Product Design

Dec. 5, 2018

/ people & events

Man and the machine - the recap of the Marketing and Technology 2018

Magdalena Sawicka-Adryjanek

The 7th edition of the conference "Marketing and technology" couldn't escape our notice. This time the keynote was "Man and the machine" so AI now and in the future. Will it help, will it harm and does it matter if it's already here? If you didn't manage to participate, here's our summary of essential issues.

What's the actual stage of AI and machine learning development in 2018? When we look at the Gartner's Hype Cycle, the graph frequently referred by the speakers of MIT 2018, we'll see that there is no straightforward answer. 

 

Source: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-trends-in-the-gartner-hype-cycle-for-emerging-technologies-2017/ 

If it comes to chatbots, it should take only about 2 to 5 years to be commonly used, but for Smart robots, it's even 10 years to be available for the masses. Of course, there are a lot of technical obstacles hindering AI growth, but lecturers focused mostly on the human factor and pointed out those reasons. 

Technology is developing at a mind-blowing pace, humans - not so much
Wojciech Walczak  

Man doesn’t trust technologies. Only 16% of Polish people think that it will solve our biggest problems
Aleksandra Bujnowska

Stroking the reality through the glass screen is not a human world
Wiesław Bartowski 

Let's tell a few more words about the last quote cause its author gave us an entirely new perspective of how AI user experience should evolve. Wiesław Bartowski teaches creative coding - bringing together the world of bits and atoms to build unique interaction between people and digital world. Although he concentrates mostly on creating art installation (or as he calls it - useless things not solving any problem) his method of providing people technologies which stimulate all senses should broaden horizons of UX designers in IT. If you need inspiration for AI user experience check his speeches and other activities. It’s really worth it!

Chatbot - the best friend of sales and marketing 

One of the most "meaty" speeches providing business-oriented knowledge was "Chatbot building relations - lead generation in practice" by Monika Ogórkiewicz. Stuffed with great case studies, numbers and ready-made solutions the presentation might really boost to consider introducing a virtual assistant to the company. Chatbots are able to qualify leads even in minutes, cutting down lengthy traditional process of filling in forms, e-mails, CRMs, etc. Monika didn’t leave this thesis unsubstantiated showing particular data which would definitely make sales managers hearts skip a beat. Just look at the photo below. 

But if you think it's so much easier to replace humans with robots  - that's really not the way. As Monika said, they can communicate with our audience, generate leads or even establish a strong first connection but it takes time and effort to create effective chatbot. And even if it rocks, it's the human employee who is at the end of a lead generation making a hot call, building a valuable relationship with a client and taking care to maintain it. 

Will machines take our jobs? 

That’s the essential question appearing in almost every lecture. Machines don't take a day-off, catch a cold or need time for the family. Just working 24/7, always ready to help the customer and answer to their questions. Dream employee in a hyper-capitalist world? Not exactly. As Wojciech Walczak said:

Robots don't need to go asleep. We do. We need it to reconsider matters, and this reflection is our advantage over machines. 

Some of the other speakers identified creativity as the shield protecting humans from losing their jobs in favour of AI. We can teach machines to distinguish cats between dogs in the pictures or even recognise our mood by analysing face muscles movement but lateral thinking and inventing unconventional things are not really robot’s special. 

Let’s be creative 

If thinking out of the box is our weapon in the battle of jobs with the machines, we should really take care of keeping our minds in shape. Event delivered us a whole bunch of valuable tips to achieve that goal. 

Memorable hints to pump up your creativity:

  • Find a kid in yourself
    Child-alike thinking helps us to free the mind and come up with novel ideas. How to embrace your inner kid? Sylwia Hull-Wosiek from Concordia Design delivered a simple and brilliant tool - lollipops. Licking them will take you back to the times when everything seems to be possible and each day was an adventure. Lollipops sound like a perfect match for a creative software house :) 
  • Open your eyes, open your mind 
    Take part in some event out of your field. Programmist - visit some social media meeting; Sales manager - check some psychological conference. Not your cup of tea? That’s the point! You should get away from your branch leaving own filter bubble which might have made you too narrow-minded. Explore the rest of the world to find a breakthrough inspiration. 
  • Take a break 
    Hours of creative sessions, brainstorming of a whole company, millions of cards opened in the browser for extensive research and the splendid idea shows up during a chit-chat in the nearby grocery. Sounds familiar? That's the magic of incubation break presented on the event by Zofia Leszczyńska. Every creative process should consider time for leaving a problem and letting your intuition work in an unconscious mode of the brain.  

Well done, organisers 

"Marketing and technology" managed to make a name for itself over the past few years so marketing managers can consider it as a dead cert. In conjunction with a low cost of the participation, we've got the reason why the hall is filled to the brim every time. This years agenda was an efficient mix of inspirational speeches and meaningful knowledge. Each of them lasted not more than half an hour (and organisers really watched it!), so we left the event with a head full of ideas but not mentally exhausted. Now, we're looking forward to the next edition and implementing the solutions in Merixstudio!

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