Episode 81: The evolution of technology and its impact on marketing
- 26 July 2023
This extra special season finale episode was recorded live in front of an audience at CIM's very own Moor Hall. If you are a CIM member who missed out and wants to learn more about our Podcast LIVE, you can check out this article on CIM's top five things learned about AI from the event.
This podcast will:
- Explore the opportunities for marketers offered by emerging technologies
- Examine the prospects for marketing in an AI world
- Identify the challenges posed by AI and how to overcome them
Sophie Peterson 00:03
Welcome to the CIM Marketing Podcast. The contents and views expressed by individuals in the CIM Marketing Podcast are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the companies they work for. We hope you enjoy the episode.
Ben Walker 00:19
Hello, everybody, welcome to the second, as James said live CIM Marketing Podcast and the 81st CIM Podcast is started at the end of our fourth season, so this is our season closer. We're back in September for season number five quite remarkable and Ally and I, she sat over there started it all those years ago that's been going strong. Quick advert from me, we have now had 130,000 downloads if you give me 800. So just short of 130,000 downloads, and we have 5000 regular subscribers on Spotify alone, a similar number on Apple podcasts and around all of the platforms. We go out on around 10,000 subscribers. So it's been a really enjoyable project. Exciting. We've had some fantastic guests, and none better than the two gentlemen, we are joined by today, Mr. Ryan Miles, who is from one of the biggest names in business, Microsoft is director of international integrated marketing there. How are you sir?
Ryan Miles 01:19
I'm good. Thank you for having me, again.
Ben Walker 01:21
Great to have you. Great to have you on the show, and Mr. Vincent Sider, who is CEO of get inference, and also a course director at CIM here, specialising in artificial intelligence, which, as James was saying is what we're going to be focusing on today, something that I think everybody is interested in, so we'll find out more. But from the guys who know. Before I started, the lady asked me if I get nervous about podcasts, I do them so frequently now I don't get nervous as such, but I do get a little bit nervous about one thing when we've got a live podcast is when we get to the Q&A at the end, is I want to see a forest of hands, I want people to be enthusiastic to be the first person to ask a question, we're gonna get 20 minutes at the end. So all of those things have been bugging you or grating you, or eating away at you about AI that you want to know, try and get your question in, we'll try and get as many in as we can. We're going to leave 20 minutes at the end of the show, to take Q&A from the audience. But before we get there we've got 40 minutes of discussion with these two, gentlemen, and we're going to start with you, Ryan, about if you could take us through some of the emerging technologies that you're starting to see specifically, or mainly in the marketing and business landscape from AI.
Ryan Miles 02:32
Yeah, for sure. I mean, it's definitely a transformational moment. There's been lots of transformation in recent history, we've had The Cloud and before that the web, the internet, and now AI is really on the level of that it's and we're at the beginning of the journey. And I think, probably the way that most people have experienced natural natural language models, and AI is through chat. Chat GPT is something I think most of the room will be familiar with, and hopefully listening to the podcast. At Microsoft, we have a partnership with open AI, and we have Chat GPT enabled being for search. And I think that's one of the key places we're seeing this really play out is as consumers as marketers, as professionals, as learners interacting with this new tool. We've seen data that of the 10 billion searches that we see, every day, after half of them go on unanswered, we don't get the actual outcome we're looking for. And that was because search evolved pretty naturally, Google did some really impressive things from the get go. But we've evolved and chat and AI is just bringing this new platform that really kind of gets conversational, goes deeper, looks beyond single sources of information. I think that's one area we're really excited about and is evolving quickly for how we use it day to day.
Ben Walker 03:53
That's an interesting figure, isn't it? That 50% figure because you sort of think that sort of search solved everything, you know, killed the Encyclopaedia it killed, it killed sort of asking your uncle or a clever aunt what the answer to something was, but it hasn't killed everything. It got us half the way there. And there's a still a gap the 50%. And that's where the new technologies are coming in, you're saying to help fill that gap?
Ryan Miles 04:14
Absolutely. I think that's the most pervasive, but then it gets much more specific, you know, we're seeing the power of language, text to image, text to video. So that idea of I don't think we necessarily thought of AI as being the place where creativity comes to life that it augments it. But that's definitely been a hot button area for the fast development above. We've got DALL-E again, from the open AI team in our own work at Microsoft, you've got so many different platforms now that you can do just absolutely stunning things. And there's different comfortability around the world in different countries in different markets with what that kind of synthetic media, how we feel about that when we're looking at someone that maybe never existed is totally generated looking back at us through the screen. So I think that's another really interesting touch point, it's so important to marketers, because the core of our job is creativity, to build brands and to solve customer problems.
Ben Walker 05:09
So what brought you in to it? Vincent? Was it the creativity side, was is the helping people or something else?
Vincent Sider 05:16
It came before that, as a kid, I got fascinated by how the brain works. And as an adult, the proxy to understand how the brain works is to understand how we understand AI. So I got into that from a neuroscience point of view, but then became hooked with AI because of piece of work I did at the BBC, to understand audiences a bit better. And at that point, become acquainted with techniques like machine learning and clustering, that gives you a way to have a data driven opinion on what your audience looks like. And in the world of here, this is especially important because you can't have an opinion on top tier audiences to the brand, it has to be data driven. So AI became almost like a lifesaver. Because I could have a conversation and prove my point with data. That's how I become I became hooked with AI and then realise that it goes way beyond clustering goes into predictive modelling, where you can use AI to predict the behaviours of audiences going forward, whether it's going to create are going to watch are they going to buy? How much are they going to generate? So as a CMO, this insight is fantastic it's like the Holy Grail of marketing really.
Ben Walker 06:30
It's almost an entirely positive testimony you give you don't see anything major opportunities from it from lifting threats, other people see threat threat from it, rightly, rightly or wrongly. But you've you've seen it from a young age as an opportunity as an exciting technology, which augments and actually sustains what you're trying to say, because then you're able to, you're able to cite the data and get the evolution across, do you think of this more for you, Ryan, but for both of you to some degree, will it ever get faster and grow so much that it actually does justify some of the fears around it that it gets out of control?
