Moving From Science Fiction To Enchanting Brand Experiences
Do you believe in magic?
I do. Most of my creations have been inspired by the belief that there is a unique dialog between fiction and invention. The comics of Trina Robbins, Wendy Pini, Louise Simonson, Charles Moulton, Arthur C. Clarke and the Classic Tales of the Brothers Grim have shaped my imagination and my quest to design enchanting experiences that use the Artificial Intelligence (Ai) and Internet of Things (IoT) as a canvas, data as a paint and enduring stories to create unique customer experiences that move us from science fiction to a magical reality.
This year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity provided a unique setting to explore our connected world with a collective of creative leaders from around the world. In this presentation I shared how the combination of Ai + The IoT enables brands to command unseen forces through the use of everyday objects into monetizable media platforms that provide new revenue results for brands.
Today, Ai (Artificial Intelligence) and the IoT, led by connected nomadic devices, are flipping the advertising, marketing and communications industries on it’s head by making the physical space and things the new digital interface. Gone are the days that we can rely on an image or 30 second story alone to define a brand experience. Now you must orchestrate a dance of devices powered by new narratives and interactions to demonstrate a brand’s purpose in our lives.
In our quest to remove the pain points from our customer’s journey we must explore how Ai empowers us to create a new transformative narrative for brands that pivots us from a the singular super hero with super powers to group or community of kindred spirits coming from the mountaintop to create a collective intelligence accessible to all of humanity. No one does this better than the gaming industry. For most creators and marketeers alike this is new territory that relies on the use of this new canvas to enable a series of brand rituals that moves us from brand push to pull, objects to systems, authority to emergence and begs us to use a compass over maps to reimagine our businesses as centers of innovation that thrive in the fourth industrial revolution.
Defining Ai As A Canvas For Makers
Ai or Cognitive computing is a combination of technologies. There are three core that are shaping the NOW: Data Mining, Pattern Recognition and Natural Language Processing (NLP). However, we must consider them all to unlock the potential magic moments:
- Natural Language Generation: Producing text from computer data. Currently used in customer service, report generation, and summarizing business intelligence insights. Sample vendors: Attivio, Automated Insights, Cambridge Semantics, Digital Reasoning, Lucidworks, Narrative Science, SAS, Yseop.
- Speech Recognition: Transcribe and transform human speech into format useful for computer applications. Currently used in interactive voice response systems and mobile applications. Sample vendors: NICE, Nuance Communications, OpenText, Verint Systems.
- Virtual Agents: “The current darling of the media,” says Forrester (I believe they refer to my evolving relationships with Alexa), from simple chatbots to advanced systems that can network with humans. Currently used in customer service and support and as a smart home manager. Sample vendors: Amazon, Apple, Artificial Solutions, Assist AI, Creative Virtual, Google, IBM, IPsoft, Microsoft, Satisfi.
- Machine Learning Platforms: Providing algorithms, APIs, development and training toolkits, data, as well as computing power to design, train, and deploy models into applications, processes, and other machines. Currently used in a wide range of enterprise applications, mostly `involving prediction or classification. Sample vendors: Amazon, Fractal Analytics, Google, H2O.ai, Microsoft, SAS, Skytree.
- AI-optimized Hardware: Graphics processing units (GPU) and appliances specifically designed and architected to efficiently run AI-oriented computational jobs. Currently primarily making a difference in deep learning applications. Sample vendors: Alluviate, Cray, Google, IBM, Intel, Nvidia.
- Decision Management: Engines that insert rules and logic into AI systems and used for initial setup/training and ongoing maintenance and tuning. A mature technology, it is used in a wide variety of enterprise applications, assisting in or performing automated decision-making. Sample vendors: Advanced Systems Concepts, Informatica, Maana, Pegasystems, UiPath.
- Deep Learning Platforms: A special type of machine learning consisting of artificial neural networks with multiple abstraction layers. Currently primarily used in pattern recognition and classification applications supported by very large data sets. Sample vendors: Amazon AWS, Deep Instinct, Ersatz Labs, Fluid AI, MathWorks, Peltarion, Saffron Technology, Sentient Technologies.
- Biometrics: Enable more natural interactions between humans and machines, including but not limited to image and touch and visual recognition, speech, and body language. Currently used primarily in market research. Sample vendors: Amazon Rekognition, 3VR, Affectiva, Agnitio, FaceFirst, Sensory, Synqera, Tahzoo.
- Robotic Process Automation: Using scripts and other methods to automate human action to support efficient business processes. Currently used where it’s too expensive or inefficient for humans to execute a task or a process. Sample vendors: Advanced Systems Concepts, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, UiPath, WorkFusion.
- Text Analytics and NLP: Natural language processing (NLP) uses and supports text analytics by facilitating the understanding of sentence structure and meaning, sentiment, and intent through statistical and machine learning methods. Currently used in fraud detection and security, a wide range of automated assistants, and applications for mining unstructured data. Sample vendors: Amazon Polly, IBM Watson, Basis Technology, Coveo, Expert System, Indico, Knime, Lexalytics, Linguamatics, Mindbreeze, Sinequa, Stratifyd, Synapsify.
These new Ai services present opportunities to shape better realities for our customers, fans and employees — As designer’s these technologies present us with an entirely new brief.
Making A Business Case for Magical Moments Powered By Ai
The market for Ai tech is flourishing. There are numerous startups and the internet giants racing to acquire them, there is a significant increase in investment and adoption by enterprises. A Narrative Science survey found last year that 38% of enterprises are already using AI, growing to 62% by 2018. Forrester Research predicted a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 compared with 2016. IDC estimated that the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.
In just 2 years, Ai promises to transform society on the scale of the industrial, technical, and digital revolutions before it. Machines that can sense, reason, and act will accelerate solutions to large-scale problems in myriad of fields, including science, finance, medicine and education, augmenting human capability and helping us to go further, farther, faster. Buoyed by Moore’s Law and fed by a deluge of data, AI is at the heart of much of today’s technical innovation.
Connecting Fiction To Inspire Your Next Market Making Invention
Modern marketers believe that brands are now defined as the sum total of the interactions and experiences you have with it in connected space and time. This means that a gesture, word, command or a skill or sometimes combination of the four could define why we use a brand or stay loyal to it.
Thanks to a century of science fiction where technology is indistinguishable from magic, changing societal norms and the acceleration of innovation our customers, clients and employees have higher expectations of the brand experiences they choose to be loyal to.
People expect more than automation, they expect new inventive services that are increasingly personalized, human, interoperable and ones that provide exceptional value to their busy day. For instance, research showed in a connected car people expect it to drive itself, but truly desire to see it perform self-learning, healing, socializing and configuring tasks that make mobility delightful. Thanks to the fiction of the Jetson’s, Knight Rider, Star Trek and Rendezvous with Rama the same expectations can be found in what people want for connected home, kitchens, bathrooms, gyms, work and entertainment venues.
When identifying the moments you want to own in your customer’s journey it begs us to pause and traverse centuries of experience with myths and legend, and ask what it would be like if part of the physical world was magic. What if this mirror could speak? What if spinach gave me super strength? What if my bag was magic? What if my doctor had superpowers to heal? What if my toys had secret lives? What if I could give people regenerative healing powers?
When we pause to dream and quench our curiosity it opens an opportunity to connect fiction to invention and innovation that will place your brand as a maker of it’s own market.