When WALL-E met EVE

Most of us have heard about Pixar Studio’s movie WALL-E where AI bots develop consciousness and feelings but could this become a reality?  Probably not, but in 2016 Microsoft’s Tay.AI began tweeting obscenities within 24 hours of going online so was quickly shut down. ( Source: Samantha Masunaga LA Times March 25, 2016)

Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) generate appropriate marketing content?

We’ve all found ourselves in the position of not having enough time to generate quality content for blogs and social media, let alone videos and podcasts.  In fact, 89% of the commercial leaders I spoke with recently said developing regular content was a major bottleneck. What can be done to resolve this issue?  There are several solutions available which have advantages and disadvantages as presented in table 1.

 

Solution

 

 

Advantage

 

Disadvantage

Hire a dedicated content writer

 

In-house

Costs associated with salary and benefits

Narrow breadth of expertise

Turnaround time

Use an agency

 

Turnaround time

High agency fees

 

Use a freelancer

Turnaround time

Unknown domain knowledge

Subscription marketing

Turnaround time

Domain knowledge

Low-cost

New concept

Artificial  intelligence and Machine  Learning

Fast turnaround

Mass collation of content

Predictive content

 

Lack of emotion and sentiment

Algorithm errors

Inappropriate context

Expensive service

New concept

Table 1: Available solutions to alleviate the content generation bottleneck

Everyone likes the idea of blogs and social media but they don’t see an immediate return on investment (ROI) so generally stop the activities before they have a chance to take hold.  This is usually because the posts have been sporadic and /or low quality.  Take a look at your content, posted over the past few months, and ask yourself if there is anything compelling about it. If someone else had written the content, would you take the time to read it?

 What’s the solution?

To alleviate human workloads, we are turning to automation, AI and ML. Marketing automation has been in effect for several years but requires human input for campaign design and content generation.  AI and ML are new concepts being used by Amazon, Facebook, and Google to characterize current customers in their database, analyze purchasing patterns, and provide insights. These are then used to develop highly personalized campaigns.  (Source: Brad Power Harvard Business Review May 30, 2017)

AI and ML still require a human to define parameters and develop training modules, but turnaround time of mass data is fast.  If using bots to generate content, it is always good practice to perform QC before deployment. Without these safety guards in place, you could run the risk of renegade AI.

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