Will AI replace Elite Consultants?

Recently, I read a very provocative and interesting article in HBR - 'AI may soon replace even the most Elite Consultants'

As I read thro' the article, the key question that came to my mind was- really, how close are we to this reality? Leave alone consulting, there are several industries like legal, medical, design, fashion, movies, media & creative fields where human mind, intelligence & experience plays an important role in discovering, exploring ideas and making decisions.

I felt AI may support and  aid decision making more & more not just replace everything that humans do, mostly replace repetitive tasks that may not need human intervention and improve efficiency but will be used in areas to help people take better & informed decisions. AI will be successful only if there is a strong human collaboration between AI tools & platforms. As I read a little more about this, I came across a lovely interview with MIT Media Lab's Sandy Pentland who talks of complementary relationships between man and machine for higher level results! Here's the video link:

 

Would love your thoughts & feedback!

 

 


 


Information monopolies and customer empowerment in the digital economy

Recently, I got a news alert on a topic that I was interested. When I clicked on it, I got this message below:

Restrict

I was extremely perturbed as I was not expecting a pop-up message like this, as I really wanted to control the choice of ads from my side, to decide whether I wanted to see any ad or not. I really didn't care, I found an alternative source for the same information and got to read it.

What I having been observing is that businesses still follow 20th century marketing models which I strongly believe does not work in the new emerging digital ecosystem.  Also, marketing of yesteryears was about "pushing" messages but marketing of the future is about managing and engaging empowered customers who decide to "pull" and then engage with the message or not.

Information monopolies & interruption marketers really don't work that way. They believe now with digital, they have captive customers looking into their home screens and they can apply the same old world marketing principles. Those principles don't work any more. The TV remote/Set-top boxes changed the way customers started viewing television programs & skipping marketing messages. In the digital world, the quick switch to a new page or clicking a skip button makes marketing messages a blind spot even more. 

The Consumer Decision Journey is changing

In an interesting article, Jack Loechner, Editor of Centre of Media research, writes "Marketing has always sought those moments, or touch points, when consumers are open to influence....Marketers have learned to “push” marketing toward consumers at each stage of the funnel process to influence their behavior. But the qualitative and quantitative research in the automobile, skin care, insurance, consumer electronics, and mobile-telecom industries shows that something quite different now occurs..."  Information Monopolies  & marketers need to learn and adapt to this new paradigm.

Publishers need to look at themselves thro' a new lens

More recently, a leading Privacy advocate Alexander Hanff  led a revolt against publishers which caught the attention of European regulators. And he outlines possible ways in which publishers, of course with the support of marketers, how they need to change their approach.

Information monopolies should work closely with marketers and build a transparent dialog platform to engage with these new informed, empowered customers in the digital economy. They need to move away from "message  & influence" mindset to a "inform & dialog" mindset. It requires not a "Talk down" approach but a "Listen-up" approach.


Winners of WSJ's Data Transparency Weekend

I had written in my last blog post about the WSJ's Data Transparency Weekend.

Here are some very interesting applications and winners. There are some very lovely ideas here!

  • Outstanding Scanning Project: TOSBack2 – a project to scan the Web to build a “living archive” of all privacy policies online.
  • Outstanding Education Project: PrivacyBucket – software that lets users of the Chrome Web browser view the type of demographic estimates that Web tracking companies make about them based on their Web browsing history.
  • Outstanding Control Project: Cryptocat – an instant messaging service that lets people engage in encrypted chats inside their Web browsers or on their phones. Extra bonus: the program lets people generate random numbers (which are needed for encryption) by shaking their phone – allowing the creators to say that their program is powered by dance moves.
  • “Ready for Primetime” Award: MobileScope – a service that lets people see what data is being transmitted without their knowledge by their cellphone. It also offers ad-blocking and do-not-track services for cellphones.
  • Judge’s Choice Award: Site Scoper – a website that scans for tracking files and sensitive content on websites before you visit it.

And, finally, The Soup Cans and String Winner: Ostel, for its work on technology that allows people to make encrypted cellphone calls using voice-over-the-Internet technology.

Read more here