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  • Writer's pictureSarah-Jayne Gratton

Dr Sarah-Jayne Gratton Talks To Durtti About Enterprise Adoption of AI

I was interviewed by Durtti magazine, the business arm of the AI Network on LinkedIn about the future of artificial intelligence and the importance of enterprise adoption for future success - here's how it went:

With a PhD in Psychology and Marketing, you currently play a significant role in advising global brands such as Huawei and Ericsson on how to optimise how they communicate their brands to their customers. What is the single biggest impact that you believe AI integration will have upon the constantly evolving conversation between a brand and its customers, Sarah-Jayne?

AI is already having a significant impact on the brand conversation!

You only have to look at how organisations such as Amazon and Netflix are weaving AI into the customer journey to provide a more personalised experience – and this is set to continue and evolve.

Looking to the future, the single biggest impact I believe AI will have will come through greater advancement in enabled analytics; including mining through the data space to unlock further business potential as well as employing AI on a virtual level to provide an immersive customer experience that is totally focused on individual needs.

Despite many AI solutions already being available, much of the Enterprise Sector is still unaware of the potential that already exists in technological advances today. Why do you think that is?

It all comes down to education and our instinctive resistance to change.

The “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” philosophy still resonates through much of the enterprise sector and this clearly needs to shift. I believe that change will come about by instilling a digitised mentality through the integration of a new generation of employees – for example, those millennial who grew up with a technology mindset.

The companies that are making headway are those already employing data-minded staff and the positive case studies from these examples should be the guiding light for those lagging behind.

How would you then communicate the many benefits of AI implementation to a currently “traditional” business, that hasn’t yet considered an AI integration strategy?

Breaking down the ‘fear of change’ barriers starts with selling the sizzle and not the sausage. It’s all about effectively explaining the benefits – those end results that really matter and spell longevity to the businesses in question.

Case studies that speak for themselves, along with the creation of a viable path for implementation that actually makes good business sense is a great starting point in motivating adoption.

As both a Psychologist and a key influencer in the mobile sector, what effect do you think greater AI integration might have on our social behaviour in the next 3 years?

Technology can be both a psychological blessing and a curse! By this I mean that it can be a tremendous enabler but it is also a social isolator.

As we immerse ourselves more and more in our self-created digital universe we run the risk of losing those parts of our humanity that connect us to others and make us, well – human!

It’s a double-edged sword however, as I’ve witnessed first-hand how such AI integration can enrich the lives of others, particularly those with sight impairment or other disabilities who, through AI, can live greatly enhanced lives.

The ideal answer is for us all to find our perfect balance, although I suspect this is wishful thinking. What we can ultimately aim for is to see AI continue to assist in improving the lives we lead without robbing us of our innate societal human needs.

You originally come from a theatrical background. Creative pursuits and careers are often mentioned as those with a longevity that will remain very much ‘human’ for many years to come. But how do you think the evolution of AI might one day enhance the creative process of acting, for example?

I don’t think that we’ll see AI replace the passion of Olivier or the depth of vision of Steinbeck any day soon – and certainly not in my lifetime. There are just some aspects of the human mind that have a spiritual mystery which cannot be cloned or recreated and, for me, that’s the way it should remain.

With 3 dogs of your own and the hotly debated topic about the ethics of robots potentially caring for the well-being of the elderly and those in need, do you ever see a day when a dog robot that doesn’t poop or need to be walked may become a truly viable companion to a human?

We’ve already seen signs that robotics can assist and mentally comfort the elderly – for example, in a case study recently carried out by Sony for their new robot dog Aibo. It’s a sad fact that over 70% of the elderly worldwide suffer from loneliness and if AI can help to bring comfort then that can only be a good thing.

The stumbling block here is, of course, the price. Aibo is currently being retailed at around $3,000, which makes it unobtainable for those who perhaps could benefit from it the most.

How do you and Dean see The Influencers evolving in the next 5 years?

We’re not called ‘the power couple’ for nothing and I think a big part of this is our ability to adapt and change to what brands need.

We’ve been so fortunate in being able to work with cutting edge technology brands that aren’t afraid to take a leap into new customer journeys and this is what continues to make our work so exciting!

Finally, Sarah-Jayne, what advice would you offer to a class of students leaving school next year, as they embark on the many (as yet untrodden and unknown) career paths that AI integration will undoubtedly create?

My advice is to first listen!

Listen to what the sectors you are interested in are saying about technology.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to ask some bold questions! Your passion will stand out and you’ll find the answers you need to ultimately take you on the path of your choice.

The name “Durtti” highlights the lack of clean water available to 748 million people in the world today – a problem that AI might one day solve?

You can follow Sarah-Jayne on: Durtti, LinkedIn and @grattongirl on Twitter.

Sarah-Jayne is a member of The Artificial Intelligence Group on LinkedIn.


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