'We’re already in an era where our natural human capabilities will be ‘augmented’ by computational systems that help us think; robotics systems that help us make; and digital nervous systems that connect us to the world far beyond our natural senses! Today, we’re at the cusp of our new era as a species … the ‘augmented age.’'
In the beginning of his talk he enlightens us on how far the human race has come in the billions of years our species has existed - how we have progressed from the hunter-gather age that lasted for several million years to the agricultural era that endured for several thousand years, then the industrial age, which lasted from about 1760 until it was supplanted by the Information age in the late 20th century. Now, Conti suggests in his talk, we have finally left the Information Age (which only lasted a few decades) and entered the age of Artificial Intelligence and Augmentation.
This is also referred to as 'accelerating change.' The idea of accelerating change is that with 'faster and more profound change' in the realm of technology comes an equally profound social and cultural change for the human species. This has proven true thus far.
The Era of Cognitive Augmentation in Marketing
Conti asked a somewhat humorous question of the audience at some point in his talk: 'How many of you are augmented, cyborgs?'
Though this question seems funny at first glance, when you think about it, we are fast approaching a point of human existence where this may not be too far from the truth. AI and augmentation are already a major part of our daily activities whether we realize it or not.
Think of the time a company spends searching for keywords; preparing blog article subjects; typing, optimizing, personalizing and automating content; making sure landing pages are working correctly; reviewing and studying analytics; deciding on content strategies.
Now ponder how much time you would save if AI-powered technology performed most of those tasks while your only role was to enhance instead of create. I’m not suggesting that AI will replace content marketers anytime soon, nevertheless artificial intelligence is hastening us in that direction. It will empower marketers to produce content the right content at scale and at the right time, and to the audience, it’s intended for.
As stated by IBM: 'Cognitive content marketing is the process of creating and distributing high-quality content to educate, engage, attract and acquire prospects into customers, customers into repeat buyers, and repeat buyers into advocates.'
Companies That Use Cognitive Content Marketing
According to a report written by IBM, 58% of an organization’s digital information was conducted by cognitive computing. Another 46% of 'early adopters' have found it difficult to come up with a strategy towards their adoption, while another 7% have successfully come up with a 'comprehensive, company-wide strategy.' Amazon has mastered the art of fostering a personalized online shopping experience by creating 360-degree customer profiles. Amazon has used big data (data collected from past purchase histories, emails, search results and social media habits) to direct buyers in the direction that best fits their purchasing needs and/or desires. Since the Internet is more vast in the virtual sense than the oceans of planet earth, it’s no wonder websites such as Google, Netflix and Facebook had to develop ways to tap into the overwhelming amount of user data. This has pushed tech companies to move in a direction that allows Internet-based companies to track users’ habits, enabling them to turn that vast universe into a more condensed online world where you only (mostly) see what you need or want to see. This means users are essentially guided by their own data 'fingerprints,' so to speak. So, how much of this is actually done by Artificial Intelligence? Let’s review some ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way we market …
1. Bots Creating Article Content
I first learned about how algorithms have already begun generating content when I found out many of the sports news updates were actually made by machines rather than humans. But these days, it isn't only sports that are being reported on by bots. Just last year the Washington Post uses a bot named Heliograf that wrote a news article on how Republican Steve King defeated his Democratic opponent Kim Weaver in last November's race for Iowa's 4th congressional district seat. And though the piece was created by an algorithm it read much in the same style and 'verve' that Post writers are known for. Here is a section of the article: 'Republicans retained control of the House and lost only a handful of seats from their commanding majority,' the article read, 'a stunning reversal of fortune after many GOP leaders feared double-digit losses.'
2. Chat Bots
Instead of humans a chatbot is a service, powered by way of set rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, which you interact with through a chat interface. The provider could be any number of things, starting from useful to just plain funny, and it could reside in any foremost chat product such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, and Text Messages.
If you desired to buy footwear from Nordstrom online, you would visit their website, look around until you find the shoes you liked, and then you would buy them. If Nordstrom makes a bot, which I’m sure they will, you'll be able to message Nordstrom on Facebook. It might ask you what you’re seeking out and you would 'tell it.' Instead of browsing an internet site, you may have a conversation with the Nordstrom bot, mirroring the type of experience you would get if you were in the retail store.
3. Automated Customer Service
Most likely the best example of automated customer service in the industry has to be IBM's, Watson. Watson is slowly but gradually gaining adoption from consumers from any market it (or he) participate in. From Visa to BMW to Bosch to Kone, Watson can now boast of some extraordinary partnerships. IBM recently hosted a two-day briefing at its newly minted IoT facility in Munich. Dubbed the 'Genius of Things,' this helped the employer showcase a number of the wins it had within the latest past.
It only takes a glance around the world wide web to quickly see that IBM is totally killing the IoT game with their Watson technology. Even now, more and more companies are deciding to power their very own service robots with Watson.
In Tokyo, Japan, mobile carrier Softbank integrated Watson into their robot Pepper, which became available to the public sometime in 2015.