Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a broad and expansive idea that it is often overwhelming in its terminology alone. This year we’ll see the evolution of the conversation from hype to practicality, as smart marketers and brands explore ways to leverage AI to fuel business results.

GENERAL PURPOSE MINDSET
Investing in AI can be an intimidating prospect, especially if current business tools and processes result in profitable outcomes. Think about the AI space as the next general-purpose technology that will change the way the world and businesses operate, like the steam engine, electricity and the internet did. Each of these innovations spurred business and society to start economic revolutions, and AI should be treated in the same manner.

IT STARTS AND ENDS WITH DATA
AI has a layer of capabilities that can maximize its effectiveness when combined with a solid data foundation. This will increase in importance as technologies such as 5G, voice UX/UI, and self-driving vehicle infrastructure continues to mature. This revolution in 1-to-1 marketing will give brands who have mastered data an unprecedented competitive advantage in the future.

THINK PRAGMATIC, NOT PANACEA
While machine learning and neural networks are increasing in sophistication and are solving large and complex business problems, more pragmatic effects of an investment in AI are felt in the automation of time-consuming, administrative tasks in the day-to-day workplace. This mirrors the consumer experience, where quick customer service inquiries are increasingly addressed by AI-powered chatbots, freeing time to do more productive tasks.

USING VOICE AS A PROXY TO FRAME STRATEGY
Today, we look to the consumer technology landscape to see how consumers are already using AI in their daily lives. The uptick in adoption and subsequent voice-led consumer behavior was largely a surprise, and is a great example of how AI can experience dramatic growth. It’s easy to marvel at this growth, as the beginning of a new technological revolution, but it is also an opportunity for marketers to reflect and ask: do I want to be just a witness, or a participant in this AI revolution?

Author: Michael Miraflor, SVP, Global Futures & Innovation, Blue 449