As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly popular within our societal means, many people are either scared of it or fascinated by it. Having an IT background, this is a field that has intrigued me for years and recently I had the pleasure of taking a Stanford University course on Natural Language Processing and Natural Language Understanding as it relates to AI. While I had always been semi involved in the science of AI, during my educational journey, I was able to find a significant implication of how Artificial Intelligence has integrated its way into our daily lives.
A Brief Look into AI History
Though you could probably retrace modern artificial intelligence back to the late 1800’s with the amazing Nicola Tesla, AI really started in the 1950s with a British Polymath named Alan Turing. Alan explored the mathematical possibilities of AI. Turing suggested that humans used available information (data) and invoked reason to solve problems and make decisions, so why couldn’t machines do the same? He eventually went on to publish a paper on “computing machinery and intelligence,” inwhich he proposed “the imitation game,” which later became known as the “Turing test.”
The 50s continued to focus on expanding thought leadership with computer scientists like Marvin Minsky and Dean Edmunds. These two men were responsible for building the first artificial neural network. In 1955, the term artificial intelligence was officially coined in a proposal submitted by John McCarthy and 3 other colleagues. A year later, their university workshop was deemed the official birthplace of AI. Because of this, many people say that John McCarthy is the father of AI.
Through the 1950s, 60s, and into the 70s, artificial intelligence expanded rapidly, and achievements in AI continued through the 80s and 90s and well into the 2000s, but at a slower pace since Government funding had all but dried up due to the lack of computing power and goals that were not necessarily met by very ambitious engineers and scientists.
AI in the Modern Era
Fast forward to modern times, we now live in an age of big data and vast terabytes of information, and our computing power is much greater. The modern overarching goal of AI is to process and understand data and information at lightning speeds. The application of artificial intelligence has been extremely positive across so many different industries such as technology, banking, marketing, and even entertainment. We use it every day in our homes, on our phones, at work, and pretty much everywhere we go.
AI allows us to make more informed decisions, discover new information and even helps us solve everyday problems. And that is just scratching the surface of what it can do. If you have ever used text editing software like Grammarly, for example, or talked with a chatbot on a website, you’ve directly engaged with AI. The individual/human and the machine no longer exist separately. But note that the chatbot was programmed by an engineer or maybe even a marketer, to act like a human being when responding to your questions.
A recent report, by one of our closest business partners, HubSpot, found that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are widely used every day – people just don’t realize it. They surveyed over 1,400 consumers about AI and found that 63% of people didn’t know they were already using AI technologies. This just goes to show just how integrated AI has become within our everyday lives.
The Benefits of AI
According to Marketing Insider Group, here are the five core benefits they found in AI for businesses.
● AI can hyper-personalize customer experience by analyzing profiles.
● AI speeds up the production of certain types and formats of content.
● AI-powered software can decide what content to create and when to distribute it.
● AI can process vast quantities of data and can make accurate predictions based on patterns that emerge from it.+
● AI can predict customer behavior and identify and nurture people based on what they want or desire.
In sales and marketing our job is to understand our target audience, anticipate their needs, and serve them information and content about who we are, what we do, what we represent, (products and services) and our goal is to delight and engage. Without this type of data and research provided by AI, we would not be as successful in today’s digital world.