Razorfish Tech Summit: Some Thoughts on AI and our Emerging Screenless World

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Last week Razorfish held their annual tech summit in NYC. The topics covered were timely, inspirational and included AI and Deep Learning, AR/VR’s role in the future of storytelling, the power of social and content in cause marketing, and the rise of screenless engagement and Voice.

Scott Penberthy, Google’s Chief Technology Officer, shared that computers were once people who, well, computed.  We made machines to compute, but there was another school of thought involving neural networks that behaved more like human minds responding to multiple stimuli. The challenge at the time of minds like Alan Turing was the machines were not capable of the possibilities.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is revealing algorithms in customer needs and behaviors that brands can tap into in order to become trusted partners, helping consumers get to relevant products or services faster and in increasingly personalized ways.  Personalization is no longer an aspiration; it is the emerging price of entry.

Each customer engagement (good, bad or neutral) should make the algorithms smarter and better.  That is, campaigns are not done once a launched.  We’re more in a continued state of Beta, learning and adapting to better serve individual needs.

Health and AI

At the Summit, the discussion on the optimal use of AI was not about how to make consumers behave better and buy more of our stuff, but to make us better at creating experiences and helping people connect and discover.  The world is at the very beginning of Deep Learning, and Publicis agencies are already crowdsourcing data, accumulating it in cloud, analyzing it with machine learning, acting and adapting to create more meaningful customer engagements for the audiences we serve.  We are exploring AI solutions to help diagnose earlier, anticipate what content and services individuals need and simplify their path to appropriate therapy and compliance.

Google’s Deep Mind is keenly focused on health as the place where innovation can happen at scale.  In respect to healthcare services and communications, please don’t take AI lightly.  There was $4.2 billion in AI venture capital funding in 2016, further emphasizing that new partners are always emerging to help us deliver a new better way and the one after that and…

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Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable with AI

Here’s a little perspective on what the impact of AI and machine learning means to all of us. Imagine you go back in time and get Napoléon Bonaparte (early 1800s) and bring him to 2017. He would probably die (literally) from wonderment of the modern world. So, let’s say he doesn’t die and he goes back to 1808 and says, “I wonder how advanced we are from a few centuries ago.  So  Napoléon goes and gets William Shakespeare (late 1500s) and brings him to 1808. Shakespeare would not die. The change simply was not that significant or jarring.

Today, we are at the bend of a hockey stick curve of technological acceleration. (The stick figure on the chart below is you). What this means is if you went 100 years in our future, you might die or – you might live forever (-;.

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For a deeper dive on this, read and bookmark this blog: The AI Revolution: The Road to Super Intelligence by Tim Urban.  Or, see articles on The Singularity http://www.singularity.com

Neither of these links come with a billable code – sorry.

Can You Hear Me Now?  The rise of Screenless

As digital agency of record for Patrón, our colleagues at Razorfish created a Personal Bartender accessible via Amazon’s Alexa.

Patron Turns Amazon’s Alexa into Customers’ Personal Bartender

patronbannerThe Patrón Cocktail Lab is an intelligent, recommendation engine that combines consumer insights and technology across mobile, desktop and voice-enabled platforms to serve up the perfect cocktail for you — it’s like having your favorite bartender anywhere.  The Patrón Cocktail Lab was transformed into an at-home voice accessible cocktail concierge.  In addition to serving you the perfect cocktail recipe, you can “Ask Patrón” questions like, “How do I muddle a drink?” or “What can I make with Patrón silver, club soda and limes?”, or “What’s the difference between Anejo and Reposado?”  Patrón is the first spirits brand to develop on this emerging voice-enabled platform.

What do margaritas have to do with medicines?  Simply this: the thought of creating an answer engine via Amazon Alex, Siri or Google Home attached to a pharma brand’s service platform to simplify refills, help with call center queries, and even expedite access to content for patients and practitioners is intriguing and actually already happening — stay tuned.

We have entered an era where the next blockbuster in health will be customer engagement and the lines between services and brands will continue to blur.

Be it data to ensure we are anticipating people’s needs and challenges before they become issues,  engaging audiences in the emerging screenless world, or partnering to create deep learning solutions to help people get to optimal care faster – we are not waiting for the future.