You probably don’t realise it, but you’re already using artificial intelligence (AI) all the time: recommended suggestions on Amazon or Netflix, voice recognition like Siri, and chatbots are all arms of this rapidly growing and soon-to-be revolutionary technology.
Defining AI is tricky because it’s an amorphous tech that’s constantly evolving. Essentially, AI is algorithms that can learn and problem solve, and, as HubSpot explains, “They’re designed to flow into the platforms and tools we already use and make even the most mundane tasks more efficient and accurate.” Unless something’s gone wrong, chances are you haven’t noticed AI’s seamless integration into existing tech.
Marketing’s not exempt from the AI paradigm shift that’s about to sweep over the world. Chatbots will make conversations and data more personalised, product suggestions will be made based on queries instead of arduous searches, and combing through vast amounts of data to garner real insights are all on the brink of AI assistance.
All of this is why Kevin Kelly calls AI, in his TED talk on the subject, the start of the next Industrial Revolution. You can watch the full video below, but here are his three main takeaways on AI:
- WE DON’T FULLY UNDERSTAND INTELLIGENCE
“We tend to think of intelligence as a single dimension, that it's kind of like a note that gets louder and louder. It starts like with IQ measurement. It starts with maybe a simple low IQ in a rat or mouse, and maybe there's more in a chimpanzee, and then maybe there's more in a stupid person, and then maybe an average person like myself, and then maybe a genius. And this single IQ intelligence is getting greater and greater. That's completely wrong. That's not what intelligence is — not what human intelligence is, anyway. It's much more like a symphony of different notes, and each of these notes is played on a different instrument of cognition. So your calculator is smarter than you are in arithmetic already; your GPS is smarter than you are in spatial navigation; Google, Bing, are smarter than you are in long-term memory. And we're going to take, again, these kinds of different types of thinking and we'll put them into, like, a car. The reason why we want to put them in a car so the car drives, is because it's not driving like a human. It's not thinking like us.”
- SECOND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
“We are going to use AI to basically make a second Industrial Revolution. The first Industrial Revolution was based on the fact that we invented something I would call artificial power. Previous to that, during the Agricultural Revolution, everything that was made had to be made with human muscle or animal power. That was the only way to get anything done. The great innovation during the Industrial Revolution was, we harnessed steam power, fossil fuels, to make this artificial power that we could use to do anything we wanted to do.”
“When we take this AI and embody it, we get robots. And robots are going to be bots, they're going to be doing many of the tasks that we have already done. A job is just a bunch of tasks, so they're going to redefine our jobs because they're going to do some of those tasks. But they're also going to create whole new categories, a whole new slew of tasks that we didn't know we wanted to do before. They're going to actually engender new kinds of jobs, new kinds of tasks that we want done, just as automation made up a whole bunch of new things that we didn't know we needed before, and now we can't live without them. So they're going to produce even more jobs than they take away, but it's important that a lot of the tasks that we're going to give them are tasks that can be defined in terms of efficiency or productivity. If you can specify a task, either manual or conceptual, that can be specified in terms of efficiency or productivity, that goes to the bots. Productivity is for robots. What we're really good at is basically wasting time.”
As much as AI is going to change the world, it’s nothing without the insights and compassion of people.