The term “Artificial Intelligence” has been around since the dark ages and, in that time, has dramatically shifted in public perception. At this point, when people think AI they tend to think of voice-activated personal assistants like Siri or Alexa, but, thanks to movies like Terminator and 2001: a Space Oddessy, the future of artificial intelligence has been demonized as an apocalyptic technology that will advance well beyond the capabilities of humans and render us obsolete. This sensationalist view of what artificial intelligence is capable of is still deep in the realm of science fiction but, with more and more jobs being automated, it’s natural for people to begin to fear the possibilities of hyper-intelligent machines.

Well, since the root of fear is the element of the unknown, learning everything one can about that which they fear is the easiest way to no longer be afraid. With that in mind, let’s get into what artificial intelligence really is and how it stands to affect asset managers and marketers over the coming decade.

What is AI?

In the broadest sense, artificial intelligence is the ability of computer systems to perform tasks which typically require human intelligence. But, when broken down into its key functions, AI is basically applied analytics. The way many bots or programs which utilize AI can simulate human intelligence is through the rapid collection and analysis of data which then is applied to automating a task with the goal of eventually achieving the optimal result, reached through a regulated “learning” process.

This implies that the longer an entity with AI performs its given function, the more efficient it will be since it is continually perfecting its process through machine learning.  Machine learning is the element of AI that allows a bot to seem intelligent by detecting patterns in the way certain users interact with a given set of criteria and predicting the end result of those patterns in the future.

But, since artificial intelligence is such a sweeping term, there are several different types of AI which don’t pertain to financial marketing directly, so we’re going to focus on the ones that do: automation and machine learning.

AI in Financial Marketing

Where financial marketing stands currently, artificial intelligence is still well on the horizon of viable technology. The good news is, we are on the trajectory to a world where artificial intelligence will be able to accurately predict what a given client or prospect want us to provide to them without them having to say or do anything. If we were to look at the evolution of AI the same way we look at human evolution, data would be the single-celled organism, analytics would be the multi-celled organism, marketing automation would be the weird fish with legs crawling out of the primordial soup, and machine learning would be the birth of homo sapiens.

Currently, we are at the automation stage where clients and prospects can choose or subscribe to the types of content they would like to receive and content distribution systems (like StoneShot DNA) will dynamically populate and send them their desired form of content. While this technology is incredibly beneficial and makes content marketing increasingly relevant, practical and timely, the idea of artificial intelligence dynamically reaching the same recipients with the content they want without any direct input from them is the dream of digital marketers everywhere.

Another even more possible advantage of the integration of AI into your marketing efforts is machine learning across all of your data silos. This would seamlessly connect your client’s AUM within your CRM to their behaviors across the internet, within their email, as well as their social media tendencies.

The more connected these systems become, the more powerful they become, eventually achieving the ultimate marketing goal: proving ROIs. According to Capgemini, AI analytics platforms are going to become a crucial aspect of regulatory risk management offerings, helping firms comply with industry norms and scrutiny in a more transparent and efficient way.

Which brings us back to the point of this article: should marketers be fearful of creating a monster and being automated out of a job?

Certainly not. Even though these artificial intelligence-driven content marketing bots will be a massive help to guiding a prospect down the sales funnel, the human element is the reason your clients do business with you in the first place. Also, the bot can deliver the right content to the right person at the right time, but it will always be the marketer’s creativity that creates the campaign and the content the bot is delivering. AI is simply another tool that will soon be at your disposal to enhance your marketing efforts and cut down on your time and effort.

With every technological revolution – from the industrial to the dot com – people always fear that the next step will render them obsolete. Yet, every time all these new technologies have done is eliminate repetitive tasks and given us more freedom to use our minds to add value in ways machines couldn’t.

Read more about the future of AI in digital marketing.