Ryan Miles 07:07
I mean, it is it's fast moving. And it's transformative in so many ways, as I was mentioning before, it's right to approach it with care. And think carefully. And I think as much as the technology being a risk, it's, it's how we deploy it as well, at Microsoft, we're very conscious of responsible AI. And that's not just how it's built, how it's trained, but how its deployed and how it's implemented. And we definitely perceive AI as a big opportunity, done the right way, really, as a co pilot, this is not a tool that runs away with you. But something that helps you get more efficient and more effective, and spend more time doing those, those creative, difficult thinking jobs, and away from some of the mundane of work in life, you're laughing,
Ben Walker 08:01
You're laughing there Vincent, is that because you agreed or?...
Vincent Sider 08:03
I'm just pre empting the next point, which is we do have a product called co pilot. I think that Ryan is spot on, I think the what it conveys as a message of what AI is about is also spot on. So that's why I'm smiling.
Ben Walker 08:21
So a co pilot that augments and helps us and suddenly evidence from your testimony as early as is that is indeed the case. And a lot of people who have used AI to AI tentatively or in a little way. So far marketers and otherwise are finding that it is helping them and it is saving saving them time. Not all of it has worked. So as there has been some blunders, there's been some missteps, there have been technologies that have been touted as the next best thing, and if turned out to be nothing of the sort, and particularly examples you can think of.
Vincent Sider 08:51
In 2006, I joined BT. And I learned that BT in 2000 they had a virtual world proposition, believe it or not like a virtual world, like Second Life right before Second Life. And then came second life. And we spent a year to find out how to invest into virtual worlds, just to realise a year later that this was just catching up with the audience. Right. And then you had the Google glasses in 2014 that became a theme for a year until people realise that if you were to wear your Google glasses in pubs you would get attacked by people, wouldn't wants you to be recording them right. And then you had the Oculus Rift, which became a fantastic tool if you had the right PC, the right cables and the right applications, but also fell flat and was revived with the Quest 2 so I think as soon as you touch you know this this concept of virtual reality, virtual worlds and the headset that combined with this concept, then you're in dodgy territories. And so far history hasn't proved that there is a market for this. So very interested to see development of Meta in that space and how they're going to pivots from from now on. But yeah.
Ben Walker 10:06
I mean, some things, is it easy to predict what's going to be a flop on what's going to work in this space? I mean, I looked at the Vision Pro from Apple. I've got Apple, everything as you can see, sorry Ryan. That to me looks like a, an expensive flop in the making, isn't it?
Ryan Miles 10:22
I mean, try and pick this one, how many times have we thought it's the moment of our VR and headsets? Definitely, as a marketeer, personally, there's going to be a place for for sure, the power of gaming, when these things catch up and the technology is there, it will certainly become a very interesting proposition. I think there's some very interesting discussion as well about virtual reality, versus augmented reality versus wearables. And what it means to interact with the real world, which is very mainstream, everyone is comfortable with that. That's how we experience things versus this other layer, and then a layer that potentially blocks it, or a layer that lets you see through and builds on it and we do a lot through through Microsoft HoloLens, we will see really fantastic commercial applications. Where an ability where if you have something that's incredibly difficult or expensive to train someone on, in the medical industry, practising on bodies on on an operating table, it's pretty dangerous. But using things like augmented reality can really create opportunities there to do things at scale, that otherwise aren't possible.
Ben Walker 11:34
Out of the things that have tended to succeed. So far, the things that have allowed you to see more of the world as it is, rather than create new worlds. Exactly. Yes. That seems to me that, you know, if we're treating the software, as you say, an alternative world, you mentioned the BT alternative word on Second Life, versus things that are enable you to dive deeper in the world that is around us, for practical and for leisure reasons. You mentioned the medical, medical industry. And I think that that sort of feeds us onto what marketers can use it for isn't it we're not as marketers wanting to create new worlds and fictions for our audience we are trying to create for our audience, a better clearer understanding of the world, again, the world we're in and the products we're trying to sell or promote.
Ryan Miles 12:18
I think definitely I also see the, the interest in the realm of, of virtual worlds. And I think, again, AI is going to help this move along at a rapid rate because of the capability of it to generate these worlds, if you're talking virtual, it's severely limited by your ability to create go look at the success of Roblox and those kinds of things. Incredibly powerful. We've just haven't changed the mode in which we experience it. And that's right on the doorstep. We're working with Oculus and Meta on things like better virtual meetings, you know, in a hybrid workspace, it'd be pretty isolating looking through a screen. But having some kind of other realm that makes you feel at least semi there and interacting and turn around and in a room, that's going to be immensely powerful and important maybe to mental health as it relates to work, all kinds of things. So I don't think it's one or the other. It's applications. And as different technologies catch up, we'll have different use cases for each.
Ben Walker 13:13
Do you think we've become more open to it, you know, Chat GPT or DALL-E were sort of launched five years ago, do you think the response would have been as open to the idea as it is now?
Ryan Miles 13:23
It probably would have been a little bit more jarring. Yeah, it's over time things build up? I mean, it's not that long ago, everyone was talking about the cloud and are like, what is The Cloud? What do you mean, why things are here, they're nowhere and everywhere, all at the same time. I don't know how many people truly understand the technical aspects. Even of The Cloud today, they're very comfortable with the idea, you know, whether you have a OneDrive or Google Drive, or good old Dropbox, and access on all devices, and we've come a very multidevice society particularly in the Western world. And I think those things build up to this. And now it's not a huge jump, the idea that you can and search didn't Hey, we send it in, we get results, and we explore now, you get all the results, and someone figures them out for you and tells you kind of the synopsis of that. So it's been a progression. If you skip any of those steps. I think of course, it's it's a bit more jarring.
