Steven Hawking Mulls AI at Web Summit: Will It Save Us or Destroy Us?

Steven Hawking Mulls AI at Web Summit: Will It Save Us or Destroy Us?

by Dianna Dilworth

The tech community must adopt responsible AI development in order to ensure that advances in technology benefit humanity and don’t destroy it.

This theme of responsibility towards the promise of technology and awareness of the perils, echoed through the presentations during the opening night at Web Summit in Lisbon this week.

Keynote speaker Steven Hawking, who was teleconferenced in to the show, said that AI could either the best or worst thing to happen to humanity. The reknowned scientist pointed out that AI computers could surpass humans intellectually within a few decades, which means that we have to begin to establish regulatory and ethical rules today.WebSummit

“I am an optimist and I believe that we can create AI for the good of the world,” he said. “That it can work in harmony with us. We simply need to be aware of the dangers, identify them, employ the best possible practice and management, and prepare for its consequences well in advance. Perhaps some of you listening today will already have solutions or answers to the many questions AI poses.”

Nuno Sebastião, Feedzai CEO and co-founder, who introduced Hawking said that his company is pushing the industry to adopt an AI code of ethics to build systems which “are fair, verifiable, benefit society, and do no harm,” but did not elaborate on what those look like.

Bryan Johnson, founder of Kernel, a company which is developing tools to better understand the brain in order to treat neurological diseases, called for data privacy rights. He compared the innovations coming in the next decade or so to a category 5 hurricane about to bear down. He stressed that if we prepare for the upheaval, we can make the most of the new opportunities. In the new era, in which he imagines interfaces will be able to stream thoughts and fantasies in real time, that data privacy should be a human right.

But practically speaking, will companies actually embrace rules or will they claim that regulations stifle innovation and competition? Kara Swisher, executive editor of Re/code, interviewed Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for competition at the European Commission, about her tough challenges. One of the major issues facing the Commission today is the fact that corporate taxation was invented when a company was physically present in a country. In today’s digital world, in which companies can exist in a country with only a server, the rules need to be rewritten, said Vestager.
As we saw in the revelations in the Paradise Papers this week, tech leaders like Apple can move their money to avoid taxation. The group is working on new ways to write regulations that takes into account the modern economic world, which involves more transparency in the full history of a company in order to establish fair taxation.

As a European, Vestager is confident that people want democracy more than they want technology and says that technology must work for us or it won’t work at all. She says the next issue is whether we can trust technology or not. “If we don’t relearn to trust technology then we’ll never make the most of the potential,” she warned.

Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the UN, called for the tech industry to team up with governments, academia, scientists and citizens in order to plan for the changes technology will usher in. As technology takes away jobs previously done by humans, we must prepare for the consequences. “Science and technology are not value neutral,” he said.

But Guterres warned that traditional forms of regulation can’t respond to the fast changing world we are facing with new technologies, so we must establish new forms of discussion groups to help respond to the inevitable change that tech will bring.

The opening night ended on a hopeful note. António Costa, the prime minister of Portugal and Fernando Medina, the mayor of Lisbon, presented Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit CEO, with a compass. Speaking about Portugal’s rich history of ocean exploration, they called on the technologists in the audience to set out on the next “great adventure to connect humankind.”

The Intelligent Email Event – EiQ

It has been a busy few weeks and this conference season is just getting started.

The week before last, I was the keynote signature speaker at EiQ, The Intelligent Email Gathering #EiQGathering. BrightWave and their founder, CEO Simms Jenkins were the guiding force behind this event. My own The Marketer Quarterly (TMQ) was a sponsor of the event that entitled all participants to a  branded slap bracelet that includes a 2 GB USB drive, some of that space is packed with our research and the latest issue of TMQ.

I was honored to be askedDrumming to keynote the innagural event, where I presented new research, “The Connected Consumer.” Just before I took the stage, EiQ kicked off with a local drum core marching band (right).

Then after a lovely introduction from Adobe’s Bridgette Darling, I marched on stage. What was most interesting to me as the signature speaker was William Warren, Founder of The Sketch Effect.

