Robots are the future — of marketing, at least.[/caption] Last year, Facebook programmed chatbots to have conversations with one another to see if they could strengthen how they interacted with humans. But something went terribly wrong. The computer-generated bots began deviating from their script and creating what scientists could only describe as … their own private robot language, which they were using to communicate with each other. Creepy, right? For some, images from “The Terminator” come to mind. For others, there’s a fascinating and promising lesson about how mimicking humans means finding ways to communicate and relate, which is something we could all use more of. Maybe as we watch robots copying us, we can learn a little something from the robots. That’s why it’s no surprise to learn that the 2017 Marketing Word of the Year, according to an annual report by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), was “AI.” The word choice finalists are determined each year by over 400 members of the ANA staff, with the results released in December. Examples that informed the decision to choose “artificial intelligence” included using chatbots for customer service, the popularity of products like Amazon Echo (with Alexa), the voice-responsive features on every smartphone (it’s not just Siri anymore), and even those algorithms that inform the ads popping up on your Facebook feed or Google search results.
Feedback from the people who voted for “AI” as the 2017 Marketing Word of the Year included:
- It’s not just the marketing word of the year. It’s the transformative phenomenon that’s going to reshape the world as we now know it.
- 2017 was the year that AI moved from being this weird, misunderstood term on the periphery of marketing consciousness to this weird, somewhat understood term spiraling closer to the epicenter of marketing, on an unavoidable collision course with our daily lives and jobs.
- AI has gone from something to think about to real-world development and implementation.