Ben Walker 14:13
Do you think that there are some technologies that have been around for a while that we just weren't using and we're now starting to be become more accepted? We're sort of accept more but become more conditioned to them. We're getting the most out of technologies that have been around for a while.
Vincent Sider 14:26
I think AI is a good example, because it's been an AI started in 1943. Right?
Vincent Sider 14:32
With the first computer neural networks were defined in 1944, 1945. In fact, they will use in fact, that technology the machine learning technology was used to spot enemy ships in the channels. Cluster, right. And entering, of course, as you as you know, was instrumental in this, but I think AI is a good example. Because until this moment of generative AI which happened in November, people weren't really engaging with AI, suddenly you add a chat, user experience to it. And suddenly you have well over 1 million people hooked in two weeks, and then one billion point six people active in six months, right? Yeah. So yes, there is there is a road that the true of the contrary, which is, which is AI, and I think it's down to the UX of the user experience.
Ben Walker 14:32
Ben Walker 15:23
So if we can use it, we can use it. As you says it, I'd hesitate use was craze. It seems almost trivialise it but Chat GPT has a lot of leisure users jumping on it and creating this exponential growth curve. So suddenly, everybody or nearly everybody seems, is using it, or is using it for something for fun or otherwise. But it does beg the question, if we can get that sort of exponential acceptance of a new technology very quickly. For our leisure purposes in our homes and our personal lives, we can probably see similar adoption rates in our business lives, what do you think are going to be the key technologies that have the biggest impact on us in the next two or three years as marketers?
Vincent Sider 16:02
I have to pitch for AI, because it's going to be it's going to be, it's going to be the dominant tool for the next 10 to 15 years, we've just crossed the threshold with generative AI, and people start to realise the impact that AI can have in in not in the marketing space, and it's gonna get exponential from there, it's gonna get exponential in terms of what AI can do in terms of what AI can automate, in terms of what AI can actually collaborate with other AI to automate, we are going into a world where AI will operate in swarms, and will be specialised to do marketing tasks that will not even need our inputs. So I think this we know...
Ben Walker 16:47
Does that not remove the role of someone?
Vincent Sider 16:49
It does not and I'm going to use the same keyword of co-pilot, right? If you ask people, you're going to board that plane, and you have two choices. First choice is you pay less, but you have no pilots. And second choice, you pay a bit more, but you have a pilot, which choice are you going to make? We need responsibility, right? We know that that we need responsibility for the actions. And also, we need to guide the system. Because even though it looks intelligent, it's still stupid, it still predict an outcome. It doesn't think it doesn't reason really reason, although it's going to be tracked in the next five years. But the human element is still important to control, to act responsibly with the outputs, and to guide the system where we want the system to go. Right. So in that sense, our jobs are if anything, we are going to be needing more of humans than then before.
Ben Walker 17:36
Ryan Miles 17:38
I agree with with a lot of what Vincent said there it's it's it's a tool to be used as part of our wider toolkit, I think you still need to be anything, we've learned that large language models have created a very accessible way to gain access AI has been around for ages, as we noted, and in very much in our everyday lives, particularly in marketing, the algorithms decide what we see and when we see it and who gets targeted how we build campaigns, or that's been around for a while now, that's not new news, how we access and interact with it. That's what's changed with large language models. And you really need to know what to ask how to ask it, and then how to guide it once it starts responding to get anything out of it. I mean, we see a lot. Anyone who follows socials or the various influencers around AI, the idea of prompt engineers, you see these job listings, very hard for me to prompt a large language model to do great video production. If I know nothing about video production, no idea what to ask. Exactly. So there will be evolving new skills built onto existing expertises.
Ryan Miles 17:44
And I think that, you know, if we pull this back to marketing, specifically, how marketing leaders need to think about this, where can I integrate it to cut my costs in half, potentially, or my time to market by a factor of 10? And then what do I do with that? Your resources are the same, the hours in the day don't change goals for growth and your opportunity, you can just get far more efficient. And you can redeploy that human capability in new and very creative or strategic ways to kind of accelerate your growth in whatever vector or whatever angle you want. I think that's, that's the exciting part. That's how you have to tackle the the opportunity. But take a measured approach and there's going to be tools for everything.
Ben Walker 19:23
The positive, the positive, prism to look through is it's a bit like the industrial revolution in that it removed a lot of the mundane work the lots of routine work and allowed people to do more quality work and more value. As a marketer yourself actually at the sort of vanguard of this stuff, how have you seen your own role change so you've reduced doing some of more mundane routine stuff and do more of the interesting stuff?
Ryan Miles 19:47
I love these tools I use new being a lot just for quick research like dip sticking on things as you kind of every day you kind of confronted with a conversation or an opportunity that you not as formed as you could be. So instead of spending potentially a couple of hours searching, looking for different sites, sources of information, That can kind of happen in a matter of minutes before you walk into a meeting and then that meeting can be infinitely more productive, because you're starting on a better knowledge base with the expert you're working with. And that can be someone in your team could be a partner, a stakeholder, I think that's been a really powerful application. That's, that's a really low hurdle. Like you don't have to put sensitive information in it or anything like that. It's just this awesome partner to go in and prepare yourself with.
Ryan Miles 20:35
We're still at the early stages of playing with things like, for us, it's being creative, but DALLE-E and image creation and how to build that into our marketing models. How do we expand our creative capabilities for things like campaigns, we're doing a lot of work actually, in our tooling for our clients. So predictive analytics, optimizations in campaigns, things like that, a lot of what we've seen, teams are taking time out. So you just provided with the recommendations, one favourite I love, which is a bit of a shameless plug, I was on holidays, recently, I came back and teams has this new function with AI, where it notes anytime your name is mentioned in a meeting that you're included on, even if you weren't there, and I came back, every time my name had appeared in a meeting that I'd been invited to that I'd missed that week was there with all the notes, the context and all that kind of thing, infinitely sped up my ramp up back into work, because I didn't have to go chase that stuff down. And I found out I knew I need to go talk so about that, because I'm absolutely not touching that. Or, you know, hey, I need to get on to that. I didn't know that was such a big issue. So cool little things like that I didn't even know is there I came back to the office, I was lik wow.
