For a Human-Centered AI

Will social media managers be replaced by Artificial Intelligence?

June 27, 2018

For some time now, we have been hearing that Artificial Intelligence will replace most human jobs. However, talking to a hi-tech marketing guru like Guy Kawasaki (former Apple chief evangelist), we had the impression that this was not necessarily the case

Creativity has, and increasingly will have, a fundamental role in digital marketing. This is one of the messages we get from the first national conference on the convergence between Artificial Intelligence, social media and mobile devices, organized by The Digital Box. The tools that allow us to improve the quality of work are more and increasingly more efficient. But the decision-making element, the judgment, the choice, always remain at the discretion of the human being.

“As long as we believe that social media marketing is an art, – explains Guy Kawasaki, keynote speaker of the event – then there will be room for choices made by humans. The first objective of Artificial Intelligence applied to social media, originally, was that of managing a large amount of data, much more data than our mind can afford to process. In addition to this, it was to help summarize the contents and, sometimes, even to make decisions for us. That having been said, I don’t know if social media managers could be replaced in the future, it could actually happen, but I believe that marketing is an art, and that like any art it should be conducted by humans”.

Among the guests of the conference there was also the director of the FBK ICT research center Paolo Traverso who, among other issues related to digital convergence, addressed precisely this topic: “There is so much fear that artificial intelligence will steal the place to workers and,  creating intelligent social media management systems, one can think that it is well founded. But I don’t think so. The job of a social media manager is a creative one and can help us create systems that will support it, so as to enable them to do even more creative and effective things“. 

The interest for the future of those who manage social networks is recorded by the phenomenon of digital convergence, which finds its peak precisely in mobile devices: about 49% of the world’s population uses smartphones to surf the Internet, and over 2.958 billion people (39% of the population) use social media on mobile devices (Source WeAreSocial). The smartphone, in fact, from being a means of personal communication, has become a real extension of individual identity within the web community. Internet surfing and the use of Social Media, today take place mainly on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, with more than 1.23 billion online users every day. And it is here that marketing tries to make the most, trying to exploit the tools made available by artificial intelligence.

One of these is ADA, a product of The Digital Box, which allows users to create, distribute and measure mobile-friendly content campaigns. The company is based in Puglia, more precisely in Bari, right in the middle of the “Murgia Valley”, and its current president is Marco Landi, formerly Apple COO and facilitator of the return of Steve Jobs to the Cupertino-based company in 1996. In a short chat, he underlined how ingenuity is critical to innovation.

Where there is no creativity and ingenuity, you won’t see new things. Today we copy a lot. But there is an element that is changing, and that is the availability of an ever deeper Artificial Intelligence. Unfortunately, many of the innovations we will see in the future won’t come from Europe but from the United States and especially from China. And that’s why we have to be evangelists, spread more and more the culture about these technologies, to bridge the gap between us and these countries with their big companies.

Basically, we have understood that marketing and communication jobs can be greatly improved and facilitated in the years to come. The message to the insiders is clear: only one instrument that makes the difference between man and machine will remain available: creativity.

Creativity consists of keeping throughout life something that belongs to the experience of childhood:
the ability to create and recreate the world.
It is the omnipotence of the thought that only children have.
[Donald W. Winnicott (psychoanalyst)]

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