In fields like marketing, most distrust of AI stems not from feared job loss, but from a perceived lack of transparency. But marketers must shift their thinking around transparency to account for a new era and embrace glassbox-style artificial intelligence tools.
As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, one of humankind’s most pressing tasks is determining where to draw the line separating work that is uniquely human from work that is best suited to AI. Machine learning has matured to the point where the proper question is no longer “what can machines do,” but “what should they do.”
There are still plenty of tasks that humans are able to execute in a more effective and nuanced manner than AI. Widespread job loss due to automation may be a very real concern in some sectors, but in fields like marketing where a human touch is indispensable, the incorporation of AI shouldn’t so much eliminate jobs as redefine them for the better.
But in order for companies to take full advantage of everything that AI marketing platforms have to offer, they must first address the resistance many marketers have to the technology due to a perceived lack of transparency. While skeptics worry about their ability to understand the reasoning behind decisions an AI platform would make, the truth is that AI makes too many decisions based on too many data points to be completely comprehensible to human administrators. To learn the rationale behind every decision would defeat the very purpose of marketing AI: to simplify data-driven marketing.
Marketers are understandably hesitant to entrust essential functions to unfamiliar technology, but the impulse to monitor and interrogate every decision an AI platform makes is neither feasible nor effective. AI marketing technology cannot succeed if its users won’t forge a strong, collaborative human-machine relationship, and that can’t happen if marketers don’t trust the transparency of their AI counterparts.
Achieving Transparency with a Glassbox Tool
A truly transparent AI marketing platform is sometimes referred to as a glassbox tool. Unlike a blackbox tool that delivers a decision without any data or analyses to support it, glassbox technology offers abundant information regarding the methodology behind its decisions.
Of course, insisting upon scouring this easily-accessible information negates the efficiency introduced by employing an AI platform. The “full disclosure,” so to speak, offered by a glassbox tool shouldn’t be exploited with any regularity, but rather should function as a reassuring reminder that if human marketers notice a potentially problematic trend in their AI’s decision-making process, the means of adjusting it are close at hand.
The key with any glassbox marketing technology is striking the proper balance between transparency and autonomy. Human marketers should supervise processes like overall budgeting and managing the geographic sprawl of ad buys, but they should be confident enough in their AI to allow it to make the millions of daily adjustments needed to keep pace with the ever-changing marketing landscape.
Understanding the Benefits of an AI Marketing Platform
Reassuring transparency of glassbox tools aside, perhaps the most compelling way to convince marketers to trust their AI platforms is to clearly exhibit the value these technologies can provide. Once a marketer truly understands what an AI platform is capable of doing — as well as what activities it leaves to marketers — transparency into its every decision becomes less of a sticking point.
In today’s big data-driven world, the modern marketer is tasked with coordinating ad campaigns across dozens of devices and channels in an attempt to deliver individualized messaging relevant to specifically targeted consumers. Delivering the near 1:1 experience that consumers expect requires an immense amount of data drawn from a wide range of sources — so much data, in fact, that processing it has become all but impossible. By combining predictive analytics, deep learning, and natural language processing, AI marketing platforms are able to collect, organize, and draw conclusions from the data you need to craft tailored marketing campaigns.
Albert™, can even take action on his own analytical insights, piloting thousands of micro-campaigns at once and, based on high-volume, multivariate testing, scaling up spend on ads that work and discontinuing those that don’t. Through this autonomous decision-making and evaluation process, Albert™ is able to assign budgetary resources to high-performing ad channels, thereby maximizing the efficiency of a company’s marketing spend.
Contrary to what many alarmists have predicted, according to Forrester, general adoption of AI systems could actually create more jobs and allow workers to dedicate their time to more rewarding, high-level work. As our latest webinar discusses, all you need to succeed with AI-driven digital campaigns is transparency and trust. With glassbox tools like Albert and a well-informed understanding of what AI can and cannot do, marketers are well on their way toward a more innovative and simpler era in digital marketing.