Ben Walker 21:43
We were talking pre-pod, that there's a there's a lot of time wasted in business, necessarily wasted, you could say if there is such a thing as necessary waste, in transition, those sorts of things, when someone's transitioning from one place to another, they're coming back from holiday, they're catching up, they attended, they're trying to get notes from a meeting to which they were unable to attend, etc, etc, etc, which is, which is glorified admin. And what you're saying is, this is going to take a lot of that out of our lives. Absolutely. So it's a very positive message. And yet, and yet, I still hear a lot of fear and worry from marketers, particularly at a junior level, that it will take out some of the jobs in the creative industries, it will start to dismantle some opportunities, particularly at the lower levels of the industry. It is going very moving very quickly so to some degree, I can understand those fears. Is there any truth in it? Is there anything to be worried about?
Vincent Sider 22:40
Part is true, part is, part is just fear. So, what's fear is, and this is going to always be a major technical shift right from, let's say, the moment we had the internet to the moment that we are now witnessing AI in reality in our lives. There is actually a group in the US called the pessimist archive group that lists all of these moments in time and to answer missed or pessimist groups, and they show the paranoia of the time because of the introduction of this technology and the documentaries and they show they show the impact on burials and so on, but long story short, if anything, I think it's going to be a golden age for creative, because AI will help you know writers, filmmakers, video game designer, and so on to accelerate their job. And to go far beyond what they had in mind originally, for people for for the one, one brand marketer is going to become a super jack of all trades, you know, with the ability to create images and videos with little resources at the level of professional, you know, companies. So this part is, I think, is, I think now is acknowledged.
Vincent Sider 23:53
The part which is true, is the part about how AI could harm society. Yes, it could harm society, but just like using Photoshop to create fake pictures of people and society, right? Just it's easier to do it. But AI is also the solution. Because if you can use AI to fake people, and voices and pictures and so on, you can also use AI to find out what's been faked.
Vincent Sider 23:53
So what, what is not true, are we going to lose jobs. Maybe in the short term, not in the long term, right. And I have to discuss about this from a macro level point of view, I can't discuss this from an opinion point of view, at the macro level point of view, you're more productive, therefore your cost of goods or services goes down. Therefore, you can innovate with new products and new services, which requires a new task force. So the job you lose on legacy you create with new product experiences. So from a job creation point of view at macro level, this is not going to happen, right? But it's about being agile and adaptable. Yeah, that part is is is not true. The thought of inequality, let's say it's true and not true. It's inequality will be created for companies or systems that refuse AI. So the world is now on that on the train. Blocking AI in different sectors in with regulations or in different companies departments. Is like shooting yourself in the foot because you can't compete anymore, right. So the inequality will come because of not using AI, the inequality could arise for roles that you can't really upskill very well. BT has made an announcement that they are not going to replace 10,000 roles going forward because they are going to use AI to replace these roles. So if I was in these people shoes, I would think of a way to upskill myself and different areas than these robots, because I know they are duds.
Ben Walker 25:53
For the forensics?
Vincent Sider 25:54
For the forensics, for instance. So I think there is a lot of paranoia I think, I think the real issue is about how bad actors will use this. But AI is the solution for that.
Ben Walker 26:08
So it's interesting to pick up on an earlier point you made, really interesting testimony, but I write for business magazine, not Catalyst, for a university. And a lot of the concentration in a lot of the topics in that magazine is about how leaders and senior teams move between what they call exploitation and exploration. And exploitation is sounds like a nasty word. It's not it's just the core part of your business, the serving your regular customers, to make the bringing the main revenues. And what that what tends to happen in most businesses is most leadership teams and most senior C suite people and senior people in the business. Everyone in the business to some extent get always gets pulled back to the core. And the exploration gets less and less, unless you're a very big company with huge amounts of resources. Your explanation is a sort of poor relation. What you're saying is with AI, that exploration window will open up because there's, there's the draw to the core isn't a strong,
Ryan Miles 27:09
You're taking me back to my MBA strategies for growth lecture right there, I remember the principles very well. Look, businesses oscillate between those good ones will recognise when they have a proposition to exploit. And when that competitive advantage is diminishing, and they need to go back to exploration. That is what great leadership teams do and see before everyone else does that, that requires incredible vision as a leadership group. With AI, I think it makes some of that more possible more regularly at lower cost. But I think it comes down to as we were saying, having great people who know how to use the tools really well.
Ryan Miles 27:47
I think one really exciting element of AI is how it's going to help and support small businesses or small and medium businesses access the type of output that before required huge capital investments or professional service costs, at that they just couldn't have then limited their ability to do exploration as a business. And we know that SMEs are so important to the backbone of the economy, for GDP growth, but job creation for all these really important things. And when we can get innovation there now AI is not cheap to create or fun. I'm sure we've all heard about GPU shortages and the intensive load it places on a particular handful of companies that that kind of at the backbone of this infrastructure. But for the end users, it's incredibly cheap and accessible in its current guise. And I think the thing we haven't touched on so much just yet, but it's coming in the evolution is data. And these unique datasets. Now the most large language models we're all referencing, and using and playing with the moment, are big broad, collective wide web scraping and those kinds of things. Many will have heard of Elon's change to Twitter about some of this stuff as well. But as we start taking those largely trained models, and then injecting walled garden, very specific datasets, then you're really harnessing the power of where this goes. And it becomes very interesting for specific applications in specific contexts. In whatever business you're in, that's really kind of interesting, and probably where we see the next step go in the not too distant future of how people are applying this, particularly in business and marketing.
Ben Walker 29:30
So in order to occupy that space, Vincent in order to make sure that as marketers, if we accept your analysis, which sounds to me like a sound analysis, which is as a genuinely positive trend, it's going to take a lot of the boring stuff off our hands, frankly, it's going to take the routine stuff of our hands, allows more time space to be creators in order so you can make sure you're in that space as an explorer in that space as a creator or a guider, what do you as a marketer need to do to make make sure you're there and not in the bit that's going to be taken over by AI?
