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In this week’s episode, Travis and Stewart interview the CMO of IBM Watson, Stephen Gold. We talk about cognitive computing, AI, machine learning, and more, discovering how long we have before the robots take over and kill us all (just kidding, kind of).

In the news, we reveal funding rounds for two AI marketing tools, talk about the Snapchat IPO aftermath, the latest Instagram Snapchat-like feature, and touch on the WikiLeaks Vault 7 disclosures. Better keep that webcam covered, right Travis?


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


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  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 43! [0:10]
  • Travis is in Manila helping out a business partner with Staff Virtual. [0:55]
  • Listen to Travis and Stewart sing a pun. Or skip that bit. [1:50]
  • This week, we will talk about AI and how it’s changing marketing in 2017. [2:20]
  • We briefly touch on the WikiLeaks drop of Vault 7 — briefly, because we know the CIA is listening. [03:05]
  • Did you know that a picture of Mark Zuckerberg with his MacBook camera covered with tape is circulating online? [4:55]
  • Travis speaks Russian! [5:20]
  • Instagram Stories are now taking locations and turning them into geo-location stickers, starting with New York and Jakarta. (Just like Snapchat). [7:10]
  • Facebook now has Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger sharing similar features. [7:40]
  • Facebook released Facebook Day in its messenger platform this week. [07:50]
  • “Snapchat is a lone wolf trying to become a big behemoth.” [8:05]
  • People are incredibly loyal to their apps, for good reason. However, they will use another app just because some of their friends are on it. [8:30]
  • Based on research, 75% of U.S. consumers use Facebook Messenger as their primary messaging app. [8:50]
  • Franz is a cool new tool that can pull all your social media apps into one place. [10:20]
  • Let’s talk about AI stuff! [13:20]
  • Conversion Logic raised $9 million dollars for machine learning technology for cross-channel attribution. [15:00]
  • Machine learning marketing intelligence can extract valuable insight from fragmented data. [17:00]
  • The most valuable benefit of AI machine learning is the ability to take in data, answer complex questions, and provide execution for continued automation. [17:50]
  • After raising $10 million dollars, LoopMe is going to use AI to optimizE video mobile advertising. The company is replacing humans with algorithms that determine where to place your ads to get the most reaction from your audience. [18:30]
  • Digital ad spending has now exceeded TV ad spending. [19:20]
  • Mobile advertising is still undervalued. There’s a lot of value to be discovered in using AI-driven ads to get the message to highly targeted eyes. [20:05]
  • Let’s talk more about cognitive computing with our guest, IBM Watson CMO Steven Gold. [21:40]
  • Artificial intelligence focuses on consumers, personalization, and the ability to engage on a more intimate level. [23:40]
  • The challenge is to execute in a context that makes it meaningful to people. [24:25]
  • Cognitive computing helps AI improve conversational capability. Imagine a system that understands and navigates natural language. [25:30]
  • These new technologies that communicate through conversation are capable of working in a more intuitive way. [26:30]
  • Everything is done through a web-based API call. [26:55]
  • Generating a personality profile of an individual can help tailor the content and type of interaction. [27:10]
  • The understanding of character and state of mind is a powerful elixir for creating a better interactive experience. [28:10]
  • All of this will come together for an experience that we have never seen before. [28:50]
  • And all of this should lead right back to revenue, right? [29:20]
  • What should marketers think about when it comes to cognitive computing with AI to help target people without crossing any lines? [30:10]
  • Individuals should be able to opt in when it comes to what information they are willing to share. [30:40]
  • Professionals will share a lot more of their information if they get a better experience. [31:00]
  • As discussed on a previous episode in which we dissected the marketing cloud, IBM seems to be missing a tag management solution. How does IBM work on these types of problems? [33:35]
  • IBM looks at problems from the marketer’s perspective, listening intently to determine what has not yet been provided. [34:45]
  • The company wants its technology to model itself around the user’s needs. [36:10]
  • Marketers are now looking for something transparent and seamless that will allow them to execute strategies from the perspective of customer satisfaction and brand health. [37:00]
  • “What is your one piece advice on how to get started with understanding AI?” Gold tells us about IBM Bluemix, where you can play with sample applications. [38:15]
  • Maybe replace Stewart with an AI podcaster? (Stewart: Not a bad idea — I can retire to the beach.) [39:12]

Next week, we interview Olga Kay, YouTube sensation and CEO of Mooshwalks.com. Olga is a Russian-American internet celebrity, comedian, writer, director, and performer. Trained as a professional circus juggler in her youth, she later moved to acting and video creation. In this interview, we discuss how she creates videos, engages with fans, and juggles so many projects. Olga is amazing.

Mark_AsquithIf you missed last week’s episode , Travis and Stewart  interviewed the U.K.’s top podcaster, Mark Asquith, on how to create amazing content and build communities that stick around, something he knows a thing or two about. And we’d love you to subscribe, rate, and review VB Engage. Every interaction from you, lovely listener, is fuel to our fire.

As always, thanks for tuning in. Now, grab some tape to put over your webcam. And your microwave, too. You can’t be too careful these days.



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