Last month I spent an insightful morning at the IPA to get the 411 from the Foresight Factory on the trends that will impact Adland in the coming 12 months.
It wouldn’t have been a trends and impact conversation without Brexit popping up once or twice. But beyond the post-Brexit ambiguity, there is one trend that always pricks the ears: AI.
Thanks to the big screen and Hollywood’s imagination, we are all a little bit obsessed with iRobot-style machines taking over. So our innate desire for self-preservation always finetunes the senses in any conversation about the advancement of AI.
You will be happy to know that there was no talk of an AI apocalypse. Phew. But there were some interesting points about our changing expectations of the tech as we start to become accustom to AI’s presence in our day-to-day lives.
Google, Alexa and Siri are now members of the family unit and have nestled their feet firmly under the kitchen table.
In an age where convenience is king and immediate gratification is the modus operandi, AI is occupying an increasingly more important place in our world. Our trepidation has been with reliance. Our scepticism with increased demand. AI is now our friend, not our foe.
But AI is a victim of its own success.
Increasingly sophisticated AI is pushing consumer expectations of tech’s capabilities. A need for convenience, control and more seamless transactions are driving consumers’ uptake of AI innovation. As the desire to be liberated from the mundane tasks in life grows, personal digital assistants are expected to lighten the load. Voice-controlled assistants are becoming ever more humanised, sophisticated and integrated into our daily lives; Amazon Echo alone now offers its users over 30,000 skills.
The presence of AI doesn’t mean replacement, it means enhancement. But this should come as no surprise, if we embrace the true definition of AI.
If we define AI as a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human, AI should be created and designed to better us, not replace us; one current example for our agency is heatmapping content for effectiveness, mimicking the human eye based on thousands of eye-tracking studies.
We should see and introduce AI as a collaborator and instigator of positive change, not a threat.
So what do the changing dynamics of our relationship with AI mean for brands?
Consumers will start to expect concierge-like AI assistance in everyday life. Simple information gathering, limited stock answers to queries and stilted interactions with AI interfaces will no longer be tolerated. AI should enhance day-to-day convenience and decision-making, not be a simple ‘nice to have’. Alongside Amazon and Google, expect Asian brands to stay in the lead when it comes to implementing proactive AI.
Right, update over. Where is Alexa with that coffee?