Vincent Sider 30:04
Educate yourself, because the space is moving so fast, it's almost overwhelming. Educate yourself continuous learning is advice number one, and I'm grateful for the CIM to have actually reduced and time is five courses because they gotta be helpful for the industry. And my personal advice is also to build this is contrary to the, you know, conservative, because as marketer, we're not engineers, right? But but having projects at the weekend in evening to build with AI, it's so easy now to build stuff with language model. So let's see, that's the way to really grasp what this is about. You could you could be, for example, example, I build an application to audit my YouTube videos, comments, and make a decision whether I should reply or not. And the reply is actually written by the language model, and the nuance and the reasoning for the replies is, AI will not engage in comments which are political. For instance, I didn't make that choice AI made that choice. To build this application took me four hours, you understand how to prompt, you understand how to manipulate the language model by building. So compound this with the learning you do on a weekly basis, on a monthly basis, and through professional courses like the CIM courses, then you have a way forward to really adopt AI in your organisation, in your career, and also understand the right question to ask, that's the problem, the right tool to use so many. That's the way forward.
Ben Walker 31:32
How quick do you have to be about it to you get yourself educated? How long....
Vincent Sider 31:36
Soon, soon. Luckily, there is something called Chat GPT, and soon something may be called Co pilot from Microsoft maybe. And these thing's, they level the playing fields. I didn't code for 20 years. I'm an engineer already. But I didn't code right. It took me a day to get back up to speed just by asking GPT to help me code. And this is why I could do that stuff in four hours. So if you have the will, there is a way and at such GPT is your best to do your best coach for whatever you want to do. So there is now a moment in time where we are levelling the playing fields, there is probably a window of opportunity of two years for people to basically deliver what they want to deliver from marketing point of view from product point of view, before the competition get up to speed, and it becomes much more expensive. So
Ben Walker 32:26
Two years, Ryan, you you, of course have to be at the cutting edge because you work for Microsoft, how have you made sure that your team are ahead of even that two year curve?
Ryan Miles 32:35
I think we're in the fortunate or unfortunate position, sometimes a bit. Yeah, part of this are our products. So as we come to terms with what is in our organisation and trying to keep pace with our own engineering, or developing these things, we're kind of our hand is forced. And it can, it's not always easy, but it's certainly a long term benefit of being in that position, but very much agree with Vincent playing with this stuff. And it can do so much more than kind of your thinking your day to day. And so your imagination is the opportunity there. But build a website just through natural language like pretty cool thing to do that to start with. But then you have something for it. Like it can just be a hobby project. But that's going to be really useful as you go back into the workplace and then try and do something I think particularly for, for those early in career, I had a really interesting conversation with a founder at the festival of creativity in Cannes a couple of weeks ago, and he was talking to me what he's doing with his business with 1000s of employees. Totally reorganised it and every pod that he's organised now has an AI ambassador, that role didn't exist weeks months ago, six months, and now they're operating in these pods of various types of experts in their field videographers, creative designers, illustrators, and helping them use the tools as the conduit, the bridge between the tools and their expertise and kind of upskilling them and getting the potential out of this tool. So I think we keep coming back to this theme that it is a tool and in the hands of the right person with the right skill set is incredibly powerful, but you need to merge the new skills of how to use it with the actual expertise of what you're trying to achieve. And I think as we talked about what opportunities come up, that's that's where to position yourself someone with an expertise and the ability to use you're going to be in a really solid place. And I think you'll really quickly build new expertise in new areas, because you can teach yourself how to build stuff that you otherwise couldn't without these that that is the exciting part of it.
Ben Walker 34:39
Will it transform education itself there'll be more self learning more self teaching as well the roles for course creators course directors?
Vincent Sider 34:46
Well, there will be AI tutor for sure. Right. They are going to be kinder, more patient. They are going to be personalised, right. Yeah, they're going to address Vincent them I'm not a class. Personalisation, I think is the key word here, right? It's going to be my own custom journey to learn, this is what I want to learn. And, and vice versa, it's going to help the teachers do better. There is a result from the University, which I love to talk about, which demonstrate that using AI as a panel for surveys is the same thing as using humans AI respond the same way. This was just validated by research from Anthropic Claude another language model last week, that shows that when you ask, at global level, very important questions to AI, AI pretending to be, you know, citizen of the UK, or France or the US, the reply would be the same as the population it aggregates, right. So you can use AI to simulate your students, just like back to marketing, because we haven't really talked about marketing yet, just like you can use AI to simulate your audience. So you can use AI to test your creative to predict your click through rates to behave just like your consumer, your customers. This is proven research, right? So yes, it's going to transform education, both sides. Maybe for us, as trainers, it's going to we become facilitator, instead of the provider of content, because the content you would get from Chat GPT. But the facilitator in terms of where to look, what tool to use, how to use it. There is something though, that AI won't teach, which is how to trust AI. And that's the most important topic probably got some questions on that. Okay, so I'm going to start down and but for me, this is the key subjects is the trust.
Ben Walker 36:41
When you're recruiting, and we're trying to hiring people is the job of anyone who's above the sort of lower the lowest level of an organisation to hiring people is probably the most difficult job, the most time consuming job of most people can be quite a painful job, or we're gonna get AI's who can find as the best candidate?
Vincent Sider 36:56
That's the lowest hanging fruit for AI. That's that's where AI would shine, right? It's already the case we've we've pinpointed for accents based in Jersey, I'm from Jersey right now. And so, CV screening, okay, the reduction of bias, discrimination, the skills assessments, all of these things will be managed by AI. And from the candidate point of view, the user experience. Yesterday, I did a review on a tool called AI interview mockup, whereby you upload your job description, or you select the templates, and the AI trainer will help you practice to interview before the interview, and we give you credit, and so on. And it's good feedback. So it's going to work both ways. It's going to help the candidates optimise the way they pitch and fulfil a role and it's going to help the recruiter do it faster and hopefully, with more accuracy. That is if the model that has been used has been trending the right way, which is another topic, right?
