As the world turns more and more toward digital technology many jobs that used to be done by humans are now done by AI (artificial intelligence). To hear some people talk the world will be run by robots within the next few years. Not to worry. I’ve seen this before. Remember several years back when the auto industry was switching to automation and robots? We all thought that those robots would take over the world. They did not. Another area where we thought robots would take over was the super market. We all thought that self-checkouts would mean the end of cashiers and baggers. This automation did have an impact, but it didn’t change the fact that you still need humans, if only for the human touch. Sure, there are six registers at the self-checkout, but there is still a human keeping control of all of it.
According to eMarketer it is thought that in this year alone over 70% of digital video and 80% of display ads will be purchased through automated channels. It’s called programmatic advertising, and it is sure to continue as the wave of the future. AI is now able to scrub through mountains of data, and recommend who you should advertise to, and based on their likes, wants and habits decide for you when, where and how your ad will play. We have the ability now to deliver one advertising message to one household and another completely different message in the same spot break to their neighbor based upon their buying preferences. To me, and to many others in the industry this sounds kind of scary. I’ve made my living doing just this, only on a human scale. Now I’m told that I will soon be replaced by a robot.
Not to worry. AI will most definitely continue to grow, but that need for a personal human touch will not go away, at least not soon. As we move forward in marketing and advertising there will need to be more focus on strategy and efficiency. AI may be able to collect and process the data, but it will still fall to humans to be the storytellers, to come up with the creative ideas and to know and understand the personal needs of the client. AI will continue to work, but for us, not in place of us. Besides, I’ve been using this technology for years, only we didn’t call it AI. We called it software. Remember you can’t spell robot without “ROB”
So, as the machine continues to rise, as the Terminator kicks me to the curb, all I can think to say is, “I’ll be Back.” Please read that last line with an Austrian accent.