotects its technologies has joined in the game, i.e. it is not the question of a small-scale issue.

Why do the giants do as they do? Because they want to spread out, dominate and create disruption in various industries – Tesla with Elon Musk is a good example in this respect. Alongside Tesla, Mr Musk also happens to be a co-founder of OpenAI, a non-profit company, which is among the first ones that has opened state-of-the art AI technology for public use free of charges.

Whatever the truth, one thing is for sure: AI penetration will grow at a huge pace. And most importantly, the openness of technology will speed up the application of AI to fields where it could not yet have been imagined – chatbots and robot cars are only the first steps.

Effects from the marketer’s perspective

Technological development has always correlated strongly with the development of the degree of automation when efforts have been made to replace routine, manual work with machines. When the penetration rate of AI technology increases, this trend will only accelerate.

From a marketer’s perspective, analogies are straightforward and also relatively well known: how, for example, automation can be used to improve ROMI or create personalised contents on a real-time basis. The transformation also involves considering the added value of various marketing functions when, for example, content creation is increasingly becoming electronic already in the near future.

In addition to this automation aspect, AI will add a new important aspect to the equation: as one promise of the big data hype to marketers was better customer targeting and message customisation, exploiting AI enables the same thing but also learning from automation results through feedback.

Resources at the core

A big change is par excellence related to resources: when there is no need to reinvent the wheel itself, even small firms have all the capabilities to exploit world-class AI technology in an effort to streamline their own operations. The scene is no longer only a playground of big players where operating requires recruiting hoards of people with PhD’s in statistics and mathematics.

Each and every company should now allocate more resources to thinking of AI application areas in their own industry: when the infrastructure is in place, one’s own resources can be focused on finding and innovating applications that enhance competitive advantage.

The future winners in the marketing landscape will be teams comprising developers and data scientists as well as innovative creative minds who feed them with their ideas. Without this team of experts and the unit in charge of planning AI technology exploitation, it will be more difficult to succeed in future.

The Dagmar Advanced Analytics unit specialises in exploiting a diverse range of machine learning methods in solving customers’ challenges – we are now making heavy investments in innovating and piloting new AI technology application areas and solutions.

 

If you wish to sit down with your sparring partner at the negotiation table to think of how AI technology could improve your company’s business, please contact: mikko.koski@dagmar.fi.

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