August 2, 2019
“I believe today’s world is yesterday’s science fiction,” said Ross Simmonds, founder of Foundation Marketing, at MPI’s 2019 World Education Congress (WEC) in Toronto. “We are becoming one with our technology.”
In his session on artificial intelligence (AI), Simmonds laid out AI’s future and some tools marketers can introduce into the workplace.
“The dismissal of innovation could be your own disruption,” Simmonds said, cautioning the audience to not ignore artificial intelligence.
Citing a few examples, Simmonds illustrated how AI has evolved. He walked through the evolution of farming tractors—from being operated by horses and people to some of today’s self-driving tractors, which could eliminate the need for the farmer to be in the field completely.
AI has the potential to change how people work, which should be of concern for workers in all professions. It’s already had a huge impact on the manufacturing industry, replacing many once-human jobs.
For marketers, it’s already changing how we communicate to our customers, and it’s primed to change the marketing process—who we reach out to, how we work with them, what next steps should be. Rather than be wary of these changes, Simmonds suggested embracing some of these advancements in AI.
For example, unload some routine duties to AI tools like scheduling, for example, and redirect your energy to more creative tasks.
Although AI in the workplace is still new to most people, Simmonds believes it’s the future. Some tools are already available that marketers can experiment with. These include:
“We’re still very much in the early stages—but the people who are using AI are the people who will reap the benefits,” Simmonds said. “The time to sign up for some of these tools is now.”
“The work that is non-routine will sustain itself in the long term,” Simmonds explained. Routine tasks, however, will continue to be easier for AI to perform, and workers should accept that fact.
“Challenge yourself to walk away from the routine tasks and really focus on the non-routine,” Simmonds said.
The Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum predicts that top skills in 2020 will include, among others:
These are all skills that are increasingly expected of marketers as the digital age continues to shape the industry. Simmonds recommended leveraging AI to help with mundane tasks so you can focus on developing these critical skills instead.
“The future is going to look like this,” he said, revealing a picture of Ironman. “Well, not exactly like this, but we will be working with AI in a similar way,” explaining that embracing new technologies and using it to enhance your work, rather than fearing it, is how people should view AI.