William was stage left and there he listened to my presentation, coloring, capturing it and turning my presentation into a work of art.  If I had seen what was going on while I delivered my talk I would have lost my place. I knew William was doing something, but was not told by the event organizers what he was doing. William went on to do this all day long for every speaker and/or panel.  Well done, EiQ. Sketch Effect

After my keynote presentation, Simms Jenkins started the Q&A, one of the questions included “Is Privacy Dead?” My answer may shock you – and you can find much of that Q&A on my David DanielsTwitter handle under #EiQGathering. That was a fun, quick discussion on the state of affairs.

The event was sold out to capacity, 300 people for a first time event in Atlanta (ATL) is a great turnout.  There were many local brands but The Relevancy Group VP of Research Nick Einstein and I were not the only ones to fly into ATL for the event. There were great cocktail parties and speaker dinners. Thanks @Brightwave.

With little exception, the event went onto be very tactical with lessons and innovations from brands including Staples, Pinterest, Zillow, CarMax, Panera Bread and many more. We all enjoyed that level of detail and these learnings were ultimately integrated into a final Jeopardy Game.

Next up, the Bill McCloskey’s “Only Influencer” Email Innovation Summit in Las Vegas, where I will be keynoting day 2.  After that I hope to see you in New Orleans at the eec’s Email Evolution Conference … and if you are not there, err; see our events page as we continue to travel.

Until next time,

All the best,

David

 

 

David

A Week With Adobe

I had a great week at Adobe Summit, where I was joined by 12,000 marketing executives.  Summit The theme this year was Experience.  Adobe pointed out that businesses that are experience driven have higher net promoter scores and revenue than those that do not have an experience focus.  They defined Experience as the sum total of interactions with a brand. This aligns with The Relevancy Group research, most particularly findings in our latest consumer research, Handle with Care – Consumer Email Marketing Behaviors.

They went on to define an Experience business as one that 1) knows and respects the customer 2) speaks in one voice 3) the technology is transparent 4) is focused on customer delight

The big announcement was the introduction of Adobe Experience Cloud, an overarching cloud platform that ties together, their Creative, Document, Marketing, Analytics and Advertising Clouds.  This unifies the data structure, user interface and includes a number of enhancements to share information across the previously disparate clouds.

Machines Everywhere

They discussed the value of real-time data and their machine learning AI framework Sensei took center stage.  Almost every part of their clouds is now or will be benefiting from the Sensei framework. IBM had their event at the same time and similarly was discussing the same things their Watson tool, which TRG’s Nick Einstein writes about here.  Adobe Sensei is built into the platform, harvests data across the cloud, compares patterns; creativity, intelligence, content.  It also creates a virtual analyst, provides automated anomaly detection and alerting.  The Sensei demos were impressive. In one demo in store ads changed based on facial recognition, different offers were displayed based on gender. It was something out of the film The Minority Report.

More Adobe Summit announcements included:

  • New, Adobe Advertising Cloud, combines the Media Optimizer products along with recently-acquired TubeMogul offering.
  • Experience data model is a common language across their cloud and provides for an open ecosystem, utilizing Adobe I/O.
  • Adobe introduced Launch, their next gen tag management system, fast connections at the experience layer.  Launch, Adobe’s tag management partners include Facebook, Twitter, Zendesk and more, it offers fantastic reach.  This data will also feed into their Adobe Cross Device Co-Op  to enhance their Identity Management solution.
  • Adobe Cross Device Co-Op growth, Information on 850 million devices are now in the co-op which was announced at the 2016 Adobe summit. That is big year-over-year growth.
  • Adobe Analytics now includes a virtual analyst that can spot and analyze anomalies and bring audiences, behaviors & ad data together.  Lots of powerful analytics and insights in one place, on one canvas.  That’s impressive.  The text alerts for anomaly also provides likely root causes.  These are smart alerts and this is something that TRG has been advocating for some time.  It is great to see this in production.
  • Their Advertising Cloud is integrated with the rest of experience cloud, same measures and audiences for re-targeting and on stage, they suggested that they deliver higher match rates.
  • They demo’d ability to use first party customer data in a linear TV buying with one click.  This is a first and impressive.  While this has existed for digital and OTT TV, but never has linear TV buying been so easy to combine with first party data. The targeting potential is enormous.
  • New Marketing Cloud: Fluid experiences using fragments content. Snippets that can be used across screens and channels.  This should improve the marketer’s ability to test and create more personalized messages and experiences.
  • New to Marketing Cloud: Adobe Dreamweaver integrated into Adobe Campaign, one click content dropping, this is a big efficiency gain for email marketers.
  • Expanded Adobe and Microsoft partnership, including new integrations with Dynamics CRM, Azure and Power BI.

