Smart Marketers Are Embracing AI
Once limited to the realm of science fiction, Augmented Intelligence has become a reality for growing numbers of consumers. The introduction and adaptation of Amazon Echo and Google Home, have significantly boosted the accessibility of AI. Increasingly, marketers are using AI to stay connected with customers, understand their brand preferences and buying behaviors, and better anticipate and serve their needs. Across a growing spectrum of IoT technologies, AI is moving marketing and customer service toward more ubiquitous connectivity and seamless interactions.
This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the largest consumer technology show in the world with more than 3,800 companies and 175,000 attendees, brought together the industry’s brightest minds and latest technologies. CES provided a stage for countless Echo-enabled products. Augmented Intelligence is moving beyond turning off lights and lowering thermostat temperatures, as companies are using AI to peek into customers’ minds and learn how they consume.
From Amazon Echo, to cute robots, to even an AI co-pilot for self-driving cars, AI-driven virtual assistants are the rage this year. With Echo, Amazon has made it easy to order hundreds of thousands of Prime-eligible items. In the process, Echo constantly monitors consumer requests and purchases, using this data to build and constantly improve the relationship with customers by providing them with direct communications about products and services they want and need. Another big innovation was showcased this year by NVIDIA with their self-driving car, including an all-new AI Co-Pilot.The co-pilot recognizes the identity of each driver, knows where they’re looking, and even reads lips in order to understand driver commands in noisy conditions.
Virtual assistants weren’t the only things marketers got excited about at CES this year. Machine learning is exploding, with companies like Staples, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Uber adopting different AI-driven machine learning technologies. Staples unveiled their all-new “Easy Button”. Similar to Amazon Echo, Easy Button is used to purchase everything your team needs to be productive, fed and caffeinated. By harnessing the power of IBM’s Watson, Staples is able to turn voice driven data into solutions. Carnival unveiled Ocean Medallion, a waterproof wearable that makes cruising with Carnival easier by eliminating the need for IDs, credit cards or cruise cards, and more fun by facilitating more personalized experiences, such as special interactions with crewmembers. The platform is powered by streaming analytics, contextual awareness, and machine learning. Carnival has also announced “Experience Genomics”, which enables the cruise line to provide personalized experiences by anticipating guest preferences. Uber rolled out a new application which predicts where their users are heading, based on past behavior. The new app features shortcuts based on recognized travel patterns and your location. The application eliminates wasted time jumping between apps, finding addresses, and missing appointments by providing calendar integration and synching functionality.
As AI technology proliferates and marketing-related applications continue to grow, the capabilities to understanding, anticipate and ultimately meet increasing customer expectations will continue to grow, as well. In the process, marketing will move further away from an untargeted, broadcast model and move closer to a personalized, customer service model that anticipates and fulfills emerging customer needs in real-time. So what can we take from CES 2017? Augmented Intelligence is no longer within the realm of dreams or science fiction. Augmented Intelligence is real, it is growing, and it’s here to stay.