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This week, Travis and Stewart talk about artificial intelligence. A lot. In fact, it appears marketing is being taken over by AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing this week, as every piece of important news includes an AI element.

After we hit the news, we get to interview the one and only David Berkowitz about the future of social media. And yes, you can expect AI to feature heavily in that, too.


By listening to this episode of the VB Engage podcast, you will hear:


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  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 56! [00:10]
  • This past week has been a big one for artificial intelligence. [01:15]
  • Speaking of AI, VentureBeat’s MobileBeat (MB 2017) and VentureBeat Summit are both entirely AI-themed. [02:25]
  • It is a shame that AI is taking the spotlight in June instead of May because it could have been called “May-I.” [03:25]
  • Stewart did an epic facepalm thanks to that Travis “dad joke.” [03:45]
  • In the news, ZenIQ lands $4.6 million in funding to help marketers eliminate Dashboard Hell. [04:20]
  • ZenIQ seems similar to Beckon, which we mentioned a few months back as a marketing dashboard tool for large consumer brands. [04:55]
  • Also this week, Facebook AI Research open-sources code and is developing techniques to teach bots how to carry out negotiations with humans and other bots. [05:25]
  • We wonder if Facebook used The Art of the Deal to help the bots with their negotiations? [06:05]
  • After all, these negotiation bots are lying to get a better deal! [07:15]
  • The race to the bottom will be super fast. [07:45]
  • Facebook is training neural networks to mimic people with their negotiation strategies. [08:10]
  • Watch out for AI mob-like protection rackets in the future! Bot Capone and Machine-Learning Kelly? [08:45]
  • Airbnb learned that machine-learning is valuable to help guests find their perfect place to stay — hyper-personalization at its best. [09:25]
  • AI and Machine Learning are also helping hosts identify the ideal price for their locations. [10:35]
  • Airbnb begins with “AI,” after all, right? [11:15]
  • Is machine learning more likely to have a top-line or bottom-line effect? [11:55]
  • How long until the sentient AI kills debate? You can’t argue with the all-knowing AI! [12:45]
  • Civilization is experiencing a significant shift. [14:00]
  • AI has cost 800,000 jobs in the U.K., so far.  It has, however, apparently created 3.5 million jobs. [14:30]
  • AI is not very good at emotional intelligence. [15:00]
  • Spock in Star Trek always knew the right answer.  However, sometimes you have to be Captain Kirk and go with your gut! [15:15]
  • Let’s get into this week’s interview with David Berkowitz, CMO of Sysomos! [16:25]
  • It’s a great treat to talk with the REAL David Berkowitz! [16:35]
  • Stewart calls himself @TheRealSJR on Twitter, but he has much more fun online as @TheNotoriousSJR [17:05]
  • We are heading into an exciting space with artificial intelligence and marketing. [17:30]
  • Marketers may be getting closer to becoming more creative due to AI. [17:45]
  • AI is going to be baked into everything. [18:35]
  • Facebook recently released a bunch of enhancements with VR & AR, creating a “Social operating system,” as coined by Brian Solis. [18:45]
  • What should marketers be paying attention to with AR/VR? [18:55]
  • David wanted to write but not be a journalist, as he didn’t want to pay his dues by writing obituaries for years. [19:15]
  • We are back to language shaping our interactions, which happened early on with search, and then again at scale with social media. [19:40]
  • Chatbots give us a new channel in which people can interact. [20:00]
  • The more we automate, the more people are still at the center of everything. [20:30]
  • Actually, 60% of marketers thought they had artificial intelligence in their stack. [21:15]
  • How are we going to make people understand what’s possible with AI? [21:35]
  • Most people don’t know the difference between AR and VR, so now we have MR! [22:10]
  • AI can improve many processes. [22:15]
  • Travis initially met David Berkowitz at Web 2.0 Expo in 2007. [23:20]
  • What does 2027 look like? [24:10]
  • You can create anything from thin air, and your coffee maker can pass the Turing test. [25:00]
  • We are moving into pivotal societal shifts with self-driving cars, AI, 5G, and IOT. [25:55]
  • Ten years ago, the iPhone was released. Ten years from now, the mobile phone may not even exist. [26:30]
  • T-Mobile forced the other carriers’ hands with unlimited bandwidth. [27:00]
  • American data plans are quite laughable. [27:25]
  • Stewart’s U.K. data plan costs him the equivalent of $30 U.S., and he has unlimited data in 40+ countries. [28:05]
  • What are David’s thoughts on 360-degree live video with 5G? [29:15]
  • Once VR gets untethered, the business applications are fascinating. [30:00]
  • David references Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators. [31:15]
  • Travis asks the fundamental question, “How long until sentient robots kill off us humans?” [31:40]
  • Soon 3D printers will print other 3D printers, and all of those 3D printers will print robots. Travis shows us his little 3D-printed Travis. [32:25]
  • Connect with David on Twitter, @dberkowitz, and his blog Serial Marketer. [32:45]
  • Stewart busts out a binary solo. [34:00]

Next week, we chat with Damien Mahoney, CEO and cofounder of Stackla. We discuss how to leverage your community effectively and how user-generated content is the missing piece for many marketing organizations.

In last week’s episode, Travis and Stewart interviewed TJ Leonard, CEO of VideoBlocks, on why video content is so engaging and what marketers can do to leverage this opportunity.

As always, thanks for tuning in. We hope that when the AI Travis and Stewart take over, you’ll like us just as much. Until then, be sure to subscribe, rate, and review so that the human Travis and Stewart feel the love. Thanks!


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