I’m a fan of James Cameron and Steven Spielberg. They’re two amazing filmmakers trying to weave tales about the technology, the future, and our lives within the two. They’re auteur storytellers when it comes to prognosticating where science meets fiction and where science fiction becomes reality. Anyone who watches Westworld on HBO as religiously as I understands what future tech may end up becoming. Artificial Intelligence is here in a way, mostly in the movies. It isn’t light years away. But what you’re being sold as A..I. is anything but artificial intelligence.
Most of the A.I. we see being demo’d to organizations is nothing more than IFTTT conditional statements. Based on a few pieces of data, it delivers one conditioned response. That’s it. However, the true nature of artificial intelligence is that it performs tasks that require a human operator to make decisions, translate appropriate responses, listen to language, and predict an outcome across immeasurable circumstances. A.I. is not something that automatically generates a lead follow-up email every 48 hours REGARDLESS of customer interaction inside a CRM with a sales agent because it is programmed to do so. (And if it was so intelligent, why can’t it be turned off, or turn itself off?
Oh, I’m sorry. Am I kicking your female-named robot? No. what you’re being told is artificial intelligence has a long way to go because it involves very little machine learning. If a lead comes in at 8am, it says “good morning”. At night, “good evening”. Want to guess what it says in the afternoon? Yeah – doesn’t take a human element to marvel at that brainchild. If AI isn’t identifying consumer shopping signals and creating multi-touch tangential activities not pre-set on a simple track, it is NOT A.I.
Vendors are giving artificial intelligence a bad name. Charging far too much for a simple software, under the guise of a cooler name. There is a reason Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai said artificial intelligence “is more profound than, I dunno, electricity or fire.” Even Google claims that A.I. conceiving open-ended conversation on a wide range of topics is nowhere in sight. Why do you believe one in every twenty vendors in an exhibit hall have cracked the code?
A.I. as part of lead management is wrongly confusing innocuous engagement with meaningful conversation. Just because a human-named software sends an email every 48 hours asking “is this the best number for you?” and the shopper (who submitted that number in the first place moments ago) replies back “yes”, does not mean A.I is helping you. If anything, it is generating a worthless confirmation as a response that leads the customer no closer to showing up at the store or buying your product. Why pay for generic statements when a well-trained team can achieve meaningful contact that makes a difference to the buyer?
Let it be known, not all claiming to be A.I. are bad. A few are on the right track. But all companies should admit their artificial intelligence is no where near fully realized or ready to claim that moniker. I’m sure the coding geek-faction of my industry will punch their screens when reading this, but I am using this as a challenge to everyone… aim higher. What you have is improperly named and lightyears from valuable. I’ll willingly review your machine-learning tech if you want to prove me wrong.
What you’re getting wrapped up in a box that is called A.I. is not A.I. If anything, it is artificial A.I. Robots will take over the planet one day, but the sad excuse that many are trying to serve up as artificial intelligence has a long (long) way to go before replacing our people, let alone do it as good as them.