Artificial intelligence in on display at Mobile World Congress as brands shift focus to creating a personalized customer experience.
While AI has become one of the biggest buzzwords of the year, its use as a marketing tactic has some in the industry raising eyebrows. Just as marketers stretch the limits of what constitutes VR versus 360-degree video, they should be cautious about misusing AI as a sales tool and focus on experiences instead.
“From the perspective of consumers, they are not going to buy AI,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight told CNBC. “They are going to buy products which use AI and deliver a fantastic experience.”
The AI products on prominent display at MWC are focusing on customer engagement as a central value proposition.
Mercedes-Benz placed a heavy emphasis on mobile integration and AI, unveiling a line-up of vehicle features that learn and adapt to each driver’s behavior and preferences. A new chatbot called “Ask Mercedes” allows users to ask questions and view augmented reality functions using the mobile app.
Telefonica launched AI-powered digital assistant called Aura in six countries during MWC and announced a new smart home device, Movistar Home.
Asus unveiled its ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 smartphones that feature dual-camera systems that use AI to adapt and learn.
As AI is a tool proven to make sense of data, some marketers have been left to wonder about their job security. During a panel at MWC, Google technical lead manager Behshad Behzadi claimed that many jobs will be complemented by AI, while new jobs will be created.
“For sure there is some shift in the jobs. There are lots of jobs which will [be created which don’t exist today]. Think about flight attendant jobs before there were planes and commercial flights,” said Behzadi. “No one could really predict that this job will appear. So there are jobs which will be appearing of that type that are related to the AI.”
“I don’t think there’s any profession in the world that will not be hit by artificial intelligence in the coming years,” added Bob Lord, IBM’s chief digital officer during the panel.
As the deadline for GDPR guidelines looms, and brands are feeling the pressure. With AI able to process so much helpful information, data privacy is throwing a monkey wrench into the aspirations of many.
IBM executive partner Jessica Douglas called on marketers to look at data privacy not as a challenge, but as a way of life. Data privacy, she said, is “fundamental in the future of the digital world: transparent, truthful and fair.”