“So, there is a pitch happening on the 17th of this month. I want you to get in touch with the head of marketing of the company and get things started.”
Awesome, I think to myself that shouldn’t be that hard. Little did I know that I would have to make multiple calls to various people, getting passed along from person to person, only to be met with disappointment. In the event of actually getting through them, one would have to essentially have to bring out their most charismatic self because that’s one of the only opportunities that you get. This is a story that every entrepreneur can relate to.
As Will Rogers rightly said, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression!” Which will remain one of the most romantic and pivotal elements when it comes to Advertising…until now that is.
Gone are the days when one had to sift through company websites to look for concerned people and hoping that their contact details are on Linkedin (well, we have all done it). If not, we make contact with that long-lost colleague and engage in the awkward “Hey, long time how have you been?” conversation hoping they may have a lead for you (again we have all done it!). But now all these things may become a thing of the past, thanks to the advances made in artificial intelligence and Google Assistant in particular.
Looking back at history, Alan Turing, who is said to be the father of computer science once said, “I believe at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted”. Over 70 years later, we can see its effects. Today, an AI can make a phone call on your behalf, it can adapt to the scenario of the call with absolute minimal input and in a way so similar to a human being, that the person on the other side of the phone doesn’t know they are speaking to a robot, albeit an extremely clever one.
The strongest human impulse when experiencing new-age technology can be to either push back, adapt to or stick with the status quo. Many industries have opted for a robotic work force, political parties are using AI to swing politics in their favour, government forces are employing AI officials to bring down crime rates and predict criminal activities more efficiently, and further on we have vehicles that can drive themselves, the list goes on. Advertising although being a primarily human driven industry is opting to integrate AI as a tool to achieve optimum results but with the ever-evolving spectrum of AI, how long will it remain human-oriented is yet to be seen. For all we know instead of sending a brief the clients will start sending parameters, only time will tell.
“Hey Pratap, is there anything else I can help you with??”
(Pratap Bose is the founding partner and chairman of The Social Street)