TUESDAY 9 FEB 2016 2:30 PM


The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is a source of both excitement and fear, depending on who you’re talking to.

For communicators, particularly the digital enthusiast, AI is an opportunity. At a Provoke event this morning (9 February, 2016), run by Mando Group, a customer experience design consultancy, digital marketing experts shared their thoughts around AI and its role in marketing communications. 

As Jonathan Seal, director of strategy at Mando Group, said, "Machines don’t take jobs, they change them." Despite the much publicised story on BBC News, ‘Will a robot take your job?’, it is far more likely that people’s jobs will be supplemented by AI, leaving more room for people to think like people; to be creative.

Seal said that, along with the ‘hyper personalisation’ of marketing techniques, AI will also bring about ‘automation anxiety’; usually the fear that human-to-human contact will be negatively affected by the digitisation of everything. Privacy is also a clear concern as vast amounts of data are collected and disseminated each day.

Guy Levine, founder and CEO at Return On Digital, a digital marketing agency, gave the room a crash course on machine learning; algorithms that can learn from data. This is something that already sits at the heart of Google’s business and that will soon take place within the public’s smart phone devices. It allows for organisations to appeal to people as, and when, they are most needed.

The final speaker was Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee, a tool that uses AI to create computer-generated copy for businesses. While a machine is currently unable to produce creative, original writing in the traditional sense, Parry argued that it is already possible for computers to generate effective marketing copy – such as tweets or email subject lines.

If AI is able to take over some of the more menial tasks that fall to communicators, both B2C and B2B marketers may find that they have more time to be creative in their campaigns and strategies.


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