Ben Walker 38:00
So, Ryan, if you use this stuff, positively, if you get ahead of it, if you understand it you can get a better job in a bigger industry. For a better company. You can hire better people, you can learn quicker. Sounds great, nothing bad about it?
Ryan Miles 38:20
I think it's how it's implemented. That's a big question and the trust in it. How do your consumers in whatever industry you feel about use it? How does how does your team how do those around you, your family, like Vincent mentioned before, like there's going to be resistance for this and rightfully so you need to counterweight to these arguments, it can't all be one direction. And it's we're at the beginning of this, like there is going to be lots of missteps. And you know, we chatbots have been around for a while. And yet most of them have not done particularly well when we put up to a test. And there's been learnings in that how many times we goade AI into doing certain things, if you don't kind of put stops in there and people are clever, you put one stop in, they find another way. And there's people that want to see it fail. So I think it'd be remiss of us to think that the counter arguments are not A good thing and B absolutely fundamental to the overall improvement and benefit of it. And it just keeps coming back to how we build, how we implement how we use and that whole idea of responsible AI being really important. But definitely those who take a positive mindset towards it. And good intent. I think all of those things you listed. And the other thing is create things that don't exist yet. Like just start from scratch and use it as this tool to explore and walk your imagination and have something they can help you build it.
Ben Walker 39:41
Stop chasing minutes and meetings didn't attend and build something interesting and new?
Ryan Miles 39:45
I love this idea. Again, something I heard out of Cannes I thought was a lovely way to to speak about it was decoupling the idea of time and output. Yeah, AI just totally separates those two ideas and we've got so much particularly in the creative in the marketing industries, the idea that you charge for time, instead of output. And if everything gets faster, and more robust and deeper, but we have this, then it's it's about the output should have always been about the output. But we lacked a better thing than time. And this is going to really disrupt that I think we're gonna see a lot of, even if it's not that the business specifically that changes the commercial models that will change and, and what we value in a relationship across in marketing, certainly our supplier relationships, how we look towards our agency partners and other partners across the ecosystem, that's going to be a really interesting moment. And I think AI is gone gone from toy to tool. It's kind of this big coming of age that we've had. So an exciting moment.
Ryan Miles 39:57
Exciting moment indeed. Right? Let's take some questions from the audience. We've got about we've got about 17 minutes by my watch. And we'll take the first question from the audience. Remember, I said about forest of hands. Gentleman here at the front?
James Delves 41:00
I've got two questions. I'm happy to do one now and one later. So we've we've experimented with AI. So we've experimented with AI in the smarter department, like images and content, etc. It doesn't always come back, particularly conference, content funding, as you pointed out, particular trusted source doesn't always come back so I spend half my time looking at it half the time actually checking it hasn't lied to me. So you guys, I suppose would be massively adopted? Unless people understand how to point it at stuff, how do we guarantee that what it actually gives us is going to be simply a stamp from quote, or the media.
Ryan Miles 41:43
Yeah. I mean, hallucinations are definitely a challenge. And they're being overcome in different different ways and different models and different tools, I can best speak to what we're doing in Microsoft with for example, new Bing, and that is working really hard to reference. So where it makes comments, it references its source. So instead of having to really dig for you click that you go, where's the source, they see this? Do I think that's a reputable source? Not all sources are created equal. Getting something about marketing from CIM versus some unknown blogger is gonna have obviously, more merit. And that's one way we're trying to solve it we'll continue to evolve on that thing we're working on, on ways we do referencing and showing and I think as we get more plugins and datasets, that's also going to be a big moment of this, if you know you're plugging into say, a proprietary data set within your in CIM or in within your own organisation, high, high level of trust in that you don't have to worry if you're doing it from the open web and scraping then you have to be much more judicious about how you validate that before you take any action.
Ben Walker 42:54
With a lady at the back of the long dark hair.
Ben Walker 43:01
Oh, you've both got long dark hair. You first and we will come to you after.
Audience member 1 43:09
I'm currently using Chat GPT, big chat and Google Bard mostly to help me with copywriting. Usually just put in putting some information and then massaging it afterwards so that it is still my own work. What are the other top tools? Sorry, I also use generative film in Photoshop, which I'm loving, what are the other hottest marketing tools that you guys are aware of that are not yet on my radar?
Ben Walker 43:37
I come to you first.
Vincent Sider 43:40
So first, the cold shower. There are about 10,000 tools, and about one out every day. Because it's so easy to create them. But there are dominant tools. Right? So you're right Chat GPT you can't get wrong with that. Bard also, I use them to cross check back to the issue of isolation. The outputs like what is what does this one say when this one says that right? So I use them. The one which I find very useful is Claude from Anthropic because it has 100 000 tokens context, which means you can feed the entire Wikipedia, Wikipedia, but Shakespeare books and your documentation will easily go into the context, which means you can have real conversations because it can connect the dots. That Chat GPT can't do right now because Chat GPT is limited to 4000 tokens and now 16,000 views GPT frequent five bit more, but it's not enough to get the full picture when you have complex subjects to address. So that will be an another tool to look at in the world of images.
Vincent Sider 44:46
Of course you've heard about Midjourney the equivalence which is safe is Adobe Firefly, Adobe Firefly guarantee protection against any IP issues because they've used their own training data So in the world of creation, I will look at Adobe Firefly.
Vincent Sider 45:03
In the world of video. If you're into that space, you would start with animation type video and Kaiber (KAIBER) is a good is a good tool to create animation on the fly, you take a source picture, you describe where you want your picture to go, and you will get the full animation from that starting point to the endpoints.
