For those who own an iPhone smartphone, you’d be familiar with the voice of Siri, your personal assistant from Apple who keeps you in tune with your day. And then there’s Cortana, Microsoft’s version of Siri who’ll accompany you no matter what as long as your smart phone battery lasts. When you need to be close with music, Amazon offers you Echo, a voice-activated control that speaks to Alexa and in turn plays the song you requested on the loudspeaker. Don’t forget Google Assistant, an assistant that unfortunately someone forgot to give a name. Car enthusiast in the US can now choose to buy Tesla, the car that can drive itself on electricity and in Singapore you can call a driverless taxi to take you somewhere lah…
Yes, like it or not, Will Smith’s iRobot reality is catching up now through Siri, Cortana, Echo and Alexa, Tesla just to name a few of the artificial intelligences that are now taking part into the daily life of some of us.
Recent survey by agency Weber Shandwick amongst 150 Chief Marketing Officers in the US, UK, Brazil, China and Canada found that 68% of them are saying that their brands are now selling, using or planning for business in the AI era and that in the very near future, companies will need to compete in AI category to succeed. It also surprisingly found that out of the five markets surveyed, Chinese consumers have the strongest knowledge of artificial intelligence with UK consumers the weakest.
Indonesia is not far off in AI, in fact for those who happen to have enjoyed Jakarta in the 80’s, you might remember a robot taking your meal order in a popular Padang restaurant at the time in Blok M. Not exactly the AI of the future, but you’d appreciate the idea.
Imagine you’re texting a hatter’s Facebook message from a smart phone and when you push the send button, a voice is activated saying “your message is prohibited by law” or in a supermarket, you scan the bar code of a packaged good to find its price and the reader answered back with a voice informing you not only the price but also showing the best recipe for it that can be sent to your personal e-mail.
As with the coming of social media, consumer all over the world welcome new big things with enthusiasm and no marketing officers would dare to leave it untapped. It’s true that while AI technology has advanced much further than anyone would expect. But only a few have had the privileges of enjoying its benefits but more still to finding the reason or comprehending its role in their everyday life than their accessibility to it. The question that often arose of AI is whether AI will be a substitute, an enhancer or a complementary to existing technology that people are enjoying now.
Therefore, an “artful balancing act” of education and responsible marketing will be the greatest challenge for companies who are into marketing AI brands and need to creatively engage consumer segments on understanding AI benefits.
How can AI enhance my daily conversation in social media? How can AI ease my daily stressful commuting from home to office? How can AI solve my housekeeping when housemaid’s salaries keep going up? How can AI help keep down my electricity bill? These are the questions that need to be answered by companies embarking into offering AI brands to consumer, as did generation of consumers before when Internet and social media came.