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Tech Product Expert Offers Actionable Advice on Marketing AI

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Screen Shot 2021-10-05 at 9.07.34 AMThis post is part of our AI Experts Series, which profiles leaders whose insights can help expand your understanding of artificial intelligence and how to apply it to advance your business and career.
Today's spotlight features Dimitris Sotiriou, VP Product Management at Persado, an AI-powered language platform.

AI + You

In a single sentence or statement, tell us what you do.

I develop solutions for customer problems.

How do you define AI? (Or, what’s your favorite definition of AI?)

For me AI is the ability of machines to interpret data and come up with actions that were not rigorously defined by humans, thus displaying human like thinking

Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, has stated that, “AI is probably the most profound thing humanity has ever worked on.” Do you agree? Why, or why not?

I'm not sure if it is the most profound, but it’s certainly high on the list. AI has the potential to transform society in the same way steam and the introduction of machines disrupted society during the industrial revolution.

How did you get started in AI?

My introduction to AI started with big data and researching technologies to take advantage of the vast number of data points we had in order to come up with better products for our customers

"Artificial intelligence means a system able to act and adapt to its work."

What’s your favorite example of AI in your daily life that most consumers take for granted, or don't even realize is made possible by AI?

Everyday features like predictive text, voice recognition/generation and recommendations in streaming services that are just part of our daily routine.

What excites you most about AI?

The ability to transform society to be more inclusive and allow us to focus less on laborious tasks and more on innovation and experiences.

What worries you most about AI? How could it go wrong?

Like any technology, it is as good as the creator’s intentions. We need to ensure that AI is used to make society more inclusive and open and not to simply reflect the needs of a few big tech monopolies for more control.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about AI?

A lot of people believe AI is the creation of human-like robots that will take over their jobs. It’s hard for them to understand the millions of smaller tasks and processes that AI has already taken over to assist and augment our work and not replace it. Similar to computers, the introduction of AI will create new jobs with new skillsets.

What skill or trait do you believe has the greatest chance to remain uniquely human for the foreseeable future?

Creativity and empathy.

What is a recent advance in AI that blew your mind?

GPT-3 and the transformers models in general have really impressed me with their capabilities to generate content (text, voice, images or even videos) in a way that a lot of times surprises even professional content creators.

"Like any technology, [AI] is as good as its creator's intentions."

If you were entering college, knowing what you know now, what would you study?

I would probably still study what I did when I entered college 25 years ago. Any STEM degree is a good basis for learning how to think and how to problem solve. Any technology (like AI) that you may study today will be outdated in two or three decades, so for me it’s more important to focus on learning how to understand and approach problems rather than specific technologies. (By the way, I studied electrical and computer engineering.)

Marketing + AI

What advice would you give to marketers looking to pilot AI in their organizations?

Make sure you keep an open mind and try to understand not if you need AI but rather how you can utilize AI in your business.

What is the biggest challenge marketers should plan for as they scale AI?

The ability to adopt current processes and workflows to incorporate AI tasks and AI-generated content, including non-marketing departments such as legal and compliance.

What question(s) would you advise marketers ask vendors who claim to have AI-powered technology?

I don’t feel there are any specific AI questions. Instead they should focus on the outcomes they want to achieve (as with any tech vendor) and their ability to measure successful improvements on their KPIs and goals when applying AI-powered vendors.

What percentage of marketing tasks will be intelligently automated to some degree in the next five years?

  • 0%
  • 1 – 10%
  • 11 – 25%
  • 26 – 50%
  • 51 – 75%
  • 76 – 99%
  • 100%

Which three marketing categories will experience the greatest disruption from intelligent automation in the next five years?

  • Account-Based Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Analytics
  • Communications
  • Content Marketing
  • Conversational
  • Customer Service
  • Data Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Research
  • Sales
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Strategy

What’s one marketing job you see AI fully automating and eliminating in the next five years?


What can marketers do to ensure the ethical use of AI in their marketing?

As with every new technology, marketers need to test and monitor the usage to ensure that AI processes and models are not biased.

How can brands achieve personalization without invading privacy?

The use of AI and first-party data (instead of third-party) will help you create better content and personalized experiences based on language and context.

What resource(s) would you recommend to marketers who want to understand and apply AI?

Any course or talk by Andrew Ng is always a great introduction to AI.

Rapid Fire

Voice assistant you use the most?

  • Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Siri
  • Don’t use voice assistants
  • Other

More valuable in 10 years?

  • Liberal arts degree
  • Computer science degree

First publicly traded TECHNOLOGY company to reach $3 trillion market cap?

  • Alphabet 
  • Amazon 
  • Apple 
  • Facebook 
  • Microsoft 
  • Tesla 
  • Other

Preferred cloud for building AI solutions?

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Google Cloud
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Don’t use or prefer any of them
  • Other

Best guess, how long until we achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI)?

  • 1 – 5 years
  • 6 – 10 years
  • 11 – 20 years
  • 21 – 50 years
  • 51+ years
  • Never

Net effect over the next decade?

  • More jobs eliminated by AI
  • More jobs created by AI
  • AI won’t have a meaningful impact on jobs

Favorite AI movie?


Favorite AI book?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

Final Thoughts

Any final thoughts on AI for our readers?

AI is coming, in many different ways and forms, so it’s best to focus on how to best utilize the technology rather than debate if you need to adopt it.

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