Our lifestyles have never been busier but technology underpinned by AI, such as voice search, makes our lives easier and saves us one of our most valued commodities – time, argues Bing’s Axel Steinman.
As AI and digital interactions with consumers increase, the opportunities for businesses to use this kind of intelligent search abound. There is a plethora of data on offer from the digitally driven interactions that search technology provides. Brands need to be open to new technologies and wake up to the growth opportunities they can bring. We really are just at the beginning of tapping into AI’s potential.
AI is already used and useful
AI will have undoubtedly touched your interactions on a day to day basis. For example, if you recently used Microsoft Powerpoint, you might have used the new feature that formats the text and images you put into a slide, to give the message the most impact. And if you recently used Bing search, AI may have provided you with a plainspoken answer to your query or summarised two different perspectives on a controversial topic, allowing you to make your own decision. We are already seeing the enrichment that intelligence, specifically from search, brings to AI, with apps like Seeing AI and products like Office 365.
Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, also based on search, uses AI to help us with daily tasks and reminds us of things we may miss. Cortana knows where its user lives and works, so could send a notification if their regular commuter train is cancelled, suggesting they leave early. This is an example of AI empowering us as humans to use our time in the most optimal and efficient manner – and could save us hours for more valuable things than waiting for a train.
...but it also comes with new challenges to solve
As AI systems get more sophisticated and start to play a larger role in people’s lives, it’s imperative for companies to develop and adopt clear principles that guide the people that build, use and apply AI systems. Whilst businesses have many compelling reasons to adopt AI, at the same time they must decide on the principles and values that govern the business’s AI development and use. Business best practice here can in turn help governments to create policy for everyone to follow.
With AI’s integration into business, many will raise questions about potential changes to the job market. Whilst change will happen - that’s for certain – the job market will innovate and evolve alongside AI, not shrink and disappear. AI technology has incredible potential to empower people to elevate their jobs, to add more value with strategic thinking and apply insights lead creativity to their work.
AI will also invigorate new ways of thinking about skills and training, to ensure that workers are trained and prepared for the future, whilst at the same time ensuring there is sufficient talent available for new or evolved roles. Talent retention across the digital advertising industry is a challenge in itself already, but the impending pressure on talent attraction with the likes of Brexit, make this even more demanding. Whether London continues being a talent hub in Europe, or not, will depend in part on what governments decide about the ability to attract cross borders talent – but it will also depend on business’s preparedness for the impending shift in talent demands as a result of AI’s integration into the world of business.
Exciting innovation is happening – now!
AI is constantly evolving, and businesses will have to grow and adapt their products, performance and people alongside this in order to keep pace. Together with our clients and partners, we create products and services that use AI to better understand, anticipate and respond to people’s needs. That’s helping us address problems we couldn’t solve before.
Microsoft and Bing are at the forefront of unlocking the potential of Artificial Intelligence for marketers and enabling digital transformation, across all areas of a business and across all industries.
As a business, we are excited for what the future has to bring – and we are just at the beginning.