We typically think of artificial intelligence (AI) within our industry in terms of processes and calculations. Media buying, for example, is ripe for intervention by sophisticated algorithms and machine learning systems. The commonly-held assumption is that developments such as these will free up humans to spend more time on creative tasks, like campaign strategy and content production. But as we move from rule-based automation to true AI, should we believe that creativity will remain a singularly human pursuit? How close is artificial intelligence to being able to carry out the role of a content marketer?
As we step into 2017, we find ourselves face to face with that familiar sensation that often accompanies a change. It's equal parts uncertainty, hope, energy, and anxiety, a combination of the feeling of trying to fall asleep before your birthday as a child, and trying to fall asleep before a big presentation as a business professional. Late last year, while I was diving deep into research for my machine learning series, I found myself faced with the questions that many marketers have been asking themselves, especially as we head into what will almost certainly be a big year for artificial intelligence. What does this actually mean for me and my company? Is my career at stake?
Automation of marketing platforms has had a great impact on the industry over the past few years, it is helping to make marketers more efficient, profitable and successful. However, marketing automation still relies on manual control. It consumes all that time that your marketing team spends on repetitious work. One great technological solution to this problem is artificial intelligence: content marketing can definitely flourish because today's robots can perform that drudgery more efficiently. As Demis Hassabis, founder and CEO of AI company DeepMind, says, artificial intelligence is the "science of making machines smart".
We live in an age where science fiction ever more quickly becomes science fact. Big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are revolutionizing industries across the developed world, from retail to finance to domestic and international spying. These technologies are automating functions previously considered tasks only a human could do, and offering detailed, personalized predictions a human could never make. Now these tools are underpinning a new era of content marketing technology: content intelligence. Big data involves computationally analyzing extremely large data sets to reveal patterns, trends, and associations; especially those relating to human behavior and interactions. It is used in everything from predicting stock performance to seasonal buying behavior to helping the NSA know whether your post about "blowing up the joint" refers to your bomb-making or DJing skills. Every human who uses any form of digital communication generates data constantly, both about themselves and about humans in aggregate. Big data refers to the ability to find, sort, and make sense of this ocean of ones and zeroes. It encompasses structured, semi-structured, and unstructured information, both human-generated and from sensors, machines, and public records. Structured data generally means information residing in a fixed field within a record or file, such as that found in spreadsheets and relational databases. Information that's tagged to show some elements within the data, such as metadata in email or photos, is semi-structured data. Unstructured data meanwhile, includes content such as untagged text, images, audio, video, and so on. Big data can also includes demographic or psychographic information about consumers. Think product reviews and commentary, blogs, content on social media sites, and the digital exhaust streamed 24/7 from mobile devices, sensors, and technical devices.