It is fair to say that this year has so far been the year of Artificial Intelligence (AI). On a near-daily basis more and more articles, reports and releases are appearing, showcasing the potential that this quantum shift will offer us all, whatever walk of life.
It's no surprise to any of us then that our own marketing and advertising community have started to research, comment and launch applications of AI. The theory means a chance for computers to take on (or over) some of the tasks and roles that up until now have relied on a human.
Scary or fascinating stuff, depending on your standpoint.
But far from being the future, not enough is being made of how much AI is already in use, hidden in plain sight. As both a professional and a consumer, undoubtedly AI has affected you today alone.
That email you received from Amazon (or maybe Target for our US friends?) is using AI to analyse and predict likely purchase behaviour before it happens.
The recommended music and playlists Spotify have given for the commute this morning, that's AI at the centre of it.
The lack of spam in your inbox (or conversely those legitimate messages in your junk folder) are AI-driven spam systems at work, admittedly still not as accurately as we need!
So, with all this technology already being applied, it's vital that today's marketer is ready and prepared on what and how AI is doing or soon will be able do, to help and enhance the way we target, communicate and manage our customer interactions.
As a digital marketer of nearly twenty years, I'm genuinely excited about the application of AI to take over some of the tasks that my colleagues and I (as humans) do but just aren't as capable of - imagine automated testing, profiling and targeting for us all in line with what Amazon and Target are already doing?
But is it all good news for me and my colleagues? What about the risk of being displaced or replaced? As machine learning gathers pace and the range of AI applications grow, what will that mean to the humble marketer and marketing department?
And as a tutor for the IDM? Will a day come that means marketing theory and practice is taught by a robot rather than me and my cohorts in the faculty?
To read more about AI, check out The start of AI marketing and the end of Neanderthal marketing.
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