Intentional Intelligence

With all the hype around A.I. what you, your team, and your customers need is to use your intelligence with intent.

When I started college, almost 20 years ago, they told me newspapers were DEAD.

They ain’t.

Same with motion pictures.

And Radio? Alive and well.

We like to believe these things change with cinematic finality. But that’s just not the case.

Who knows, the AI overlords may even still want to read “All the News That’s Fit to Print” in 2045.

There is no doubt that we are living through a tectonic shift as AI continues to evolve.

Just a few days ago, an all AI team demolished some of the best players in the world at a Dota 2 championship. Part of the reason: the AI team can play 180 years’ worth of games in one day.

And there is this creepy video of an artificial intelligence, through trial and error, discovering the complex task of rotating a block in its hand in far less time than it would take for humans to program – you can read more about the ghost in that machine here.

By creating complex scenarios, AI can cope more effectively with real-world situations. What would your life be like if you could practice 180 years’ worth of real world scenarios in a day? What if an AI could help you experience a million public speaking engagements? Or, experience them itself, and pass the knowledge on to you?

We see businesses learning this “supplementation” model today. Take Yelp. Yelp outsourced the hard labor of classifying images on a massive scale thanks to AI. This resulted in improved image processing and made the images easier for users to discover.

Google uses data science techniques such as machine-learning and rule-based systems (which isn’t strictly AI) to serve up your search results. It’s simply linking ideas. But it’s doing it at a scale and speed that is beyond human capacity.

When we stop and consider the radio, we recognize that it’s not all going to change overnight. In fact, most of you reading this may spend the rest of your career hearing about the impending AI revolution without experiencing a perceptible shift in your day-to-day.

Every parent knows, your child is growing up before your very eyes – but it’s impossible to notice it all at once. Thinking back on my life, I can’t really remember what it was like before Google. It’s become so integrated into everything that just last night I was working on some creative, searching related ads associated to some industry or historical fact, then got distracted by a Mel Brooks video. It’s marvelous.

But AI doesn’t get distracted.

82% of companies surveyed by Accenture testified that machine learning helped them find solutions to unsolved problems through data they had not previously been able to tap.

Because the AI stayed focused on solving the problem.

Autodesk’s Project Dreamcatcher is the next generation of CAD (Computer Aided Design). It generates thousands of designs based on your parameters and objectives. A human can then select the best designs to pursue without having to spend any time generating alternate designs.

The AI is focused on its job, generating ideas, and it does not grow tired or weary.

Then there is Boomerang Respondable, using Artificial Intelligence to help you write better, more actionable emails in real time. Based on data from millions of messages, Respondable makes every email you send more effective. The same is true of Grammarly, which is kind of like an AI editor.

No decision fatigue here and this AI doesn’t have to be “in the zone” to offer recommendations, because it is always in the zone.

What makes the feats of AI so jaw-dropping is FOCUS.

All the tools in the world don’t matter one whit if you don’t know where to point them. Likewise, they don’t matter if you can’t keep them pointed in the right direction long enough.

In preparing for this update, I tried out AI Writer to see how it stacks up against a human copywriter. I gave it the required inputs and it gave me back a blank box. AI Writer did supply me with references to articles on the chosen subject, but no writing.

At Oxford Road we’re making strides with our own tool, the Audiolytics™ Copy Generator. Writers receive a set of prompts to guide them in the writing of their advertisement, based on hundreds of millions of dollars of performance data, our proprietary messaging structure, and comparable advertiser’s messaging. The result? You’re given roughly 150 words that can comprise the core of a 60-second ad.

Think of it as “AI guided mad libs.” We’re not in a rush to go public with technology that isn’t ready, or non-existent. Even though we can’t wait to show the world what we’re working on, I’m reminded of something we used to say back when I was moving around power cables and lighting stands on sets:

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”.  It’s true.

So as to the question of how AI will disrupt everything, there is part of the equation that is absolutely within your control.

Focus YOUR intelligence.

Don’t get so caught up in the buzz around AI, Data Models, Natural Language Processing, and Dark Data that you stop doing your homework.

In “Thinking Fast and Slow” Daniel Kahneman says “Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.”

Those are some good criteria to gauge whether any intelligence, Artificial or Organic, is focused on the right things.

Are you and your team already doing these three things with YOUR intelligence?

  • Are you applying your reason?

  • Are you locating all the relevant material?

  • Are you focusing your attention?

How is your reasoning on the next campaign? Have you truly labored over your approach? Have you scoured the Earth, which is ridiculously easy with Google, to FIND all the relevant material to inform the campaign? Are you looking at comparables and competitors? Have you exhausted yourself in searching out as much information as possible?

At Oxford Road we’re judged by our PERFORMANCE.

Tools like Boomerang, Grammarly, Audiolytics™, and Google sure help, and in the years to come, it will be astounding what can be accomplished with AI.

For now, intentionally direct YOUR intelligence at those three things: reason, relevance, and focus.

By using intentional intelligence, both individually and organizationally, Artificial Intelligence, in whatever shape it takes, will serve you well.

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