Vincent Sider 45:24
In the world of text to video, you have Runway ML, which can take a text as an input and convert this into a video of like 12 seconds, not yet ready for primetime. And this is generative AI. So already you have text, you have image, you have pictures, okay, within Chat GPT, you have plugins, if you don't know that sites, but you want to interrogate your data, you can use the code interpreter plugin, which means you can talk with Chat GPT in natural language, explain to me my GA4 analytics, give me the insight give me the most important information from from my traffic. So plugins within Chat GPT. And this one in particular will be super useful. And this is the world of generative AI, then you have the world of discriminative AI, which is how to use your data to predict behaviours to cluster their audiences. In that space. I believe that Microsoft is doing interesting things with Azure, I use a tool called Data IQ, which is visual local, and I can build prediction model in five minutes with that tool. So when you combine this, this cognitive AI engine at AI dominant tools, you have the perfect arsenal here to do whatever you want.
Ryan Miles 46:38
I think that was a pretty comprehensive encyclopaedia.
Vincent Sider 46:44
Just ask the Chat GPT because it's gonna hallucinate.
Ben Walker 46:50
Lady in the black dress.
Ally Cook 46:55
It sounds like from the conversation today that one of the kind of key factors in the success of AI is its application and more importantly, it's responsible application. Do you think as long as we have a responsibility to educate our businesses, as well as individually upskilling, about how to respond to the use of AI?
Ben Walker 47:13
Good question. Is it our responsibility to educate above us?
Ryan Miles 47:17
I, my personal view is it's everyone who sees the value in these tools to A use them responsibly, and then B advocate for that and and demonstrate that responsibility and educate those that there's earlier on in that, that journey. And I think for the most part, you see that happening, and there's going to be early adopters, and there's going to be laggers. And you know that that adoption curve has been there. And it's pretty pervasive for a long time, that will continue to persist. So I think by demonstrating how it can be responsibly used is also going to accelerate adoption of those that are maybe a little bit more reluctant to take take it on, it's obviously a big concern, in business around data. Privacy should be a huge concern there. And that's yet how is the model that you're using be built and what data you know. So knowing your source, I don't think it's going to be good enough as legislation and regulation picks up to say, I didn't know that's how it's done, you have to interrogate what tool you're going to use and why it is the right one or the safe one. That's where you're talking about some of the tools that we provide, obviously, you know, we're doing some of that work, Adobe's doing great things with Firefly there as well, and kind of, I guess, to an extent indemnifying. But yeah, going off and using some of these startup ones, you've got to be careful. So start there, and then just educating again, practising all those kinds of things, and sharing what doesn't work. So you know, the right path to go down.
Vincent Sider 48:50
This is a controversial subject this one. Because I believe that the C suites, the we have a responsibility to choose the right model, and therefore to understand what is a model and understand the constitutional principle behind the models. And some companies do reveal their conditional principles, ie how they want the machine to how do they want the AI to behave. And some other companies don't. And some companies lie about this and some companies don't. So, you will have to be educated to make the right language model choice if you want to act responsibly, which means you need to...
Ben Walker 49:28
That sounds quite a lot to ask of marketers that they understand they understand how the algorithms work?
Vincent Sider 49:34
No, no, the decision to use a model should be made by the IT department or whatever, in the with the insight of how that model has been built and which data has been used for training, right? And then the application then you can close your eyes and rely on your on your partner and your colleagues for making the right choices. Right. But the organisation when you audition needs to be aware of that right so that it gets scared responsibly down to the marketers is my point.
Vincent Sider 49:59
Some of them are. Some of them aren't BT, is very well aware but will not comment for everyone. Just reading the news, you know, is a good signal to see where this is going and what you can trust and what you can't.
Ben Walker 49:59
Do you think IT teams are generally are aware of how these things are built?
Ben Walker 50:16
Yeah. Interesting. Another question played here, the blonde lady in the front.
Audience member 2 50:28
Just building on that question, most of what people are seeing about AI at the moment is that in two years time, which seems to be this, this timeline, AI is going to kill off the human race, basically. And that's what most people unfortunately are seeing at the moment. How, as professionals, can we navigate through that, and have a sensible conversation about some of the things that you've talked about it bringing to us that add positivity to things rather than this constant fear that we're going to turn into sort of a terminator type scenario?
Ben Walker 51:09
I think it's a great question. Briefly, because I think I although mentioned fear amongst marketers, I think fear amongst marketers is much lower as a proportion of the marketing profession of that profession, as it is in society at large, you know, that, I think many marketers see actually a lot of positives in it, there is some fear, but it's generally seen as positive. But there's possibly true this lady says that society at large, it is seen as a bit Terminator two, it is seen as a bit of a threat that is going to cause us major problems. How can we as marketers, maybe share the positive side Ryan I'll start with you.
Ryan Miles 51:43
I, I find that one of the most powerful ways to tell us the show, right. And where we see it less of a scenario where it takes over from us and we keep we keep demonstrating where it it augments our capabilities, it enables us It empowers us is it is a really great way to show obviously a fear around what it does do to jobs and some sectors that might be different to others. But as we continue to find the applications and lower the the hurdle towards understanding it and getting people to play with it is going to help some way. But I think it's an incredibly, incredibly complex topic from from a range of views via political societal, commercial, I am sure Vincent has a much deeper point of view from the technology specifically and how that...
Vincent Sider 52:39
I don't know, just just to come back on the two years figure, right, it's not coming from nowhere. It's coming from Gartner, magic. Gartner, the inflation curve, you know where it's so on that curve, you can see that machine learning, which has been around for years, is almost at the plateau. And generative AI is at the peak of inflation. And it takes about a couple of years to go to a plateau. So it's a question of time, within two years, we'll forget about this fear, because it's going to be so embedded in whatever we do. And whatever we use, it's going to be in the car, it's going to be in the fridge, it's going to be in your TV, it's going to be everywhere. And it's going to it's going to act kindly. That's That's what people kind of witness after using this generative AI a lot, the kindness of it. That's it's going to become normal. And so we will forget this moment of fear that we should not incentivize by also not looking at the wrong people, right. So of course, if you follow that YouTube influencer and that Twitter account and saw that keep repeating these messages, we just encourage these people to communicate this. And most of the time, we have an agenda, the agenda being to accelerate regulation of the industry and to build what a garden. So that's some companies emerge winners from this and some others lose. So there is an agenda that is manipulative. And by not focusing on the people that convey this agenda, we also solve the problem. The third one is education. Right? And again, thanks for the CIM, to start this journey. Because if people don't understand how AI works, and the fact that AI is not intelligent, AI is just patterns and connections, then, then, then they will at this point, when they understand that they understand there is no risk for humanity.