Sneaks

Their annual summit favorite, Sneaks did not disappoint.  Hosted by SNL’s Kate McKinnon it was an entertaining way for Adobe to sneak preview some of the items they currently have in development.  The item that seemed to capture everyone’s attention was the ability to inject advertising into VR experiences. Interesting stuff but, future forward for sure.

As always it was great to catch-up with the Adobe team, partners and mutual clients. Thanks to the Adobe AR and Marketing Cloud team for making me feel so welcome.

You can watch the Adobe keynotes and presentations here.

Until next time,

 

 

David

A Week With Watson

watson

Last week I joined the tens of thousands of customers, partners, and employees who descended on the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for the IBM Amplify and InterConnect conferences. It was a valuable opportunity to get the latest from one of the most respected companies on the planet and proved to be time very well spent.

It’s no secret that IBM has had challenges growing revenue in recent years as the tectonic shift towards cloud computing disrupted many of their core businesses, but times are changing, and the tech behemoth presented a compelling case this week that they are well positioned to help today’s enterprises capitalize on tomorrow’s opportunities.

Enterprise Strength + Security

When Ginny Rometti took the stage on Tuesday to interview business leaders and IBM partners [including Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce, Randall Stephenson, CEO, AT&T, William Cobb, CEO, H&R Block, and others], she made it quite clear that the IBM cloud was built to support the enterprise at scale. With the volume of mobile data on AT&T’s network growing at a pace of 40% month over month, Ginny illustrated that tomorrow’s challenges present big opportunities for businesses that can manage this growth with agile and scalable solutions. With the vast majority or the world’s credit card transactions, airline tickets, and stock trades running through IBM systems, the crew in Armonk certainly knows scale and has proven that they’re serious about security.

Cognitive is Here

Watson is at the core of virtually everything IBM does, and this week in Vegas we saw a lot of exciting ways in which artificial intelligence and cognitive processing have been implemented to drive value across business verticals.

Most of us are aware that Watson is a great chess player and has beaten some of the best in the world. Many of us have read about how Watson has helped doctors more easily identify anomalies in huge data sets and aid in the diagnosis of diseases of all sorts. Few of us, however, realize that Watson has learned the US tax code, line by line, and marries those data with those of virtually every tax return ever prepared by H&R Block [nearly 700 million] to find incremental deductions and help H&R Block customers proactively plan for their upcoming tax year to minimize tax exposure.

Watson has also begun to learn marketing. Watson Content Hub uses cognitive intelligence to automatically tag content in ways that make it easier for marketers to ID and leverage it, driving efficiency and efficacy. Watson Marketing Insights [which just went live in GA on Friday, Mar. 24], leverages a cognitive engine to help marketers more easily identify and activate specific customer segments. It can, for instance, comb through cross-behavioral customer data, select those most likely to churn, and then build segments to be passed along to Watson Marketing or to any number of partners for omnichannel activation. While in its infancy, I believe it could very well grow into an indispensable tool for marketers who are increasingly forced to deal with more data than they can effectively manage.

Smart Technology + Smart People

It was easy to get swept away this week by the almost science fiction like possibilities of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence, but everyone from Ginny on down reiterated that it takes smart people to leverage smart technology. Watson is an excellent pupil, but only learns when he is taught by good teachers who leverage a solid curriculum. Marketers looking for a silver bullet may be disappointed, but those in search of tools to better manage their business in the age of ‘big data’ may very well find a perfect partner in Watson.

