Smartificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is often mooted as the ‘future’ for our industry. Many lead us to believe that we are headed for an AI utopia; that ‘optimised’ ad experiences fuelled by big data insights gleaned solely by machines, tailored to individuals, and served to them programatically with impeccable timing in the right time and right context, is almost within reach. However, when we take a step back to consider this, how close are we really; and is it even what we want at all?

How human understanding remains crucial in a world of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI): the development of sophisticated computer systems that learn to perform tasks typically achieved by a human, using the same intelligence or reasoning. Sounds pretty smart.

Now let’s be clear from the start, artificial intelligence is far, far more significant than its implications for marketing. In fact, AI is described by many as the most significant general purpose technology of our time (for other general purpose technologies see the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, electricity, etc.) and through the power of learning and automation, it’s delivering unrivalled cognition that will have a transformational effect on all industries. 

The commercialisation and use of AI has grown exponentially over the last few years (largely due to the democratisation of the technology and its home in the cloud), with a whole host of tools and technologies increasingly infiltrating every aspect of our lives. Behind the scenes, complex neural nets are diagnosing disease, making credit decisions, trading stocks and shares, detecting malware, running security systems, and much more. In our living rooms and in our pockets, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are now household names, performing the mundane as well as stealing our role as trusted source of endless pub trivia. Chatbots and Intelligence Assistants strive (not always successfully) to make our lives more efficient. In our daily lives, AI systems can answer our questions, make recommendations, foresee our behaviour, and predict our purchase preferences. They can even beat us at our own games… As long ago as the ‘90s, ‘Deep Blue’, the infamous IBM Supercomputer, had us hooked on chess of all things, as it beat previously undefeated World Champion Garry Kasparov. As recently as this year an AI system called Libratus beat four world class poker pro’s at heads up, no limit Texas Hold’em. In fact, winning strategic games has long been the yardstick for cognitive AI systems, but what makes Libratus so impressive is that it has mastered a game of imperfect information. As smart, creative, and imaginative as you have to be to win at games like Chess and Go, you have all of the information in front of you. This is not the case with Poker.
AI machines… 1 Mere mortals… 0.

Read more in the attached report.