No, it won’t turn your brain into a supercomputer. And it won’t let you hear colors. Or, turn you into a bionic superhero à la Iron Man. Though on the plus side, it’s unlikely to evolve into a race of cyborgs bent on destroying the human race either or, steal our jobs for that matter.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the realm of B2B marketing may not be as sexy (or terrifying) as some of the more commercial and (so far) fictional applications of AI—but, here are three reasons why it is exciting for marketers:
You Can Start Using It Right Now
Being able to use a technology immediately should not be taken for granted, especially when it comes to AI—a technology which, it’s sometimes easy to forget, is still in its infancy.
To understand the dissonance that so often exists between AI theory and practice, consider Elon Musk. When the Wall Street Journal revealed that Musk had actually founded a company (Neuralink) to actualize his idea of merging the human brain with artificial intelligence (a concept he’s calling “neural lace”), the internet exploded with debate over what this could mean for the future of the human race—not to mention the wisdom of conducting brain surgery on healthy people. But the debate is, at this point, purely academic. In fact, even the basic science behind it is somewhat disputed, to say the least.
As one Wired article described Musk and fellow would-be brain-tinkering entrepreneur Bryan Johnson’s ventures:
Musk and Johnson are applying the Belgium Phone Number Silicon Valley playbook to neuroscience. They’re talking about a technology they want to build well before they can actually build it. They’re setting the agenda for this intriguing yet frightening idea before anyone else sets it for them. And they’re pumping money into the idea in ways no one else ever has.
Whenever anyone mentions “AI”, it’s crazy ideas like this which first come to mind. And that’s understandable; cyborgs and supercomputers capable of outsmarting humans are literally the stuff of movies.
But these technologies—as awesome and potentially life-changing
as they sound—are many, many years away from practical application, let alone commercial availability. (Although a robot did once beat a human world champion at “Go”, the world’s most complicated board game… But, yeah, I don’t see Hollywood picking that one up.)
So while their more fantastical but as-yet-unfeasible cousins are making all the noise, these and many other more down-to-earth Artificial Intelligence technologies are already here, in the real world—and offering very real advantages and opportunities to businesses of all kinds.