As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more mainstream, its use in digital media will grow at a faster clip. Going forward, we will see more and more companies beginning to experiment with AI-powered tools and invest in AI-related technologies. With chatbots, voice search, virtual assistants, automated content curators, AI-generated content, augmented reality, and more, technology is once again poised to change the lives of marketing and communication professionals.
- Curation platforms and content marketing
AI is already playing a noteworthy role in all areas of content development and management—from discovery to curation and sharing. AI is powering content marketing services and taking content discovery to the next level using social search by letting content managers find the content that resonates with their audience and helping them curate it swiftly and effortlessly to improve engagement and content performance. Tools such as BuzzSumo now use machine learning to help improve and simplify the work of a typical digital agency that searches, tracks, filters, and analyses the impact of the content they create and share.
- Natural language generation and AI-generated content
Content robots are finally here, and AI is helping them write intelligent narratives using automated storytelling technology and natural language generation (NLG).
For instance, Automated Insights is a company that is helping companies automate over 1.5 billion narratives annually through Wordsmith, which it calls “the world’s most powerful natural language generation platform.” Its API for NLG today can generate millions of narratives in a matter of milliseconds—from hotel descriptions and city guides to daily weather forecasts and sports recaps.
Another big player in content AI is Narrative Science, the developer of Quill, a program, it says humanizes data with technology that “interprets your data and transforms it into ‘intelligent narratives’ at speed and scale.” Quill is currently writing over a million words a day for companies such as Forbes, Credit Suisse, and Groupon.
Even many traditional media houses and news agencies have deployed AI-powered writing bots: There’s The Washington Post’s in-house automated storytelling technology, Heliograf, which writes news stories and creates social media posts. The Associated Press now produces 3,700 quarterly earnings stories with the help of AI writers. Then, there’s the Los Angeles Times’s QuakeBot, which churns out quick and short news posts and tweets related to earthquakes with real-time data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
If you’re surprised that content written by artificial intelligence is this advanced, try it for yourself: Go to ai-writer.com and feed their AI Author a headline, and it will do all the research and writing work for you. I just got a 200-word article written on Hinduism, which the bot emailed me in an hour. It’s not bad, but still quite far from an original article on the topic written by an expert.
- Chatbots and customer engagement
Long ago, Gartner predicted that “by 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.” While chatbots could soon be one of the most basic consumer applications of AI, they are not intended to completely take over customer conversations—and customer service jobs—but to simplify those interactions, offer basic information and perform other simple jobs.
According to a Salesforce Research study, 40 percent of customers say they sometimes have trouble finding information online on their own about a product or service, while 25 percent say they often or always have trouble. Facebook is already offering to deliver businesses automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences through chatbots within Facebook Messenger. With advances in AI, bots will become smarter and chatbots will find more widespread use in social media and across all digital platforms in 2018.
- Voice search and SEO
A more advanced use of AI has come to life in the voice search space. Companies may need to revisit their SEO strategy in 2018 and beyond to cater to voice searches via AI-powered assistants such as Siri or Cortana, and devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Last year, Google said that voice searches made up 20 percent of all searches. Communicators and digital marketers should prepare for this new trend in search user interfaces by prioritizing a voice-first approach to search marketing.
- Augmented reality and experiential marketing
One technology that can bring to life a truly digital experience on screen like no other is augmented reality (AR), and brands are showing great interest in incorporating it in their product showcase. Apple’s new iOS 11 operating system on its latest iPhones and iPads are bringing to life the AR experience to millions of users, while its ARKit and the Android ARCore are empowering developers to create AR experiences for their customers and brands.
AR is creating new opportunities in experiential marketing by enabling marketers explain the unexplained and influence impulse buyers like never before. On the other hand, AR is helping potential customers with a more definitive try-before-you-buy experience to make more informed decisions. AR can be a real game changer for any brand that wants to take digital marketing to the next level.
The views expressed here are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Reputation Today.