It's mainstream and it's coming faster than anyone thought possible. Global developments in robotics and artificial intelligence will disrupt most industries, including the PR and creative industry. Speaking at the Holmes Report's PRovokes 2016 summit in Miami, Lipson shared an action packed keynote, with plenty of thought provoking examples to remind us we now live in harmony with robots, which are getting smarter by the day as a result of artificial intelligence (AI). "The industry is moving so fast it's surprising everyone in the field, where we've seen complete lines of research made obsolete," said Lipson. "For most of us, our view of robots was what see saw portrayed in Hollywood movies – robots were happy, emotional, cunning, smart and sophisticated.
It's all about trying to teach computers to make connections, similar to those humans make instinctively when growing up, in distinguishing objects. When it comes to video content, machine learning can help solve one of the growing issues in the industry. Barry Schwarz calls it'the paradox of choice' which he describes in his book and his excellent TED talk. Simply put, there has been an explosion of high quality video content production over the last decade. In 2014, Annalect reported that US consumers wanting to watch episodic TV had over 350 to choose from. Yet, consumers are less happy now than when they had fewer choices. It turns out that too many choices just make decisions harder. So, as an industry, we must come up with new ways of getting a better understanding of what each consumer wants to watch and create tools that will make discovery and recommendation more seamless and effective. In fact, machine learning could very well be the driver of a completely new set of content discovery and hyper-personalized services that will dramatically improve viewer satisfaction.
Imagine if your name was synonymous with an incredibly popular form of artificial intelligence. For women with the name Alexa, the success of Amazon's digital assistant has made the name both more recognizable as well as spurred inevitable jokes about, for example, what the weather is doing (Amazon's Alexa can give a weather report). In December of last year, the tech giant said it had sold millions of Alexa-enabled units-- nine times more than the previous holiday season. The Echo is "officially mainstream," according to Slice Intelligence. I spoke to five Alexas for a lighthearted look at how they feel about their name.
Many fear that artificial intelligence (AI) will one day replace huge swaths of the workforce. Last year The World Economic Forum predicted that AI and automation technologies will displace 5 million jobs by 2020, with healthcare, energy, and financial industries experiencing the greatest job losses. Some pundits predict that AI will also replace journalists. The theory is that as machines gain a more nuanced understanding of language, they will be able to produce the type of content that human journalists currently produce. The Washington Post, for example, uses an AI bot called Heliograph to produce news stories.
Empathy is a tricky business. The range and complexity of human emotion makes it difficult, if not impossible, to ever really understand how someone else is feeling. Nevertheless, empathy is considered to be a crucial aspect of what makes us human--indeed, our brains appear to be hardwired for it. So perhaps it won't come as much of a surprise that as machine learning becomes ever more sophisticated and capable of mimicking some of the most complex functions of the human brain, figuring out a way to teach a computer empathy is quickly becoming a business in itself. Known as artificial empathy, the idea here is to train machines to recognize social signals from humans, aka'visual data,' and then produce an appropriate response.