I continue my chat with IBM Senior Test Specialist, Mark Halliday, as we discuss Artificial Intelligence and the effect it could have on the world of Marketing and Software Testing.


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Jay: I think that privacy concerns will grow. Marketers will prioritise transparency and ethical practices. Regulations like the GDPR and the CCPA will heavily influence how marketers continue.

Mark: I can also see, specifically with the data privacy issues, AI becoming something of a challenge for everyone using it. If we look at what AI is being used for at the moment, one thing I’ve been following closely is AI generated art. One of the ethical issues coming up is where the libraries that AI Art is generated. What I’m seeing a lot of is artists having their work essentially stolen by AI. AI is producing artwork in almost identical styles. So it’s just interesting. I can see that with data privacy – how do you tell an AI what it can and can’t access? What are the rules that govern what it will and won’t do?

Jay: I agree. I remember reading an article the other day saying that you can’t copyright AI generated imagery. So if I generate something, it’s not mine. Which is quite interesting. I also think that the focus on delivering customer experiences will intensify as well, so personalised communication, seamless transitions, and outstanding customer service will differentiate successful brands in the future.

Mark: You mentioned one thing that is something of a real touch point for me, which is customer service. I, as with everyone, has experienced good and bad customer service and it it astonishes me that to this day that the customer service is such a such a key part of delivering anything, and yet so many companies seem to seem to see it as a unnecessary evil rather than hey such an important part of their business. It amazes me.

Jay: You’re right, certainly. And I think combining what we’ve just talked about, in terms of AI and the future of AI, and where marketing is going – it was only a few days ago – I took part in a marketing forum and marketers were saying that a lot of small to medium companies don’t actually get marketing at all. Marketing teams are lumbered with almost like a Jack of all trades type role, you know, they’re doing all sorts from graphic design, copywriting, writing, social posts, and answering customer service chats online. Very rarely do they get the chance nowadays to actually do any strategic marketing. But I honestly think AI will relieve some of that pressure and, as chatbots and virtual assistance continue to improve, they’ll provide seamless customer support and enhance user experiences which will free up some of the unnecessary customer service inquiries that marketers consistently, and unnecessarily get lumbered with.

Mark: Yeah I mean if 90% of your customer queries are often things that, you know, sometimes people could Google and find out, and in those sort of situations a chatbot that is smart enough will be able to do. While it might not necessarily save the company money, it will have a massive impact on their staff’s productivity in terms of what they can deliver because they’re not having to deal with these small queries that a chatbot can.

Jay: I am really interested in AI. I think the future is quite fascinating. I particularly enjoyed listening to your comments about the future of AI and the future of testing. How do you think AI will impact that, where do you see this going, and what kind of software do you think will utilise AI”?

Mark: I think there’s a couple of things that people need to be aware of. There is AI, and there is AI. And what we have is AI as a branding tool, and as name recognition. When you say AI, it conjures a lot of thoughts and ideas about what artificial intelligence is – it makes you think of of Hollywood films with robots with supercomputers and so companies can use that to make their product to sound more intelligent or more interesting than it is – for example, Eggplant, the tool that we use, has a application called DAI.

Jay: I’ve heard about DAI.

Mark: In a way, it is an artificial intelligence, but it’s not an artificial intelligence like Chat GPT and Bing AI, you know, those they are actual AI. And whilst DAI does do some machine learning about particular patterns and roots through a software, it’s not gonna write tests for you, you’re not gonna be able to ask it questions, it is a very simple algorithm compared to real AI.

Jay: Do you think it will evolve to that level though?

Mark: I think as AI develops we will see it introduce more elements of the software development lifecycle. I think one of the areas that people probably aren’t expecting, but I can see it having the biggest impact, is more on the project management and business analysis side. These are areas where you can give it a very specific set of criteria. The analysis of how long it’s gonna take to build a particular unit, a particular bit of functionality, scheduling your resourcing so that you have the right staff, laying out the different automatically deadlines, emailing people to make sure that they’re on task, or yeah, chasing up on queries that you’ve not had responses to. These are certainly areas where AI is going to be incredibly powerful. There are people using AI to generate code at the moment but that comes with its own problems. AI at the moment can give you an answer to a question, but when you read it back and when you look at it properly, you believe it is the correct answer. It looks like the correct answer, but when you actually pick it apart you find that it isn’t the correct answer, and this is where this is the danger of AI. You’re given a piece of information, and if you don’t have the right level of skill and experience, you’re not gonna be able to tell that that bit of information is actually wrong and it is just misinformation. AI could potentially learn the wrong things and give out answers to people who don’t know that the information they’ve been given is wrong.

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n.b. All the views and opinions expressed in this video are those of the individuals and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Published On: June 29th, 2023 / Categories: Video Chats /

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