Charlie Lowe
Tech / Innovation
Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Your Creative Director?

AI is beginning to permeate every industry in one form or another. From doing your taxes to recommending your music, it’s making its mark on a lot more places than you think. 38% of enterprises are already using AI and this is expected to grow to 62% by 2018. This surge in application has generated a great deal of talk recently about the threat of robots or AI taking everyone’s jobs. But rest easy, this new tool is at our disposal and should be viewed as an opportunity rather than a cause for concern.

We believe this misperception comes from the significant knowledge gap in the marketing industry as to where, how and why AI should and could be used, often brought on by a sense of fear of the unknown or the complexity. We agree that this is not an easy subject to grasp as it’s at the forefront of digital and constantly evolving. But a little bit of knowledge and homework can go a long way towards increasing your familiarity with AI, and hopefully your comfort in using it.

Here are just some of the many applications and opportunities where AI can support us.

  • Within pre-sales advertising technology, AI can help us to explore new products and services, enhance brand engagement activities and media targeting.
  • Within the sales process, AI can assist with product recommendations, live sales support and offer customers a more personalised experience.
  • In the post-sales CRM stage, the technology supports us to deliver customer analytics, customer service and crisis management. Through these processes, AI can even help us to identify unusual or hard to spot insights on a variety of topics. Yes, please!

Separating Fact From Fiction

Myth: AI can be switched on and will be up and running straight away.

Reality: Depending on the type of application you’re looking at, generally AI requires human training and configuration. There are simple services that you can use that don’t require as much time and effort, but more sophisticated applications require an expert to train users and ensure its recommendations are correct. You also need to input high-quality data in a specific format based on your objectives.

Myth: If I have AI, I won’t need people.

Reality: People often refer to AI as Augmented Intelligence, as it’s not designed to replace humans but enhance our capabilities. Most AI return a probability of an answer which still requires a human to ensure other environmental factors have been taken into account. While there is no doubt that AI will take over certain tasks that no longer require human input, this simply frees us up to do more meaningful and creative tasks that really add value.

Myth: AI requires a huge investment.

Reality: AI is more doable these days as several companies are now providing easy access to APIs[1] which you can look to leverage for AI capabilities. You don’t have to invest in a massive project to start exploring this new technology. You can even begin by using services like Evie, an AI personal assistant that can help you manage your diary.

Meet Evie:

Myth: AI can hold unscripted conversations.

Reality: The current state of most technologies in this space don’t have the capability for unscripted conversations. People can easily get the impression of a conversation when they are asking all the right questions. But in reality, it is an extensive list of pre-programmed answers or a result from a defined database.

Myth: AI is rigid and pre-programmed. It cannot be creative at all. 

Reality: The key is not to look at AI as the golden ticket to creativity, but rather as an enabler that enhances our creativity. What it does is it removes a significant amount of work required to analyze and discover customer insights, giving us more time to use that information in exciting ways.

Putting AI To Work Amidst The Data Deluge

With 90% of the world’s data having been created within the last five years, we need all the help we can get to sort and mine it for insights. And, with creativity in such high demand, discovering unusual and interesting insights is more vital than ever. For better or worse, AI has a long way to go before it replaces your Creative Director. At this stage, it exists as a tool to help augment the intelligence of humans, helping us to enhance and develop more effective customer experiences.

Dip your toes in the water by identifying a pressing pain point you have and exploring how AI can help you to solve this problem. Be open to the process and see where it takes you!

First appeared on Little Black Book.

[1] Application Programming Interface

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