AI is coming for your job, ask ChatGPT how to save it
Attending the International Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin was a marathon of dazzling devices, dizzying displays, and deafening sounds.
IFA is famous for its smart home and phone launches. This year was no exception; and elsewhere, the show was a fish market of household appliances, connectivity, entertainment, eco-friendly power, robotics, transport, and wearables.
But the focus for most brands, perhaps inevitably in 2023, was on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the next generation of consumer electronics.
AI at IFA
From smartphone eco-systems showcased by AEG, LG, Hisense, Siemens, Samsung, Siemens and TCL, to device and appliance enhancements, AI transforms the user experience and makes everyday technology more intuitive and personalised.
“AI and machine learning enable our devices to understand user preferences, adapt to their behaviour, and provide customised recommendations,” says Olivier Dobo, marketing director at HONOR UK. He adds: “We can provide users with valuable insights into their well-being and help them make informed decisions to improve their health and fitness”. Dobo was in Berlin to launch the HONOR Magic V2, alongside the HONOR Purse, an outward folding concept phone that doubles as a fashion accessory.
AI-enhanced health and wellbeing features appear widely across wearables, including LIVALL’s cycle and motorcycle helmets designed to keep riders safer and more alert to their surroundings. At Amazfit, AI is a core component of the IFA-launched Balance smartwatch, where it creates customised plans based on individual fitness and goals, supplemented by a personal trainer AI chatbot for added motivation.
Unequivocally, the main advantage AI offers is personalisation with precision at scale, this was the crux of brand messaging – if a device captures enough data, you can create bespoke responses and recommendations.
How AI will improve marketing
The competitive advantages of AI led to the question: if AI is good enough to enhance my health, wealth and entertainment experiences, how can it make marketing easier?
Alexandra Chevrier, TCL Communication marketing director for EMEA, sees evolution not revolution: “AI is not used in our day to day marketing operations yet, but we see how it gives us access to information very fast. For content we have experimented with AI-powered language models like ChatGPT in brainstorming sessions, but the results are not mature enough to deploy locally or globally.”
Leon Cheng Deng, CFO of Amazfit owner Zepp Health, says marketing already benefits from automation and believes it is going to change further: “Writing ads, digital marketing, Instagram, Facebook, this is only the start. In the future you will get tailor-made marketing, customised to consumer spending patterns and their day to day behaviour. The change for the industry is going to be profound.”
Given marketeers are often early adopters, it’s no surprise that AI is being tested: “We are always exploring ways to use technology for the better in our strategic planning, execution and reporting,” says HONOR’s Dobo. Adding: “We are pleased with the progress we’re making in this space and constantly evaluate the impact to understand how to optimise our marketing both globally and in our local markets.”
Fool’s rush in
While it is encouraging that the discussion around AI and marketing has moved beyond “AI will steal your job”, there are more pragmatic concerns.
Hisense’s marketing director, Alenka Potočnik Anžič counsels against marketers rushing with no clear plan: “in marketing, AI can provide many benefits, but at same time it brings a lot of risks, especially if like us are working across diverse European markets. I see advantages in improved efficiency, fast and accurate data processing and optimised marketing campaigns. Challenges in AI we are facing now are primarily connected to data privacy, concerns of biases and inaccurate content and lack of creativity. I am sure with time we will come to some common guidelines within the industry and not just for marketing, but general common standards will have to be set.”
Founding partner and head of design at Swedish audio brand Defunc, Daniel Roos, see similarities with the music industry: “The issues on copyright for designers and creators as well as musicians are difficult to navigate”. He also believes potentially all marketing disciplines could be replaced by AI in the future: “It will probably result in layoffs and bankruptcy for many industries but also create new lines of work that we have a hard time pinpointing today.”
Rocky Liu, general manager of Robosen, maker of branded Hasbro and Disney/Pixar entertainment robots, such as Transformers and Buzz Lightyear, agrees: “AI is integral to our research and development, and we now test it for content ideas, hashtag and emoji suggestions, which frees up time to focus on other areas. But when something is generated by AI, it’s not ready for consumers, so we see it as a tool for inspiration, with the human touch used to finesse it.”
Smart home brand IMOU is one of the most advanced companies using AI in products, but where communications is concerned, Tobias Fransz, marketing manager for Western Europe, says: “The problem is that consumers identify when AI is used in marketing. We believe in a personal approach and AI is too mechanical. In 10 years maybe it will be normal for marketers and consumers, but right now we don’t want artificial marketing, and there should always be a personal touch. It’s not time yet to hand over our marketing or design to AI.”
This was echoed by smartwatch maker MobVoi, which used AI to create social media content, voice overs for video, copy and artwork for its TicWatch 5 Pro launch – but only as inspiration. Neil Zeng, product marketing manager, warns “AI for smart devices is in its infancy, but fast forward 12 months and both user experience and wearables’ tools will reap many personal benefits. For marketing, AI content is not attractive to consumers, it is easily identifiable and too universal. A consumer might enjoy it once, but after that they see through it.”
Despite these cautions, TCL’s Chevrier is optimistic: “long term AI will improve marketing efficiency, we will of course need new skill sets, but ultimately AI will never replace good human marketers.”
Don’t be complacent, AI is coming for your job, time to ask ChatGPT how to save it.