What is the future of AI? | A Q&A with Katie King

14 January 2019

Katie King is a published Author, Keynote Speaker and Marketing Consultant with over 28 years’ experience, specialising in digital and AI. With all the hype around AI, we have been worried what our careers might look like in the future! After her visit to the Speakers Corner HQ, Katie has put our woes to rest with some fascinating insights into AI, and what the future holds for this technology.

One of the fields that you are an expert in is digital transformation. How do you see AI revolutionising marketing in the future?

AI will undoubtedly have an incredible impact on marketing in the future. Recent research predicts a 29% adoption of this new technology within 18 months. It’s already happening now.  For example, machine learning can be used to streamline expensive and time-consuming processes such as media purchasing and metrics management.  This will help marketers to become more effective in customer service and retention.  By analysing huge amounts data at a fast pace, AI will help markets to understand consumer behaviour and then tailor or personalise content accordingly.

What are some of the benefits of companies investing in AI at its current stage of development?

Early competitive advantage could certainly be gained for those who choose to innovate, move, and act swiftly. As PwC states, the biggest near-term potential economic uplift from AI is likely to come from improved productivity.  This centres on the automation of routine tasks, which means augmenting what staff can do, liberating them of these mundane roles to focus on more stimulating work which in fact can add more value to clients.

But this clearly needs to be weighed up against the fact that AI is still in the Gartner hype phase of development, so it’s important to ensure that investment is strategic, and that the AI solution planned is focused on solving real customer needs. It is no good simply opening up your shopping bag and buying AI just because you are mandated to do so, as it is unlikely you will reap the benefits you are looking for. Also, it’s important to begin with small proofs of concept, i.e. understand the issue/challenge you would like to address and how the AI solution can provide a solution - to ensure that significant budget is not wasted. If you cannot explain what the issue is and how it should be addressed first and foremost, then it is likely that the business is not ready to invest in the AI solution.

What, if any, aspects of AI and digital transformation should we be wary of in the future?

There are many examples of AI failures which arise for a few reasons.  One, as mentioned earlier, is because the approach taken is too tactical.  Another challenge is where the organisation does not take staff into consideration, and instead, gets carried away with tech innovation at all costs.  If you have all the tools and infrastructure for AI in place, that is only one part of the solution, but human intervention at this stage is still necessary and therefore having the right digital skills, data scientists and software engineers in place to feed the AI is still an important factor. Given the demand and competition for digital skills in today’s climate, this is something businesses may be wary of. Another important factor is the sheer amount of data needed to make AI a success.  For this reason, companies need to first complete the digitisation phase of their development.

We’ve heard about your upcoming book launch, what are some of the key points that the audience can take away from it?

The book is a really in-depth collection of case studies; both successes and failures.  Packed with case studies and international examples, it outlines the key advantages of implementing

AI-centric transformational change, including accurate market research samples, on-demand customer service, and brand-safe content creation. These span different industry sectors, for example tourism and retail. I showcase many exciting advancements in AI technology, such as chatbots that can help teams to enhance the overall consumer experience by offering customers more relevant content, and bundling together products and services, which they are likely to desire based on their previous habits.

Nike has reviewed the book, and stated that the introduction of my Scorecard in to marketers lives, “… is undoubtedly going to prove invaluable in setting brands up for success as they shift to a world where AI must be at the centre of marketing strategy.”

Being in the marketing field myself and the prospects of AI, should I be concerned about my career within the next 10 years?

To remain employable and competitive, individuals currently in marketing positions or those looking to embark on a career will need to adapt their skills.  In fact, we will all be on a journey of life-long learning, and one where augmented intelligence will assist many of the tasks we carry out today. The pace at which change is implemented will depend on whether the company in question is an innovator or a laggard.  It will also hinge on the availability of skilled staff to bring the AI-related projects to completion, and the impact of regulations which certain industry sectors will be faced with.

If there was one phrase, in 10-15 words that you could say to motivate someone to consider utilising AI, what would it be?

One of AI's biggest potential benefits is to help people stay healthy. Surely that’s what we’re all aiming for…

It was great to catch up with you  Katie , and thank you for these valuable insight into the future of AI!

For further information call us on   or email  info@speakerscorner.co.uk .

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