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[ibm] Why Google, Ideo and IBM are Betting on AI to Make Us Better Story Tellers


To tell a story that someone will remember, it helps to understand his or her needs. The art of storytelling requires creativity, critical-thinking skills, self-awareness, and empathy.”All those traits are fundamentally human, but as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more commonplace, even experts whose jobs depend on them possessing those traits foresee it playing a bigger role in what they do.

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Using AI to Read a Crowd

The AI-driven marketing platform Influential uses IBM’s Watson to connect brands with audiences. It finds social media influencers who can help spread a brand’s message to target demographics in a way that feels authentic and, well, human. The tool uses Watson’s services to look at the content written by an influencer, analyzing that text, and scoring it across 52 personality traits then matches influencers whose personalities, social media posts, and followers best reflect a brand’s marketing objectives.

Visual Scanning

Somatic is a digital marketing company that uses AI to scan photos and generate short text descriptions of what it sees. The tool can write about visual data in different styles or genres, even mimicking the prose styles of celebrities as long as there’s enough written content out there to be trained on.

Google’s AI research is geared toward “helping AI start to understand things about everyday human life,” and to start to push machines beyond just generating “literal content, like you get in image captioning,” and toward anticipating how those descriptions will make people feel.

My 2 cents:

The article raises the crucial question: “Will humanistic AI beat humans at their own game?”

If by game we mean predict trends based off of pure data, devoid of lingering biases and industry misconceptions, then the power of Al machine learning is set to beat our current capabilities as marketers and story tellers.

Yet predictive algorithms using historical data is hardly new, so much so that data interpretation is essentially a given in the AI v human game. The reason powerful tools like Watson are only making their debut now is that there has always been an ‘x’ factor that rendered machine learning results that fall a bit off center. This factor has been identified as many things (intuition, expertise…) but essentially it boils down to contextualizing.

The day Al will out perform human story telling will depend on developments and investments that further tunes there formidable and trainable tools to go beyond diagnostics and interpretation and move into outreach, context comprehension and organic responsiveness.

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[ibm] What Can Watson Do for Your Company?


IBM is betting big on Watson’s ability to transform the world of business. It recently opened a $1 billion dollar Watson Headquarters in New York to provide support for entrepreneurs and developers interested in the technology. We’re beginning to see the tech applied to the fields of education, retail, and medicine. If the success of this rollout indicates anything, it’s that Watson is going to be here for a very long time, and if you think your field is somehow immune to disruption from Watson, it’s time to wake up.

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In 2011, you may recall, Watson summarily bested its human competitors on Jeopardy. It was able to accomplish that because it combines three capabilities: natural language processing, hypothesis generation and evaluation, and dynamic learning. No other technology on the market today possesses these combined capabilities. Unlike typical computers, Watson can unlock the vast world of unstructured data that makes up as much as 80 percent of existing information today.

Watson’s predictive retail expertise extends into the realms of travel, banking, real estate, and finance. Watson-based technologies are able to replace many of the current services of human travel agents, bank officers, real estate agents, and financial advisors by drawing upon comprehensive knowledge of existing information to provide detailed answers to questions traditionally posed only to fellow humans.

Even more disruptive is the way Watson is already altering the medical industry. Imagine your ideal human doctor: you know, the one with the top-notch education and impeccable track record who makes it his mission to keep up with the very latest research. As Watson takes over the role of an expert diagnosing diseases and prescribing the most cost effective treatment, the human doctor’s role will change to focus on what humans do best.

At this point, it’s important to understand that there is a science and an art to every profession. Soon, Watson will know the science better than a human. Humans will need to focus on the art of their profession — the creative elements only they can provide.

My 2 cents:

Watson’s been on TV a lot these days, which means it (he?) is quickly moving from an IoT prototype to a tool of the future. Watson is a huge move on IBM’s part after decades away from the innovation spotlight and looks to be en route to truly dismantle practices structured around loose information. The question now isn’t as much “what can you do with Watson” but “who will follow Watson” as we witness the rise of humanized robots.

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