Kudos + Thanks

Kudos to the team at IBM for producing an epic event, and thanks to all the team members who made the time to meet with me and give me the latest. Special thanks to Stacy Kirk and Silvia Galgano on the AR team for the hospitality and access; this Einstein had a great week with Watson.

For those who wish to dig deeper into the event, check out the recordings and resources online.

Webinar on Consumer Email Marketing Behaviors

Webinar: Handle with Care: Consumer Email Marketing Behaviors

Join The Relevancy Group’s CEO & Founder David Daniels and VP of Research Nicholas Einstein on 2/22 at 1PM when they will take you through this latest research.

We wilWebinar Wednesdaysl Answer these key questions and more:
– Is email still a pervasive communication tool and if so are millennials utilizing it?
– On which devices is email consumed?
– What are the primary concerns for consumers when getting email marketing messages?
– What drives email marketing subscriptions and how many brands do consumers subscribe to?

We’ll talk relevance and what consumers love and hate about the email inbox and email marketing messages. This webinar is based upon new research from The Relevancy Group. Register today and get a copy of the webinar recording which contains new consumer data.

handle-with-care-email-consumer-behaviors

Web Summit Puts the Arena Rock in Tech: Inside Europe’s Biggest Web Conference

Web Summit Puts the Arena Rock in Tech: Inside Europe’s Biggest Web Conference

Dianna Dilwothby Dianna Dilworth

When you think of the Iberian Peninsula and digital conferences, one town comes to mind: Barcelona, home of the Mobile World Congress. But the government of Portugal didn’t get the memo. Lisbon is hosting the Web Summit this week for the first time (it’s previously been held in Dublin) and 53,000 plus people from 166 countries showed up.

Droves of Portuguese youth stood in lines wrapped around the FIL arena for hours on Monday night and it wasn’t to see Radiohead or Beach House. WebSummit LinesThey were lined up to hear politicians discuss economic policy and the role that technology will play in the future.
The prime minister of Portugal, the president of the United Nations and the mayor of Lisbon were among those that took to the stage to talk about the future role that technology will play in the global economy. (The live stream of the event drew one million viewers, according to conference organizer Paddy Cosgrave, founder/CEO of Web Summit).

The consensus on the stage: governments need to commit to creating the framework that opens the way for innovative technologies to succeed in all aspects of society. The Portuguese government is putting their money where their mouth is: Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa revealed a public fund of 200 million Euros designed to attract the best investors to help Portuguese start-ups become more global.

Web SummitBut tech innovation is not going to come over night in Europe where there are 28 different digital markets due to differing laws, unlike the US where there is one. Resistance to one true digital market is a problem for startups who can’t afford the cost of legal compliance issues against the big tech players, said José Manuel Barroso, Non-executive Chairman, Goldman Sachs International and former Prime Minister of Portugal and former president of the European Commission, arguing that European governments could do more to help.

To inspire European technology entrepreneurs, the conference programmers brought out the tech heavyweights and Hollywood actors. Leaders from Facebook, GE, Tinder, LINE Corporation, Reddit and even Hollywood actor/entrepreneur Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Director, Founder, hitRECord, took to the stage to talk about digital disruption.

Facebook- Web SimmitFacebook CTO Mike Schroepfer opened up the show with the first official keynote on Tuesday morning revealing the social network’s plans for the next 10 years. Facebook’s plans are centered around connectivity (for the 4.1 billion people on the planet that don’t currently have access to the Internet), artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Schroepfer discussed both the challenges and advances of machine learning and why robots are still a long way from being as intelligent as humans. He also showed some pretty impressive advances in virtual reality, like how Oculus and robotics combined are helping people that have lost the ability to walk, reactivate neurons that weren’t damaged so that they can walk again.
When it comes to advertising, leaders from the space discussed that while digital has disrupted transmission, storytelling is still at the core of all good messaging. Facebook CMO Gary Briggs said that while fundamentally you still have to get to the core of what the story is, the number of executions you have to build and how fast you have to build these iterations has changed. He also pointed out that today brands have the ability to target to much narrower audiences stressing the importance of knowing who you are talking to.

