Why Consumers Need to Stop Fearing Artificial Intelligence

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Joe-Cecin-Nervve-smIn this special guest feature, Joe Cecin, COO of  Nervve, asserts that while AI and machine learning are often thought of as futuristic or set to support the rise of robots, many consumers would be surprised to learn that these technologies actually play a big part in their everyday lives. Joe serves as the President & COO of Nervve, a video and image recognition technology company. Nervve provides access and interpretation of visual data found in videos and still images, serving advertising, sports marketing and public sectors.

Ask most people to describe the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the term “artificial intelligence” and responses are likely to range from confusion (robots) to fear (The Matrix) to amazement (Minority Report). And, truthfully, these reactions are not entirely wrong.

However, when it comes to understanding how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used today, consumers will be surprised to learn the impact it has on everyday life. According to IBM, consumers produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of ordinary data every day, and we rely on artificial intelligence to accurately and efficiently analyze all of this information to our benefit. Aside from helping consumers find their soul mates on Match or Tinder or allowing drivers to circumvent traffic and accidents on apps like Waze, there are other reasons why consumers should begin to embrace artificial intelligence.

AI Provides Targeted Customer Service

In the world of customer service, understanding how to engage with customers used to be a complex task, often resulting in misguided, impersonalized and unsolicited outreach that was sure to turn away customers. Today, customer service is done much more smartly. Businesses now rely on machine learning to target specific consumers based on their unique interests and digital habits, allowing for fully customized experiences that almost always result in happier, more loyal customers. Online retailers specifically have taken advantage of AI technology to learn and analyze frequent buyers’ styles and tastes, offering relevant suggestions based on trends among similar shoppers.

AI Keeps Social Media Smart

Social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, were some of the first platforms tapping into the power of AI. These networks, using technology once thought to be “creepy,” use machine learning to analyze users’ current friends and interests in order to auto-tag current friends in pictures, predict new friends that users might want to add or suggest events to attend. For consumers, AI makes using these social media platforms easy, and offers a more enjoyable, seamless experience when it comes to social networking.

AI Makes Entertainment Effortless

Gone are the days of wishing the radio DJ would know exactly what you want to hear as soon as you get in the car. Today, there is an over-abundance of smart music applications—from Apple Music, to Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and more—that use elements of AI to study what consumers listen to and choose what songs to play next, based on the technology’s ability to learn an individual’s taste in music.

Not to be outdone by music, the TV industry has also gotten much smarter. Television sets have evolved from being huge boxes that provide access to limited network stations to portals to powerhouse streaming devices and services, such as Netflix and Hulu, which monitor your viewing habits to make sure you don’t miss your favorite show and others like it. These services use AI to predict other movies or shows you might want to watch based on those you consistently tune in for.

As intelligent technology continues to become more commonplace and consumers begin to understand and accept it, businesses across industries will find more ways to utilize it. The sci-fi view that AI will replace people or trigger the “Singularity” is likely quite a ways off. Rather, the real value of AI is that these tools are making daily life that much easier and more enjoyable—something any consumer will approve of.

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