Future of AI in Social Media

This column is authored by Shekhar Mhaskar, Vice President Isobar

social-media aiThere’s been nothing more rampantly spreading itself, than AI in the digital space. Be it computing to machine learning; marketing via chatbots to building industrial robots; gaming to NLP, and so on so forth. Before talking about the future of AI in Social Media, let’s step back, and first see what does AI mean, and then draw its relevance to Social Media.

Artificial Intelligence is a way of making a computer, a computer-controlled robot, or a software think intelligently, in a similar manner an intelligent human brain thinks. It is based on the study of how a human brain thinks, and how humans learn, decide, and work while trying to solve a problem; and progressively make themselves more intelligent by learning from the past. It’s a self-feeding process.

Now, let’s look at social media. It is all about humans connecting with each other; sharing information and interacting; making their presence social, and impacting each other in a good way or bad. It is only straight forward that AI, which is based on, and learns the human tactics, will be an inherent part of how social media evolves into social ecosystems that exhibit intelligent behaviour, learning, demonstrating, explaining, and giving advice to its users. We will witness a sea change in the social platforms, methods of sharing, services offered, benefits to people, benefits to brands, and of course to the society at large.

For social media, this means AI can provide aid with anything from bespoke product ideas based on earlier arrangements, to appearance and voice identification, to profound sensitivity investigation. Facebook’s facial recognition tool recommends which friend to tag in a picture by analysing the photo. This can be extending to brands by recognising places in the photos. Brands can ask fans to post pictures with their stores, for example. AI can recognise the store and give instant discount coupons. Wouldn’t that be brilliant for a marketer to reach out to the audience and make an impact?

Another challenge brands face, and so do social media agencies, is deciding on which content to publish at what time to get the maximum reach and which influencers to use to give that right push. AI can come to your rescue by sifting through the large content bank of posts, influencers, audience behaviour on social media; and then recommend and publish just the right content at the right time, and bring in the most suitable influencers to pump up the reach.

Not to leave behind customer service. Today, people prefer the easy way of chatting with businesses than talking over telephone. This is a huge area of opportunity, and I have written about the use of chatbots in various industries such as hospitality, service, healthcare, etc. AI is only going to be increasingly used to provide instant customer service ranging from redressal of issues to recommendation of the right product to purchase, to guiding them to the nearest store to buy it. There’s a plethora of things that can be done by integrating AI seamlessly into social media channels.

The professional network LinkedIn uses AI to offer far better job-applicants bouts for both companies and job hunters by evaluating the users past appointment patterns, along with account situation, past work knowledge and replacements in job portrayals. One can only imagine to what great heights AI can take this platform to.
Look at Pinterest. Machine learning isn’t the first thing that comes to one’s mind. Pinterest has evolved from a mere bookmarking platform to a huge e-commerce arena. It is now investing in deep learning and serving up personalised recommendation. Pinterest is no doubt on its journey to become an even more robust e-commerce engine, by suggesting products based on content pinned on the network. The paybacks to the system, to name a few would be: object acknowledgment to boost a particular Pin and product references; boost ad performance and significance expectation; and identify spam consumers and content.

There’s so much more to say on this subject. But, I will stop here, and let us all imagine the varied possibilities and benefits that AI will bring to the social networks, and to brands and users alike.

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