Maurice Levy Chairman & CEO, Publicis Groupe concurred that digital has changed the speed with which advertisers must work, and said that data is changing how advertisers understand their audiences. Still, he stressed that machines could never replace human creativity.

Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, spoke about the importance of privacy Facebookin an ever more connected world. While he praised the advances of technology (the group used drones and crowd sourcing to help expose human rights violations in Darfur and they have also live streamed living conditions of Syrian refugees to help raise money, he also pointed out the dangers lack of privacy presents – dictators running the show and jailed journalists to name a few.

In a debate with Shetty, technologist Robert Scoble (who went glove to glove while outfitted in VR glasses) played devil’s advocate arguing that people will be willing to give up privacy in order to benefit from the bells and whistles that VR has to offer. He says people will be willing to let devices access their LinkedIn page so that you can see who people are on their VR glasses or contacts as you walk by them at a conference or give access to your camera so that you can see guided pathways to the bathrooms with the shortest lines in the baseball stadium and so that your hotdog can be delivered to you.
Whether we’ll be wearing VR gear while riding in self-driving cars to our offices that are half staffed with robots, remains to be seen. The startups that filled the massive halls might influence the direction it goes in, or they might not. What is clear is that Lisbon wants a piece of the tech business and they rolled out the red carpet to prove it. From Web Summit check in desks at the airport and billboards plastered throughout the city to parties in the Barrio Alto (whose hills will give any San Franciscan a run for their money) and packed subways and the news radio in the taxis, one thing was clear: everyone in Lisbon was abuzz about Web Summit.

billboard
“The is not the new Silicon Valley. This is Portugal,” read a billboard outside of the FIL, boasting nationwide broadband 400million Euro for co-investments with business angels and VCs, as well as tax benefits. “We rolled up our sleeves to take businesses global since the 16th century and we’re doing it again.”

Webinar Wednesday’s from The Relevancy Group

Join The Relevancy Group every Wednesday for a free webinar on different marketing topics.Register, all events will be recorded so you can hear it later. Webinar WednesdaysAll Webinar Wednesday’s start at 1:00PM ET. Register for these are the upcoming webinars.

10/19 – The Email Agency Buyer’s Guide 2016. A Presentation of The Relevancy Group’s 2016 Email Agency Buyer’s Guide. The guide analyzes seven email marketing agencies that include: BrightWave, Epsilon, Inbox Marketer, Merkle, Trendline Interactive, WhatCounts and Zeta/Acxiom Impact. We will be discussing agency services market trends.

10/26 – The Value of Adaptive Content: Tactics to Optimize Email Marketing. Join this free webinar with The Relevancy Group’s David Daniels and PowerInbox’s Jeff Kupietzky present new data on the value of adaptive content. You will learn: New data on email marketing trends, Details on contextual marketing, Value and ROI models when implementing contextual marketing and more.

11/2 – The Value of Competitive Intelligence. Based on new first of its kind research, The Relevancy Group investigates the value of Competitive Intelligence Applications (CIA), as well as spending, adoption, challenges and best practices for selecting a CIA partner. Marketers must invest in Competitive Intelligence Applications (CIA), and implement a systemic process to harness the value of such insight.

11/9 – Post Election Holiday PlanningLeveraging the latest consumer data from The Relevancy Group we look at the potential impact that election results have on holiday spending. We will be joined by Zeta’s head of strategy Andrea Orvis-Holden who will be discussing holiday strategies and reacting to our latest consumer survey data. 

12/7 – The Value of Email Delivery, Data, Insight, & Analysis. Principal analysts from The Relevancy Group will be joined by senior executives from 250ok to explore the state of email deliverability in 2016, and to discuss the challenges and opportunities enterprise marketers currently face.

1/25 – The Value of Adaptive Content: Tactics to Optimize Email Marketing. Join this free webinar with The Relevancy Group’s David Daniels and PowerInbox’s Jeff Kupietzky present new data on the value of adaptive content. You will learn: New data on email marketing trends, Details on contextual marketing, Value and ROI models when implementing contextual marketing and more.