Ben Walker 54:27
Do you think the problem with the naming is do you think it got named badly? Because you've said that artificial intelligence is not intelligent?
Vincent Sider 54:33
I think you're right. I think it should not be called intelligence should be called something else.
Ryan Miles 54:38
You might want to blame Hollywood for a lot of that as well. I mean, there's Terminator, I turned on I Robot earlier in the week. And that a was bad move wasn't it like we talked about. Maybe don't put it into robotics. Seems to be what the directors are telling us.
Vincent Sider 54:50
And in fact, just to finish on that, think about one movie in science fiction that was positive about AI. I see none, zero, nada. They are all negative. It's sort of about how the humanity is going to disappear. And whether the Matrix, Terminator, whatever, none of these film makers are a positive light. When you look at the reality, every time I talk about AI or use our look at people using AI, I see positivity I see happiness. I see liberation, you know. So where are we is this in the media nowhere. It's our job as marketer to show the nice picture, but also the reality of AI, which is not completely...
Ryan Miles 55:30
...maybe we need to let it write a movie about itself, do its own script writing. A bit of personal PR!
Vincent Sider 55:38
That's why they strike. Absolutely.
Ben Walker 55:42
We've got amazingly we're almost at the end of our hour, I've got time for one possibly two questions if they're quick, I'll take one more from the audience lady here.
So I specialise in SEO for the equine sector, which is very traditional. And even getting them to understand why they need SEO in the first place could be like pulling teeth. And when I've tried to use AI, for example, for copywriting, there just isn't, I know it uses data, it's already available on the internet. And there just isn't enough accurate specialist information available for it to do a good job of it. But at the same time, I'm worried that search engines and the internet in general are kind of going in a direction or actually these businesses are going to need AI and then they're going to need to add to use it in order to be able to still use search engine optimization. So at what point are these niche sectors going to be able to actually utilise the AI technology? So at the moment, I feel like they're gonna need it. But the tools that I've used are just not they they're just not accurate enough.
Ben Walker 56:56
And the equine sector is one example of many, a niche sector where there just isn't a wealth of information or data for it to work for.
Ryan Miles 57:04
Yeah, it's definitely a challenge, I think is Vincent made the point of saying, you know, not actually intelligent, it's got to build from something. And if it's not there to build from, then it can't draw on it to give you a response in kind. Look search is changing, I think in amazing ways, but very, very rapidly. And that experience now with chat, what it means for publishers of content, how they will monetize from that, or how they will, what the audience experience will be like, we know it's going in the right direction that the audience is getting a richer experience for sure. And you come back to that stat about 10 billion queries and about 50% of them not getting the answer people are looking for. I think that's amazing. And that as marketers, SEO has been foundational to search for a long, long time now, I'm sure you have a huge amount of expertise in your your niche. I think this is where datasets become really, really important. And again, when the opportunity comes, if it's not there, maybe it's an opportunity to create something, you know, how could you use the tool to impart your wisdom and knowledge into the other SEO kind of tools, it obviously understands the principles, but lacks the specific data set to build on it, someone is going to grab that niche and develop for it. And that's the kind of opportunity to get excited about. That's the power of this, maybe that would be hard to do before. Now you could scale your knowledge and expertise, very, very quickly to many kinds of businesses in that sector and maybe others as well.
Ben Walker 58:32
So what you were saying earlier about make sure you occupied the space final word to you.
Vincent Sider 58:35
One tip and one idea. Tip one. The language model, how they find out about your websites easy. Or easier way is if your website also show the content in a format called JSON LD. So you can ask Chat GPT How can I create JSON LD data ions on my website so that I'm discovered by the language model? And you will be able to implement this on your websites. Only 40% of websites in the world do that right?
Vincent Sider 59:05
Second, the idea is is it about SEO? Or is it about the experience that you want to convey to your users that will make them stick and talk about your website and so on. In that case, It seems like the trend is becoming becoming about conversational AI on your website. Ie it's not just a dumb chatbot. It's an avatar that actually talks with your user and make the experience of it in your website's so amazing that they talk about it to others, right. So that's the new SEO in fact. And so if you're struggling with SEO right now, tip one look at this JSON LD format. So you are being discovered by the model so when people ask questions about your domain, your name comes first. Second, think about the experience and think about looking at how you could adapt your own Chat GPT on your own website with your own data and so on.
Ben Walker 59:59
Thank you very much. I mean, this has been an absolute enlightening. Fantastic. I've enjoyed it very much. I hope you'll have all enjoyed it very much indeed. And I will get you together again on the podcast, both of you because it's fantastic and actually been asked some questions. You're gonna go for a drink now and maybe get some more questions to these gentlemen if you can, before they go, I'm afraid the time's up. I promised the events team I wouldn't overun and i've overun by three minutes, which is I don't know what's going to happen to me. So, before we go, though, I just want to say a big thank you to Mr. Vincent Sider and Mr. Ryan Miles for what has been a fantastic episode.
Ben Walker 1:00:38
Thank you very much gentlemen, for being on the show and rounding off this season of the podcast and a brilliant manner. A feature length episode, I should say, we'll be back in September for those people listening at home for the fifth season CIM Marketing Podcast. We might of course have the gentleman on like next season or later, but we'll definitely have you on again. Thank you very much. And thank you, thank you.
Sophie Peterson 1:01:08
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