11 Expert Resources for Marketers Interested in Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term that refers to the process and result of teaching machines to perform intelligent tasks. “Artificial intelligence,” far from being just a branch of computer science, is an umbrella that covers many different fields and technologies, including machine learning, deep learning and the programming of neural networks.
That means the field of AI is much more exciting than a simple definition. It also means that, for marketers and the public at large, the topic of AI is far more complex than most people realize. Marketers who wish to learn about and leverage AI must build a solid foundation of the key concepts and topics within the fields that comprise artificial intelligence.
Because the topic is complicated, there exists plenty of inaccurate or oversimplified information on the subject of artificial intelligence. To give you a solid foundation from which to build your AI expertise, we’ve curated some of the best—and most accessible—resources on the subject.
Don’t Know Much About AI? Start Here
If you’re unfamiliar with AI beyond the initial definition we listed in the introduction of this post, start with the resources in this section, in the order provided.
- What Is Artificial Intelligence?, Computerworld (@Computerworld). This article presents a workable definition of AI that will help you separate the signal from the noise when reading about artificial intelligence in the future. What You’ll Learn: A useful textbook definition of AI; the difference between strong and weak AI; definitions of narrow and general AI.
- Everything You Think You Know About AI Is Wrong, Washington Post (@washingtonpost). Artificial intelligence as a topic breeds excitement, fear and conspiracy theory in equal measure. Ground your understanding of AI with this article, which soberly dispels some of the rumors and projections about the subject. What You’ll Learn: Why the power of AI shouldn’t be feared, but must be respected; why AI is really a portfolio of many technologies.
- What Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Neural Network Actually Mean, The Verge (@verge). AI is really a collection of technologies, and this article defines some of the most important ones. No understanding of AI is complete without an understanding of the technologies mentioned here. What You’ll Learn: Definitions of machine learning, deep learning and neural networks.
- An AI Crash Course Fit for a President, IBM Watson (@IBMWatson). Once you understand the what, you’ll want to grasp why AI is so important. You’re in luck: IBM prepared a briefing on this subject for the White House and published it online. Read in full, it provides a comprehensive look at different AI technologies and how they will impact our lives in the near future. What You’ll Learn: Definitions of major AI technologies; how AI will impact different industries; how society and business must begin to think about these changes.
Once you’re up to speed, it’s time to talk shop—because AI is going to change marketing as we know it.
How AI Will Disrupt Marketing As We Know It
Hopefully, the articles in the first section have given you a healthy respect for AI’s disruptive potential across industries. Marketing is no exception, and the resources below will help you begin to understand how the industry changing thanks to AI.
- How Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence Will Disrupt Marketing Forever, PR 20/20 (@pr2020). This article makes the case that marketing is about to be disrupted by the same AI and algorithms that have conquered Wall Street and revolutionized online purchasing. What You’ll Learn: How AI provides valuable marketing advantages that guarantee it will disrupt the industry; how marketing automation makes marketing AI possible.
- Content Marketing in the Machine Age, Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer). Even if an organization has a relatively unsophisticated marketing program, its marketing almost certainly relies on content creation and distribution. Artificial intelligence is already changing how content marketing works, sometimes even generating content automatically. This presentation outlines how AI can—and will—transform this foundational marketing discipline. What You’ll Learn: How AI impacts content marketing; what AI content marketing tools are available; how to start using AI in your own marketing.
- Artificial Intelligence in Digital Marketing, Boomtrain (@boomtrain). Beyond content marketing, AI is changing the jobs of marketers in other disciplines, too. This article details how AI is affecting some major marketing disciplines, including search, segmentation and chat / messaging. What You’ll Learn: How AI is being currently applied in digital marketing across disciplines and channels.
- AI Deep Dive, Salesforce (@salesforce). With the announcement of Einstein, Salesforce’s AI component, the company went all-in on the technology. This helpful FAQ describes key AI terms, as well as how AI is impact sales and marketing. What You’ll Learn: How AI, machine learning and deep learning will affect businesses.
You’ve learned about a powerful new technology. You’ve studied what it means for marketers. Now, it’s time to jump fully down the rabbit hole.
Go Deeper on Artificial Intelligence
With a healthy understanding of AI’s potential, marketers can transform their companies and careers. To gain that understanding, it’s necessary to go deep on some of the “Big Ideas” in artificial intelligence. Below are resources used by some of the world’s sharpest thinkers to better understand AI.
- The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence, Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy). The writer of this article, Tim Urban, is so good at explaining intricate topics that Elon Musk invited him to SpaceX after Urban wrote an article about efforts to reach Mars. Here, he turns his scalpel of a mind to AI, explaining how it works, how AI technologies may develop at an exponential rate, and how better-than-human minds could feasibly come into being. What You’ll Learn: What AI can and cannot currently do; why many experts think AI will develop much faster than past inventions; and the vast implications of AI’s aggressive development.
- The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It, Scott Patterson (@pattersonscott). A highly readable introduction to how algorithms and automation can massively disrupt even the most complex industries. In this case, author Scott Patterson details how AI took over Wall Street, but in doing so shows us how the technology can change business as usual in other industries nearly overnight. What You’ll Learn: How even simple algorithms can create massive wealth and disruption; how AI is guaranteed to disrupt an industry near you.
- The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World, Pedro Domingos (@pmddomingos). This book details the different schools of thought around various algorithms and how, together, they comprise the bulk of AI technology. Even more exciting is discussion of a “master algorithm” that may help all these disciplines work together to build artificially intelligent solutions for the world’s most challenging problems. What You’ll Learn: What different types of algorithms do; the future potential of machine learning; how the search for a master algorithm will revolutionize learning as we know it.
Together, these resources will give any marketer or individual a stronger foundation in the newly resurgent field of AI. There’s always more to learn, though, and we’re working full-time to learn it first. That’s why we encourage you to subscribe. We regularly provide actionable AI content created by marketers, for marketers.
About Mike Kaput
Mike Kaput is a senior consultant at PR 20/20 who is passionate about AI's potential to transform marketing. At PR 20/20, he creates measurable marketing results for companies using data-driven strategies, market-leading content, and scalable marketing technologies. Full bio.