In recent times, all of us at some point have come across a statement such as ‘Artificial intelligence is taking over’ or maybe something like ‘Machines are the future of humanity’. The implication being that, not so long in the future, human beings will be redundant and their capabilities will be rendered expendable. It may be ironic but there is no denying the truth- Machine learning and AI are in fact the future. Therefore, being a human, if you do want to play any part in your future, it is essential to know your way around these phenomena and cultivate the ability to use them to your advantage.
Understanding the Terms
In order to properly understand a concept, it is imperative to first understand the terminology. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the two most prevalent terms and are often used interchangeably. However, it is important to note that they are not the same thing but are indeed related to one another. The main difference between them can be highlighted by breaking down the terms into their simpler components, i.e., “intelligence” and “learning”. It is evident to any anglophone that both these words are interlinked but allude to different concepts.
For instance, let’s assume you have some problem that you are looking to solve. You present this problem to an associate of yours and they immediately come up with a well-thought-out solution based on their previous experiences or knowledge. Your eyes immediately start glimmering as you admire them for their intelligence. That is essentially what intelligence is, right? The ability to come up with solutions to complex problems and situations.
Now, consider a slightly different scenario: you present your problem to your associate and instead of presenting you with a solution immediately, they ask you for some time. They take that time to get themselves acquainted with the problem and lay down the groundwork required to solve it. The associate then comes up with a solution to your problem after conducting the research it demanded. In this case, you associate “learned” how to solve the problem– but that does not mean they are not “intelligent”. Thus, it would suffice to say that learning is a part of intelligence and vice versa. Now if you attach the previously removed terms ‘machine’ and ‘artificial’ back to their consorts, the concepts still remain stagnant.
To understand this concept better, the focus needs to be shifted entirely to “artificial intelligence”.The word artificial refers to something that is unnatural or cultivated. Machines, obviously, are not born intelligent and therefore, must resort to “learning”. Therefore, it can be stated that machine learning is in fact the core component of artificial intelligence– like Russian dolls nested within each other.
An AI Apocalypse!
Alexander Pope’s famous quote “to err is human” was well-received throughout the human population as it provided a sort of comfort to humans, giving them room for mistakes. However, that is exactly what lead to the supposed, imminent collapse of the human empire. Machines do not ‘err’– and that is what makes them indispensable. It is true that the initial goal of AI was to mimic human intelligence and aid with tasks, however, with time its capabilities have far superseded those of human beings themselves. Machines can now accomplish tasks more efficiently and in significantly less time, making human beings less relevant.
Brace yourselves– the machines are rising. The apocalypse is now!
Marketers Swooping in
It is indeed true that machines are the future because advancements in AI and machine learning are creating a paradigm shift in virtually every sector of the tech industry.
One of the biggest sectors to benefit from the superhuman powers of AI is the digital marketing industry. Marketers are making use of machine learning and AI to target audiences and engage with consumers in increasing personal and effective ways.
Some of the most common ways are:
1. Social Listening
Every person who uses the internet is no stranger to the feeling that someone is listening in to their conversations. You talk to your best friend about a certain pair of shoes, and the next day you receive an ad about the same pair of shoes on your social media feed. Magic? Well, yes. The magic of AI to be exact. Marketers use AI tools to “listen” to your social channels by keeping track of certain phrases and keywords to understand you better and pick out their target audience. Once marketers know about the requirements and preferences of the audience, it enables them to deliver the right product to the right person at exactly the right time– assuring higher conversion and customer retention.
2. Content Development
Feelings of insignificance are high for me as I write this, but there is no denying it. Machines are now intelligent enough to generate content tailored specifically according to the needs of the target audience. AI tools are used to respond automatically to product inquiries, leave supportive replies to comments on social media or create earning reports. AI also has the ability to keep track of the kind of content that the customers seek out and then bombard them with exactly what they need; saving marketers with time to focus on other, more important tasks.
3. Analyzing Competition
AI and machine learning enable marketers to analyze every detail about competitors at unprecedented scales in a fraction of a second. Machine learning algorithms can be used to identify patterns hidden in massive amounts of data and observe your competitor’s campaign strategies. This competitive advantage allows the marketers to analyze the experiences of their competitor’s customers and even implement a master plan that would swerve those customers towards their own company.
4. Strategy Optimization
In the olden days, marketers would choose to advertise their products in the local paper or on billboards based solely on the amount of people that would be likely to see it. In recent times, however, there is a vast range of other variables to consider before deploying a successful marketing strategy. With the intervention of AI, marketers can now evaluate which campaigns are worth boosting according to their content, timing and audience. AI and machine learning are able to help you make more money through effectively tailored campaigns but also allows you to minimize losses by avoiding campaigns that are not likely to work for you.
Therefore, it is indeed true that machines are the future of humanity. However, we do have the power to control them and utilize their magnificence to our own benefits.
So, fellow humans, save yourself from a state of redundancy.