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09 Feb 2018

AI – A view from a non-tech sales person!

AI – A view from a non-tech sales person!

Recently I attended the AI Congress and if you are anything like me I was expecting to walk into the event hall with all these real-life robots walking round doing ‘stuff’. How wrong I was! I think I saw one robot moving around and actually it was full of tech people and data scientists who were all there to learn and develop their knowledge of AI.

So, it got me thinking about AI and how it will affect the events’ industry. I thought AI would be more the innovation aspect of tech and how organisers can use it at their events to enhance the event but actually it goes further than that and it’s going to affect all businesses.

Key learnings from a non-tech sales person as follows:

  • We’ve been using AI since the 80s, it’s not a new thing, we’re currently in phase 2 and there are three phases - who knew phase one had already happened?!
  • We will still need humans! Bots can’t understand emotions and they can get it wrong as demonstrated with a tech giant (Microsoft) when they let a bot take over its twitter feed and it turned into a racist!
  • Job roles will change and humans will be managing ‘Bots’ by re-writing programmes to get the right outputs.

Speaker Insight

One speaker said ‘AI will be like electricity – mundane, it will become a part of everyday life.’ I thought, wow, we really need to be getting on board with this if that’s the case.

Another speaker said; three key sectors AI will help with is Health and Finance which is kind of obvious but the third is Sales and Marketing. I’m a sales person how can it help? Well drum roll please…. It will help sales people sell more effectively as AI will help prioritise sales leads, which is cool with me - I need all the help I can get.

With marketing its going to be the next phase on from ‘Big Data’ and it’s going to play a massive part in the data we use. Data is key here to making AI work.

Another speaker’s explanation on AI was Artificial Intelligence is not AI, the first is the research of cognition, the second is using technology to replicate the cognitive process. AI is a spin off Tech from Artificial Intelligence.’ Still not sure I get it after this explanation, I’m no tech expert but I can say I have a better understanding on AI from before I went to the conference.

Will email die?

Maybe. Brands will stop emailing as 90% will switch to messaging! Maybe email will be the next fax machine - let’s be honest who uses fax anymore!

Maybe some of the younger generation are reading this and thinking what is fax?! But apparently messaging is the next big thing on how we will communicate with each other in business. Apple are just about to launch Apple Business Chat and we can’t deny, they’re the frontrunners with embracing new and effective technology.

Lasting thoughts

One reason I thought AI could be useful for businesses is you don’t get Cognitive bias with AI/Bots but on the down side it does need to be very specific to work and will need a lot of human effort to get the right outcomes. AI is not the destination, ROI is and AI is how you get there. AI will help with better decision making.

So, my thoughts after learning all these new things is; should we be making more of an effort to incorporate AI into our processes now?

Are companies already on this path and making/using AI part of their internal processes?

If you are on that path I don’t think it will be easy and there will be a lot of planning going into this but it sounds like the results in the end will be well worth it.

From this event, I learnt that lots of big companies are already on this journey and maybe the events world is too? I don’t know but its food for thought.

Also, I think I need to become a data scientist in an AI company, they seem to be the future…

These are just my thoughts following a great couple of days' learning at AEO member Oliver Kinross' event.

Written by Krystle Davis, Business Development Manager at AEO