The Future of Marketing is in Artificial Intelligence

Posted by Zachary Schewee

Jan 7

Editor's note: Zachary Schewee is a MBA student in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and is enrolled in ISM 7505: Inbound Information Technology

The Movie HER: The Future of Marketing is in Artificial Intelligence

 Artificial_Intelligence.jpgYou may be reading this title and asking yourself two questions.

  1. What is the movie HER?
  2. How is Artificial Intelligence the future of marketing?

Both are valid questions and it seems that it could be bit of a stretch that the future of marketing lies in the hands of Artificial Intelligence. So, first I’ll touch base on the actual movie itself and then get into the marketing part.

HER Background

The movie HER is a very interesting one to say the least but the movie was nothing short of sheer genius and beauty. The vivid colors to encapsulate its audience were top notch and really added to the remarkable scenery of the movie. It takes place sometime in the future. The movie features the main character (Joaquin Phoenix) who finds himself in a mid-life crisis after a divorce and isn’t the same person he once was. One-day, at the train station he see’s a sign for a new “operating system” that will reflect that of a human and much more. He buys the OS and downloads it. At first he is thrown off at how the OS acts and responds to him. At this point he sees this as a fun little joke but as he begins to converse more and more he realizes that this OS or (Samantha) as he names it, starts to learn and understand him. Samantha is essentially a supercomputer that can process a plethora of information simultaneously all within milliseconds. She responds based off moods, interest and just about everything there is to know about the character, Theodore Twombly. Now if you want to know what path the movie takes from there, well then you’ll just have to watch it yourself. What I would like to dig into now is this OS.

How Samantha Could Become a Reality

Now, artificial intelligence in its current state does not have anything that matches that of Samantha or an “almost human” AI. Although there are many projects underway with hopes that one day we can reach this level of AI. Two major players who are working on this achievement are The Human Brain Project and K Computer which is the 4th most powerful supercomputer in the world. The HBP project is on a quest to map and simulate the 83 billion neurons in the human brain. At this point in time they’ve only managed about 100 million of them so only a fraction of a percent. K computer has modeled one second of one percent of human brain activity but it took about 40 minutes to complete this task. So as you can see we are not there yet but the most aggressive prediction for Exascale computing which is computing at some quintillion operations a second or about the same as human brain wouldn’t be around until 2018. As stated that’s an aggressive prediction and others think that it will take much longer. If you would like to watch a short video from discovery news that sums all this up nicely and provides multiple links about this subject, then watch this next video. 

Marketing as We Know It

With the world evolving at a rapid pace and fad’s coming and going its never easy for a company and marketing to predict the next new thing and who are their customers. Finding the ideal customer can be a difficult task and to discover this ideal customer it can take a lot of research and time. Companies try and figure out this ideal customer by creating buyer personas which are made up profiles based off real people. Through analytics, monitoring on social media, interviews and much more, are some of the various ways that companies determine who their customers are. Determining the right buyer persona is essential for a business to be successful.  Even after spending vast amounts of time, money and research the customer you deem to be ideal may in fact not be and it could be back to the drawing board to figure out how they missed the target. What if it could be so much easier than all the blood, sweat and tears that have to be shed to make your marketing successful? What if AI could do all the groundwork for you and tell you exactly what you would like to know about someone? To be able to really gain insight on a particular person or learn exactly what they desire in this life. This is how I believe that artificial intelligence could take over the marketing world.

Artificial Intelligence Takes On Marketing

Now this is going to be a bit abstract but stay with me here. Let’s say, just as the in movie, that everyone had an OS or technology that had AI with capabilities of conversing and thinking like us humans. Ok, so instead of companies doing all this extensive research through the vast amounts of software out on the market and out on in the field, what if they integrated AI into their marketing scheme?  Say one of these companies who are trying to make this AI of the future has a breakthrough, why not harness its power?  In the movie HER,  Theodore Twombly tells all his problems and interest to his OS.  So what if everyone had one and companies took advantage of this?  Instead of companies creating these personas’ based off real people with the chance that its not 100% correct, why not be 100% correct? If you could have access to these talks between a human and the AI you could know exactly what everyone’s wants, problems, needs, ideas, etc. Instead of monitoring social media feeds, you monitor the talks. It would almost be like having a one on one interview with millions around the world.


Well for one this would be a huge issue with an invasion of privacy, almost like the NSA all over again. This would be looked upon by many as unethical. Now there would have to be some sort of agreement in place that if you do have one of these OS such as the movie that your conversation could be used for marketing purposes or something along those lines. Why would someone agree to that? What if I want my problems and ideas heard? What if I want companies to hear my thoughts and deliver me exactly what I want? I couldn’t be the only one out there who feels like this. The world is forever changing and people are always adapting to the new world around them. What if this would be one of the new things to adopt in the future? Artificial Intelligence is going to be up to human capabilities eventually so why not take advantage of it or think of ways that it could be used to better the world. Now I may not have conveyed this idea to perfection but its just to get you thinking of what’s in store for the future, food for thought.

Topics: inbound marketing, Artificial Intelligence

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