The Robots are Here…And We’re Going to be Friends with Them

It’s no surprise that AI was at the forefront of AWNY. The use of AI will soon become the new normal, but what threat, if any, does that pose to our industry? In the talk “Survival of the Fittest in an AI World,” Louis Richardson, Chief Storyteller, Watson Customer Engagement at IBM, defined AI as something that observes, interprets, evaluates, and decides.  So, will humans be replaced by robots? Quite the opposite, in fact. Here are a few insights I gathered from various panels thus far:

  • Machines learn from data, but they aren’t very good at empathy and abstract thinking, or connecting things that don’t seem to be obviously related. In the “Commerce Marketing Summit” panel, Dave Meeker stated “The most interesting things are the things that are unexpected; connecting dots that you wouldn’t have connected before.” AI can parse a ton of data for you, activating these insights.
  • AI will make humans more creative, allowing them to do their jobs better and evolve their skill sets. In the session “Rethink AI: Enabling a More Human Way to Connect,” we learned how voice AI can be used at a drive thru window to listen and transcribe the order. This doesn’t mean the employee is obsolete, but instead it enables that employee to focus on delivering a solid customer service experience, rather than stressing about getting the order right.
  • AI allows us to be more efficient and effective. In the panel, “Machine Learning: How to Make Creative Better,” we learned how AI can be used for video tracking. Each frame is a series of data that can be tracked, and AI can analyze this data to highlight subjects of interest, track patterns and audience reaction to elements within that video. We can learn from this data to optimize creative; we can test and enhance faster than ever before.

AI makes us more valuable because it will complement human capability, not replace it. The robots are our friends.