COMMENT 

AI – let’s not waste it

James Evelegh's editorial from today’s edition of InPubWeekly.

By James Evelegh

AI – let’s not waste it

At last November’s PPA Customer Direct Conference, Hanifa Dungarwalla, group digital marketing manager at Bauer Media, gave a talk on Artificial Intelligence and how, if deployed imaginatively, it can turbo-charge publishers’ marketing operations.

AI, said Hanifa, “enables us to cost-effectively expand; it offers an enhanced ability to test, measure and innovate; and it gives marketing the ability to be creative and be the strategic thinkers rather than being the doers.”

By harnessing, learning from and adapting to huge amounts of data from every channel, everywhere, all the time, AI has enormous scope. This omnipresence allows marketers to continuously hone and optimise all their digital marketing strategies and communications in real time at a fraction of the cost it would take to do manually. Of course, it’s not possible to do this manually.

Exciting. What’s the downside?

The big risk is that publishing managers will see AI as a super-substitute rather than as an additional player.

“AI is not your team”, she said, “it’s an extension of your team.”

If “Finance” sees AI simply as a way to reduce headcount, then publishers will never be able to realise its full potential. Such an approach would demonstrate a sad lack of ambition.

Let’s use AI to grow our operations, not diminish them.

Hanifa rounded off her excellent talk with an apt quote from author Dan Millman: “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

(Two other things: firstly, we’re finalising the mailing list for the Jan/Feb issue of InPublishing magazine. To be added, register here. Secondly, if you’re a supplier to the industry, then don’t miss this final chance to be featured in the Publishing Partners Guide. Contact Martin today.)