To better understand what artificial intelligence is and what this means for the future of media, BLACK ENTERPRISE sought professional insight from marketing executive Kimberly Wilson, whose expertise includes an in-depth study of AI and extensive experimentation with its capabilities.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence, abbreviated as AI, is a technology that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. So, what exactly does this mean? Wilson said to think of it like this. Compare it to the way humans learn and adapt. “Just like how we learn from our experiences and become better at tasks over time, AI systems are designed to process large amounts of data, learn from it and improve their performance on specific tasks without explicit programming,” she explained.
Technology is programmed to perform tasks by learning from experience, understanding natural language, recognizing patterns, and making data-based decisions.
“AI can improve personalization, which can lead to better customer experiences and increased engagement. This ultimately enhances the company’s overall performance. AI can predict trends and customer behavior, enabling companies to proactively address market demands and optimize their operations,” Wilson added.
Different types of AI
By now, most of humanity is aware of how complex machine intelligence can seem. Wilson eased that perspective and explained that AI can be broadly categorized into three types.
Narrow AI (Weak AI)
“This type of AI is designed to perform specific tasks and is limited to those tasks only,” Wilson said. Noted as the most common form of AI today, Narrow AI includes applications like virtual assistants and recommendation systems.
General AI (Strong AI)
General AI can understand, learn and perform any intellectual task that a human can do. However, “true general AI is still theoretical and does not exist yet,” according to Wilson.
Super AI (Artificial Superintelligence)
Super AI is a hypothetical AI that would surpass human intelligence in every aspect, but Wilson shared, “As of now, it is purely a topic of speculation and has not been achieved.”
AI for Media Companies
Every day, companies incorporate some form of AI into their overall business strategy. “For media companies, narrow AI applications like content personalization, automated content generation, sentiment analysis, and audience targeting can be particularly beneficial to improve content delivery and audience engagement,” Wilson said.
According to the marketing executive, there are several ways AI can be incorporated into a company’s marketing strategy. These strategies include:
Customer Segmentation to analyze customer data and behavior to segment audiences based on their preferences and characteristics for targeted marketing campaigns;
Personalization or creating personalized content, product recommendations, and advertisements to improve customer engagement and conversions;
Predictive Analytics which predicts customer behavior, sales trends, and market demands, aiding in strategic decision-making;
Image and Video Analysis, the analysis of visual content where technology can recognize objects and even assess customer emotions to improve visual marketing strategies; and
In Social Media Management, a company can use technology to assist in monitoring, scheduling content, and analyzing data for better social media marketing.
Transitioning to Artificial Intelligence
So overall, it may be safe to say this all seems like one big helping hand, but now what? Companies can make the transition into the world of artificial intelligence to balance their responsibilities and ease the weight of daily tasks. “AI makes it easier to automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry, content generation, and customer support, freeing up human resources for more strategic work. It can also enhance decision-making by analyzing vast amounts of data-driven decisions faster and more accurately,” Wilson said.
Looking to make the transition, here’s how.
Identify Pain Points. AI can add value to these areas and address specific challenges or inefficiencies in business processes.
Perform Data Collection and Preparation. Wilson said gathering relevant data and ensuring it is properly organized and labeled is crucial to train AI models effectively.
Start with Narrow Applications. Begin with pilot projects using narrow AI applications to solve specific problems and gain experience. This should be implemented before seeking more complex AI.
Collaborate with AI Experts. Wilson said that Partnering with AI experts or seeking consultation from AI specialists will help guide companies through the implementation process to ensure the optimal use of AI technologies.
Form a Task Force. Assemble a diverse cross-functional team of in-house subject-matter experts to collaboratively integrate AI across the organization. Wilson said, “The involvement and prioritization from senior leadership are crucial to the success of this initiative.”
AI, diversity, and authenticity in marketing
Even with AI changing how brands communicate and market their companies to consumers, brands must strive to keep their authentic voices and embrace the diversity of their target audience. “Although AI is revolutionizing the marketing industry, it lacks the nuance of company authenticity and cultural diversity,” Wilson said.
AI has seemingly posed several challenges to diversity because, according to Wilson, “AI algorithms are only as unbiased as the data they are trained on.” Brands can leverage AI to enhance diversity by using diverse data representative of the entire population, developing models that can detect and mitigate biases in the data and decision-making process, establishing ethical guidelines and frameworks for AI development, and including diverse teams in AI development, which Wilson said brings different perspectives and reduces biases.
Brands should aim to remain authentic when implementing AI.
Emphasize the importance of human-AI collaboration. “AI can automate tasks, but human creativity, empathy, and understanding are irreplaceable in building authentic connections with customers,” Wilson said. Using AI to understand your targeted audience and behaviors is key to delivering relevant content. Brands should also strive for diversity in data to appeal to a broader audience and avoid perpetuating discriminatory practices. Wilson continued brands should continuously monitor “the performance of AI algorithms for potential biases and inaccuracies and be ready to adjust as needed.” Prioritize ethical use and develop an ethical framework that aligns with your brand values and reinforces a commitment to fair and responsible AI practices.
Always be open to feedback from your teams and customers.
“While AI can automate processes and improve efficiency, its ultimate goal should be enhancing customer experiences and meeting their needs. Brands should focus on using AI to deliver personalized, meaningful content and services that resonate with their target audience,” Wilson concluded.
As an added reminder, brands should always be transparent about using AI and data collection to ensure customer trust and data privacy.
Source: Black Enterprise