Pallavi Singh: Artificial Intelligence – Do we truly understand it? | HT Brand Leadership Series

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Artificial Intelligence – Do we truly understand it?

  • Pallavi Singh
  • 25th Sept

If I have a dollar for every time the words Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence were mentioned in sundry Monday morning meetings and Friday evening conferences, I would probably have enough to retire. Not a day passes when the ‘magic’ of AI is not conjured up in strategy meetings, product demos and presentations to bring some grand flourish to the future. There is not a CMO, Product Manager, Social Media Lead, or Business Leader who doesn’t mention the wonders which this magic elixir may bring in the way of enhanced productivity, more customers and multiplicity in sales. And yet, almost none of us have even begun to understand its implications or even where to begin.

Most of us, quite comically, think of Artificial Intelligence as being Plug & Play in nature, something like a USB. We think of this being designed in a lab by an army of white coat wearing techies and data scientists who use the tippity-tappity of keyboards to build great solutions to all our marketing problems and quandaries.

Alas, this could not be further from the truth. And in that sense the ‘Industry Practice’ which most concerns me is the way in which the Marketing fraternity uses the term Artificial Intelligence and Data Science frivolously and without merit. So, while the world is increasingly becoming technology dependent and aware, our Industry seems to be giving into using buzz-words and totems rather than actually doing the elbow work to integrate real data science into initiatives and engagements.

For this, we would need to start with the basics. This would mean hiring the right developers, data scientists and strategists to integrate AI and ML to solve real world issues of marketing. This would also take time, effort, resources and certain leaps of faith on the parts of many of us. It would also take a massive amount of self-education.

Maybe it is time we shifted such terms from PowerPoints to power products.

Pallavi Singh
Head of Marketing,
MG Motor India

Pallavi joined the iconic British brand MG as Head of Marketing after an illustrious career with Harley-Davidson in India. She was involved with Harley-Davidson right since the inception of the brand in India in 2009.