Recently I attended an event TekLinks in Birmingham puts on every year called Bytes & Bites. Over 1,000 business professionals and IT experts descended upon TekLinks for this B2B technology focused event.
So it was part beer and barbeque fest, part expert tech talks and panel discussions, and one rockin’ keynote speaker named John Shaw with a company named Ele out of Austin Texas.
I was relatively ignorant of all things Artificial Intelligence (“AI” as the cool kids call it) prior to hearing John speak. In fact, I used to think of Star Trek episodes when I previously thought of AI. Machines talking to each other. The movie “Minority Report” with Tom Cruise. That sort of thing.
But John shared some staggering statistics and meaningful case studies that proved to me that AI is all around us, if you just stop to notice. I mean, should we be expecting robots to take over all our jobs one day?
And in fact, as though he anticipated that very thought, John referred us to a site that would in fact, tell you if a robot will take over your job one day! It’s aptly named https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/. (Fortunately, there’s only a 1.5% of automation risk for a Director of Content Marketing, which comforted me somewhat.)
But did you know that in 2017, $12.5 billion dollars were spent on AI-related projects? And in 2016, companies invested between $26 and $39 BILLION dollars in AI? It looks as though the types of companies investing in AI are already considered early technology adopters, such as high tech, telecom, automotive, and YES – digital marketing! But more on that later.
So, when you think of AI in the future, you ought to be thinking of it in terms of a few different types of concepts: machine learning and image recognition. And here are just a few practical uses for these forms of AI:
- A retail store can use facial recognition when you walk in, greet you by name, offer you the latest deals, and anticipate your ordering based on past purchases.
- In healthcare, AI tools can analyze medical histories and environmental factors to identify people at risk for an illness, and steer them clear of it with preventative strategies.
- Banks and financial institutions can use AI machine learning to scan commercial loan agreements looking for mistakes, saving millions of man hours every year.
After thinking through these few examples, you can very quickly see how Artificial Intelligence will streamline tasks and improve processes in ways we haven’t even yet dreamed up.
And even after talking with folks at my workplace Bell Media, it became clear that we’re using AI ourselves for some campaign executions, internal communication, improved customer communication, and even in hiring processes. So who knew? Even at my own workplace!
So how can you see AI processes improving YOUR line of work, in YOUR industry? Because believe me, the money is being spent, as we saw with earlier statistics. And there are smart people out there already starting to figure out how to make our companies leaner, meaner, smarter, more efficient, and more creative at solving problems than at any other point in the history of our world.
Leave it to the geniuses over at TekLinks to open our eyes down here in Birmingham, Alabama.