Artificial Intelligence Technology with Will Ammerman
by Tim Healy
Alexa. Siri. Cortana. Our voice assistants power our lives. The artificial intelligence technology behind these assistants has led to a societal change not seen since the Industrial Revolution. What is artificial intelligence technology, and is there something dark hidden behind these devices?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on the verge of completely reshaping how businesses market to you. As you were reading through emails, shopping online, and visiting your favorite social media sites, AI was at work. Sophisticated AI algorithms are always scrapping, logging, and cross-referencing who you are and how to best connect with you. The motivation behind this connection? To get you to spend money.
Whether you are a marketer or consumer, the lessons behind artificial intelligence are important ones.
Today’s guest is William Ammerman, thought leader, technologist, and author of The Invisible Brand. William will show you how technology and the access to consumer data creates an opportunity like never before in history.
When writing his book, William thought it was important to assign a name to the technology that impacts us psychologically. By giving a name to psychotechnology, we can talk about it in an open forum.
What does it mean for us to interact with technology that can change our behaviors? According to William at 2:54, there are major trends to look at. One of these is the personalization of information – the ability of advertisers to customize ads based on your browsing history. This trend is shaping much of today’s technology.
Is Mass Targeting Over?
In the past, advertising was delivered en masse to the same people at the same time. We read the same New York Times, watched the same evening news, and listened to the same NPR.
Today, we receive only the information we like and only when we want it. At 4:40, William speaks about how this opens up a Pandora’s Box. Only consuming the news you like can be detrimental.
Connecting on an Emotional Level
At 6:25, William talks about a recent study where a number of participants were asked to interact with a small robot. Over the course of the study, individuals formed a close relationship with the robot. At the end, they were asked to turn off the robot. Those in the control group had no problem with this task. In the study group, the robot said, “please don’t turn me off, I’m scared of the dark.” As a result of the empathetic relationship they had developed, some participants refused to turn off the device. This study shows that the more we interact with these voice-controlled devices, the more control the devices have.
The Good and the Bad of Artificial Intelligence Technology
At 7:53, William details how the use of AI creates two unique opportunities for marketers. The first allows them to influence us through our devices. The second allows them to hack us and have control over us in a negative way. It is important for everyone to understand these opportunities in order to avoid the bad.
The Love of a Child
Interacting with AI is new for most of us. We didn’t grow up with things like Alexa. What about the next generation?
Listen at 8:40 where William discusses a social gathering with his neighbors. While at their house, William was invited by their 4-year-old son to “play a game.” The son then asked Alexa to play the theme from Star Wars. As the music played, the son exclaimed “Alexa, I love you” in an enamored voice. The boy’s mother had a pained, almost jealous expression on her face. William was left stunned after witnessing this declaration of love for nothing more than an inanimate voice.
Seeing the Invisible
What can we do about the relationships we have already formed with our devices? At 13:00, William speaks about how important it is to ask more than “what is this voice and who is answering me?” You have to “see the invisible” and question who is trying to influence you and your decisions. The mission of his book is to give people the tools needed to ask these questions, because these things are already operating in our lives.
WHO You Are is Influenced by WHERE You Are
The next time you log onto Facebook or Twitter, take a look at your advertisements. Do you notice that your ads seem to follow you wherever you go? As William explains at 14:55, you probably aren’t just being paranoid.
Geomarketing is at play each day of our lives. Our cars, phones, computers, and other devices contain technology to locate you. So, by looking at where you go, we can learn many things about you. If you are at the golf course every Thursday, we can assume that you are interested in golf clubs and apparel.
It goes beyond our favorite pastimes. Technology in grocery stores connects to your devices and can track you moving from one section to another. As a result, marketers can make changes to the store layout based on this information to persuade consumers to buy.
From Hoping to Knowing
We can see how artificial intelligence technology has changed marketing by looking at the difference in data between then and now. Years ago, marketers had to purchase commercial space in every market in the country and hope that their ads reached their target. Listen at 18:30 to understand how, in many situations, consumers go to the marketers.
Think about a convention center. These facilities host very specific, hyper-targeted conventions several times a year. Truck driver conventions, painting conventions, flower making conventions – there is an event for every type of person. At a convention center, people from all over the country gather in a concentrated fashion. We can then capture their device IDs in order to deliver targeted ads to them.
Marketing dollars go a lot further thanks to AI. As a result, marketers go from hoping their message reaches their target, to knowing that their message reaches their target.
Listen to Part 2
If you’re thinking that AI is too complex for you, stay tuned for Part 2 of my interview with William Ammerman. We’ll talk about how artificial intelligence technology isn’t just for the Starbucks and Targets of the world. It’s possible for smaller companies can get in on the profits with the right practices.
If you liked my interview with William – download more episodes of The Profit Express to inspire you on your journey to creating success.