How well do you think you know yourself? Better than your friends? What about your family? Do they know you better than you know yourself? What about your favorite brand?
Businesses may never know you in the same way your friends do. But with advances in artificial intelligence, companies will soon know your likes and interests so well, they will be able to suggest products and services you really need—before you even realize you need them.
Artificial intelligence: a growing force
Artificial intelligence is fast becoming one of the most valuable tools in the marketer’s arsenal. While it’s still in its early days, the ability of a machine to do tasks a brain can do represents huge potential for marketers worldwide. And the breadth of what artificial intelligence can do is incredible: it can recognize images, speech, make decisions, and even translate between languages.
That doesn’t mean humans will become redundant. The real power of artificial intelligence is in the combination of machines and good, old-fashioned human ingenuity. Through the use of big data, artificial intelligence can gather information that sparks new ideas or opens up new opportunities.
It can also automate processes that are both boring and time-consuming, and help personalize content and synchronize social media.
Sounds incredible. But how does it work?
Building the relationship
Have you ever had that one friend who gets you the perfect birthday gift? They hand you the box, which has been carefully wrapped, complete with a nice bow. You open it and you can’t believe it—it’s better than what you would have picked for yourself.
They’re able to do that because they know you so well. Over time, the information you have given them throughout your friendship helps them build a complete image of who you are.
Now, imagine your friend was a thousand times more efficient at processing every bit of information you give them. They might be less fun to have a drink with—but just think about how good their presents would be!
Your relationship with artificial intelligence works like this, based on the data you provide while browsing online, rather than chatting over a coffee. Every time you watch, search or like something on the Internet, you’re providing more information about yourself. That info is then used to create a personalized profile making sure you get the suggestions most useful to you.
Where artificial intelligence is used
There’s both a short answer and a long answer for where artificial intelligence can be used.
The short answer: basically everywhere.
The long answer: across all processes or channels where data can be gathered or leveraged to increase personalization, gain better insights, provide better security, or improve how you create or produce content.
Let’s look at a few examples of how artificial intelligence is being used in business right now.
It’s probably no surprise to anyone that Amazon has been an early adopter of artificial intelligence in their business practices. The most notable example has been in their launch of Alexa, which falls under the Amazon Echo umbrella.
These devices show the incredible potential of voice recognition in marketing. The device is always on but won’t react until you say its name, then the natural voice recognition service in the cloud interprets what you say. This allows it to provide an appropriate response, playing music, turning on the lights, or even translating.
As you use it, you are providing it with data, which then helps personalize suggestions for you later.
Imagine there are a hundred products on the market that are all the same. They have the same function, the same specs, the same… everything. As a consumer, how do you choose which to buy?
In our globalized economy, this is essentially what has happened. Think of the number of phones, restaurants, or other products that are basically the same. In a world filled with endless choices, companies need to set themselves apart in new ways. That’s where customer experience comes into play.
The idea is simple—if you have a better experience with a company, you’re more likely to remain a customer. In practice, it’s quite difficult. Customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce specialize in helping companies provide an excellent customer experience.
Artificial intelligence is fast becoming the new driver of customer experience. Salesforce’s Einstein is an artificial intelligence service that helps employees speed up tasks through machine learning. This helps them do their jobs more efficiently and provide better service for customers.
But it also allows customers to take control when they want information. Think about chatbots that pop up on a website to help answer your questions. They are powered by artificial intelligence to provide you with information. And, the more you use them, the better they get.
What the future holds for artificial intelligence
The sky (or the cloud) is the limit for what can be done with artificial intelligence. That said, one of the most promising applications is security. AI is being used in online privacy protection and financial security to keep us safer in the digital world. And there’s one other use that stands out as particularly exciting.
Evolve is a company that’s set to disrupt the future of events security—in a good way. The facial-recognition software should reduce the need for long lines or showing your ticket. Not only does the software recognize every individual, and whether they have paid or not, it also automatically scans for any hidden weapons and alerts security personnel if a blacklisted individual tries to enter a venue. This will mean we will be able to enjoy incredible events, with less hassle and outside threats.
While artificial intelligence is barely coming into its own, it’s already showing limitless potential. Nobody knows exactly what it will look like in the future. But what is certain, is that this exciting, powerful technology is sure to revolutionize every aspect of our lives.