The outstanding scientist and academic Stephen Hawking once said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”. When such high-profile intellects discuss AI in this manner, it often sparks fear among the public and drastically influences their opinions on AI.
Although Stephen Hawking’s statement could to some extent be true, the human race is still so far from achieving full artificial intelligence, and not to mention if/when we do, there will be strict regulations to ensure the application of AI is safe, responsible and beneficial to us.
AI is pervading our personal lives in more ways than you realise. Increasingly, people are turning to chatbots such as Siri to carry out tasks for ease and simplicity, from emailing a colleague to getting directions to the nearest petrol station. Additionally, Netflix currently uses AI to recommend movies and series that you might like, based on many variables such as actors, genres and filming location. However, this is just the beginning; Netflix can use the data to trace the entirely different paths viewers take to reach their movie choice and, by analysing the common threads across the many ‘taste communities’, it gains more accurate insights into additional films the user may be interested in1.
AI in Entertainment
AI is reshaping the entertain industry but not just solely through our streaming methods. The content in the entertainment business has not hesitated to explore the rise of AI too – think Black Mirror and Humans – both presenting very stark visions of the future.
What’s even more unnerving is that this far-fetched concept depicting a dystopian future seems to be becoming a reality. Recently, Chinese authorities have decided to trial a new social credit system which has uncanny parallelism to the Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’2. In this episode, society are judged based on their interactions with other people. Better interactions lead to higher numeric ratings as well as more opportunities for the individual, and vice versa with poor interactions. Similarly, in China, citizens will be ‘scored’ between 350 and 950 based on their impact on society. Good deeds such as undertaking charity work and donating blood boosts their score, while cancelling a reservation or befriending someone ‘undesirable’ will lower their score. Higher ratings will unlock rewards within society, from shorter hospital waits to cheaper public transport, while lower ranked citizens will have slower internet speed and restricted access to restaurants and hotels.
In the world of web series, preoccupation with where AI might lead is a feature of the new series – ‘Connected’3. I spoke with its producer, Richard Matthews.
Richard explains: “Our starting point is the idea that an online corporate networking company understands its user base so well that it knows exactly who they need to meet and when. So, whilst people can still network online, they’re also invited to exclusive events at top venues, and will meet probably just three other people. But they’ll be people who will open doors at the very moment those doors need to be opened, and that’s a guarantee. So, there are some seriously clever algorithms at work here.”
But of course, it’s not all plain sailing. “What we’re interested in is how something like that can know us in such detail and when and how they might be amassing that information. And that raises the question not just of the safety of data, but of the very privacy of our lives. And what happens when those algorithms make connections between people that could actually damage or even destroy a person’s career and reputation?”
“Our approach to this differs from other shows in that AI lies in the hidden shadows. Its influence is there, but it’s really only hinted at, allowing us to explore where it might develop in future seasons.”
The future of AI in marketing
The future of AI in marketing is still the talk of the town, partly due to the growing awareness of its unprecedented impact on businesses, as well as the number of avenues yet to be explored. Data-driven content marketing can transform your business through more ways than one, from understanding your customers’ needs more intimately, to knowing precisely which content is performing, why and where. Zoodikers’ Managing Director, Katie King, will launch her book on AI in Marketing with the publisher Kogan Page in autumn. Here, she includes the opinions of business leaders in some exciting interviews and discusses in more detail how AI is revolutionising the marketing industry.
So, when you hear the billionaire tech giant Elon Musk say, “The global arms for AI will cause World War III”, don’t get too preoccupied by these bold, ominous reports. AI regulation is a vital tool and will be deployed in business both responsibly and effectively.
AI has already had such a positive impact on society, for example, research has shown that deep learning drops the error rate for breast cancer diagnoses by 85%, and with continued technological advancements, the future can only look brighter.
- The pilot episode of ‘Connected’ is available on YouTube.