Key Takeaways From Ai4 2020
Artificial Intelligence Creates the Demand of Innovation, Autonomy, and Personalization Amidst a Crisis
There is a seemingly quiet, yet enormous fast-tracked adoption of a new technology happening all around us. It is what many companies need to integrate into their business ecosystems today—Artificial Intelligence (AI).
When someone imagines what “Artificial Intelligence” looks like, sci-fi movies and scary robots are usually the visuals that come to mind. AI has become known as an unfathomably smart thing that will ultimately take over the world. In reality, it’s exactly that, but a lot less scary and actually something from which everyone can benefit.
We had the opportunity to attend the annual Ai4 conference. One of 2020s—soon to be many—physical conferences that moved to a virtual stage. Our goals were to attend, learn, and network with potential new partners to optimize imagery needs throughout the entire enterprise ecosystem.
Little did we know that we would leave Ai4 feeling more empowered. Now, we can appreciate watching AI really start to gain momentum and become more commonplace within mass amounts of working environments.
Optimize workflows to drive autonomy
As AI continues to rapidly grow and adapt, there is a need to make the data lake and processes streamlined, work faster and more efficiently, and require less human interaction.
Retailers realize that AI can be woven into their supply chains to optimize their current process, but they also need to ensure the systems are scalable. Humans are flexible; machines are not. And although the constraints of the projects are difficult to predict, the autonomy is the driving factor to push projects forward.
The ability to manage the data outputs from each stage of an ecosystem with AI and machine learning (ML) can reduce lost information between stages, as well as organize the data with algorithmic decisions and improvements.
Cultivating data and using it to create actionable insights
Making business decisions with data is a traditional process that burdens resources. Sometimes it can take forever to cultivate enough data to make timely decisions. AI and ML allow companies to use real data in real time to understand consumers’ or businesses’ needs and provide a level of relevancy to decision making.
Collecting data leads to the arduous task of managing privacy and balancing a huge data lake worth of information. Above all else, security and transparency between companies and their customers is vital. Part of the conversations during the Ai4 conference revolved around this need to ensure there are no leaks or failures in the infrastructure.
Data to drive personalized CX
One aspect that surprised us to hear was the consistent desire for personalization. Not only in the use of data management overall, but also through omnichannel marketing efforts across the board, and within how a company disperses resources. When attending the group panel session “The State of AI in Marketing,” with speakers from Verizon, Unilever, Reltio, Merck KGaA, and Amazon, they expressed the gaps in their current systems and what they would like to see happen. This includes working through hybrid methods to still have things available in-house, but then leveraging the use of partnerships to try to optimize their personalization needs.
It comes as a surprise to us because personalization and customization are strongly immersed in what LiquidPixels does every day.
A common phrase we heard over and over was:
“How do we get the right message, to the right person, at the right time?”
Which seems like the same question we as a marketing team often ask ourselves. But this question stretches further past just marketing—how do you get the right product, the right service, the best experience, to the right person at the right time in their journey?
AI/ML uses any size datasets to learn insights that help businesses distribute supplies to the stores where they will sell the best, offer the best service at the right time in the pipeline, assist call centers direct a call to the correct person much sooner than in the past, and so much more. You can also use AI/ML to predict and simulate consumers’ problems to ensure your business is ready to handle them appropriately and quickly while providing a delightful experience.
Now more than ever, consumers expect a highly personalized experience. Think about this in another context: when you sign into your Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ account, you expect the “Recommended For You” section to have programs based on your previous watch history. How would you feel if that column contained programs that don’t interest you at all?
When you see ads while scrolling through social media, you expect those ads to reflect interests of yours or feature products and services of something for which you recently searched online. Encountering digital ads can be a frustrating experience, but wouldn’t it be worse if you continued to see ads that aren’t relevant to you? The lesson: don’t generalize your target audiences; begin to segment them into cohorts to whom you can send personalized messages.
Imagine how much more comforting shopping online could be if an online retailer’s website page was entirely catered to you. Envision there’s an entire page that shows you things that you would like. This is personalized shopping taken to the next level, because it is a personal stylist ingrained into the website.
Connect and work together to continue future innovation
As radical as it sounds, keeping everything internal no longer scales with business demands. There are more companies who are transitioning into hybrid models where the data is strategically shared between two parties, so the algorithms of the AI can be provided with enough information to evolve over time. Additionally, having partners allows companies to be flexible, to be agile in the sense that there are experts who excel in certain areas. Some in managing data lakes, some managing imagery, some managing omnichannel marketing.
As we continue to move through this unique time in history, it is more imperative now than ever to connect and move as a singular construct.