As a communications firm that grew out of the tech industry, we like nothing more than to opine on the future. And it seems that the future everyone envisions will be dominated by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Now this may come as a surprise to anyone under the age of 40 but Artificial Intelligence has been around for more than 30 years. Indeed In an interview for my graduate position with my first agency back in 1986, I was asked to do a 30-minute presentation on Expert Systems. This was the precursor to AI as we know it today. So it's a subject I've grown up with in professional terms.
Obviously in the past ten years, the explosion in data coupled with lower cost but higher compute power has transformed the landscape for technologies like AI. More and more we read about the doomsday scenario where jobs will be replaced by computers. I can't deny there's going to be seminal shift in work practices in the next thirty years, but the potential of AI and all that comes with it, is enormous. We argue it will change the world for the better.
In this interview with Hotwire CEO Barbara Bates, Disruption Magazine's Laura Cox focuses on how technology is being embraced by marketing as an enabler to better human interaction rather than as a threat. Too much is written about the impact of AI on jobs in the future so it's important that industry leaders like Barbara lay out the counter argument.
It's not a question of either / or - certainly not in the world of marketing and communications. Nor is it a question of if or when. The AI revolution is upon us and it's impact is felt today. But as Barbara says, where used properly, it can catalyze a move back toward the human element.
Fast moving technology and changing business models have played a part in disrupting every industry from farming to pharma, but it’s easy to overlook their impact on marketing and communications. How has the profession evolved in the face of potential disruption? We spoke to Barbara Bates, global CEO of international communications agency Hotwire, to find out.