Why Customers And Marketers Need Human-Like AI
If we could summarize our current era in one sentence,
what would that sentence be? Probably that there is no time. There are more ways to spend money, more irreversible risks and less time to make sense of it all. That’s why humanoid marketing solutions are on the rise to walk us through the myriad of options and traps.
Of course, countless product providers have been trying to cater to this problem with time-saving solutions. Since day one, every computer has claimed to be faster than the previous one — and with quantum computers in reach, we could see acceleration at 100,000,000 times the speed. However, for the same reason that widening highways doesn't reduce traffic jams, making more efficient devices will not save us. We used to make a few five-minute calls per day; now we sit on Facebook for hours. This effect, interpreted by prominent urban economist Edward Glaeser as Jevon's Complementarity Corollary, has broader implications: The more efficient the technology, the more engaged with it we become and the less time we have for important choices.
Semi-good searches lead to semi-bad choices.
We have so much information available to us that it should be easy to choose even a complex product — but it's not. Consider picking a home, business location or medical service provider. The decision comes with rational and emotional components, and the wrong choice could kill you.
Not long ago, search engines looked like an answer to the decision-making process. But with the number of new products skyrocketing each year — and up to 75% of them failing — this may no longer be the case. Even currently available AI-driven search-engine derivatives are not sophisticated enough to help with serious choices. "Hey Google, play Jain." Your Google Home begins to play songs with "Jane" in the title. Now, how about choosing your neurosurgeon this way? "Hey Google, just don’t." Because regular and AI-based search engines aren't great at facilitating complex choices for the 21st-century customer, search engine marketing and SEM may not be our future either. According to some, SEO is already dead. Even if it’s not, change in product evaluating behavior is inevitable.
Oh my bot! Star reviews haunt marketing.
Customer reviews have a major downside: You are seeing the world through someone else’s eyes at best. At worst, you bank your future on a four-and-a-half star review by Alice from Ohio. Who's Alice? It can be anyone or no one. The ideal option would be to create a product-savvy machine and have it test market options for you as you — except that sometimes you don’t want to be you. The big question of recommender systems and all marketing automation is if it should always stick to your previous choices and likes or break away to experiment. The top machine-learning algorithms cluster based on patterns that favor proximity over diversity, which is not how we as humans have evolved.
Spotify suggests weekly playlists differently, but even this feels too close to what we already like and too wary of experimentation. With product variations and communications increasingly composed by automated marketers, the need for more selective analytics and personalization is imminent. Humans without artificial support won’t make it, but AI alone won’t make it either. The combination of AI with blockchain can help as it allows for personalization and can tell the real Alice from the bot. This creates almost unimaginable possibilities for marketing that go beyond what is out there now.
Sorry Siri. We need someone else.
We are not talking a better Siri but about personalized distributed intelligence that is Stephen Hawking smart and has a crystal ball where all market options — including the most complex medical treatments — can be dissected to match our needs in real time. These systems must know our desires better than our best buddies and want the best for us like our moms. If they can’t help us choose the right doctor, home or business option, no one can. They must also run faster than the Flash. Technically speaking, they will be content-based and data-driven systems with deep learning abilities and deep personality profiles. Let’s call them "deep cybuddies." Marketing through such humanoid platforms will differ from that of now. Just as content marketing changed promotion and the way products are created, smart recommendation platforms will lead to clear and measurable, but multilayered, unique value proposition (UVP).
Advances in artificial imagination will also enhance the experimental, creative part of the process. Cyborgs will epitomize the best of humans and the best of machines to help us live more fulfilled lives. They may even be fun to have around. Just think about the newly appointed minister for loneliness and get the picture: We need super cyborgs to be both brainy and cool. If they are not cool, they can make you pretty mad. The latest research by Ciechanowski, Magnuski, Glor and Przegalinska shows that talking to avatar chatbots can raise your heart rate to 160 BPM.
It is possible to imagine ideal blockchain and AI-generated marketing content that is custom-tailored and can reach individuals in real time, at a decent price and without major privacy violations. As of now, however, at least one of these ideals has to be compromised: You can’t have it omnisapient, omnipotent, cheap, fair and perfectly individualized all at once. On the other hand, this is what has always been said until someone new comes out of nowhere and changes the game once and for all. Are they coming?
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