Artificial Intelligence is Taking Over

As a noob at South by Southwest (or “South By,” as the cool kids call it), explaining the scene requires the use of the phrase “controlled chaos.” From the second you land in Austin, to your first adventure down 6th Street, the feeling is a combination of concert, convention, and rave. Attendees come from all over the world, from all walks of life, all of them converging in Austin to engage in digital media, film, and music.

The overwhelming theme of this year’s conference was Artificial Intelligence and the role it plays today and predictions for tomorrow. While there were 50+ sessions dedicated to the topic, SXSW is all about the easter eggs, those sessions not listed on the official agenda. One of the most popular easter eggs was SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk crashing a panel and holding a last-minute Q&A session where he expressed how AI is capable of vastly more than anyone knows and how it scares the hell out of him.

Another popular easter egg about AI was HBOs recreation of Westworld, the sci-fi series that uses AI-powered robots that begin to learn emotion and gain sentience. For 3 days, HBO built a recreation of the fictional town Sweetwater and allowed a limited number of conference goers to visit and engage in this futuristic world.

Artificial Intelligence was the clear theme of the Interactive portion of SXSW this year. Typically, a premonition of industry trends, the sheer volume of AI sessions at SXSW tells us it’s here to stay. But how can we use AI to inform and drive our marketing and media efforts within the healthcare vertical, where legal and regulatory rules?

First, let’s talk about how people increasingly trade typing for talking. Increasing investments in voice-based search can lead to positive success. ComScore reports that 40% of American adults already use voice search in their everyday lives, and estimates that 50% of all queries will be voice searches by 2020. So the obvious and easiest optimization is to ensure websites can return relevant and actionable results for native speech searches. Consumers are now phrasing things differently, they’re making searches in full sentences. What does that mean for marketers? Brands that can optimize and get their sites featured in the answers have an advantage in this changing landscape.

Second, let’s evaluate the newest shift in how AI is revolutionizing cancer care across both sides of the HCP and patient model. AI is becoming a cornerstone in supporting physicians during the clinical decision-making process. With 50,000+ cancer clinical trials, new studies, advanced innovative therapies and a monumental shift towards personalized regimens, it’s nearly impossible for clinicians to stay on top of the latest cancer data. Tools like Watson for Oncology are helping clinicians sift through the growing amount of data to provide the most effective treatments with the least toxic results.

One of the companies on the forefront of integrating this data into healthcare practice is @Point of Care. @Point of Care incorporates real time patient data and vitals with the latest clinical information and allows doctors to talk out their diagnoses and get answers to their clinical inquiries.  Brands can take advantage of this by integrating their assets, clinical trial results, and useful resources so that they are accessible during critical treatment planning times. HCPs engage with the app, ask a question through voice, and promotional advertising appears based on their real-time query.

Lastly, AI is turning marketing from a largely reactive practice to a proactive customer driven discipline. AI collects volumes of data, which if mined and extrapolated, can actually help us understand and better predict a customer’s mindsets. If we can use this data to project patterns, we can tailor content in the most personalized, relevant form. We can more effectively provide service and insights to the customer post-purchase by answering questions and reassuring the customers if they have worries or doubts.

We are entering a new era where our interaction with AI bots will begin to become the norm and the implications for healthcare and marketing are huge. In order to stay ahead of the curve, marketers need to start optimizing for this new environment. The keys to effective strategy in the future will be to find ways to provide insights to customers searching by voice, making sure data, studies and even advertising are available to doctors on platforms like IBM’s Watson, and using AI to help follow and even predict customer behavior.

By: Hemali Lakhani

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