Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming the main character of what is now being called the fourth industrial revolution. Its role is gaining importance in everyday life, and the reason is straightforward: it offers a wide range of possibilities to make life easier in many different aspects.
However, AI is also at the center of a debate since some studies anticipate a radical transformation of the future industry, where some scenarios involve the destruction of millions of jobs. However, it is generally acknowledged that many new, more specialized, job positions will be created, as it has happened throughout history with other technological revolutions (see The Future of Work special issue in Nature). Nevertheless, uncertainties remain on the net impact on employment. While this debate is certainly useful, at this point we find it better to focus on a general objective assessment of how AI is impacting the world and the society.
From a global perspective, a clear statement can be made: Artificial Intelligence can have an immense positive impact on societies. Some of this impact is already unveiling in recent years and is particularly observable in the fields of health and medicine, where AI is turning into a key player at the time of diagnosing diseases at an early stage or developing new medicines and specialized treatment. Personalized medicine is probably the biggest breakthrough of the coming years, and AI is taking an active role to push this field forward.
However, medicine is not the only field where AI can enhance the process of personalization and customization. Marketing is certainly another good scope of application, where intelligent software can help knowing the target audience and offering them what they need in response. In this sense, we can already find intelligent devices that are able to make predictions about our behaviors. From a more practical perspective, AI can facilitate the sales process, dealing with most routinely procedures such as information tasks or documentation handling, which become streamlined and turn cheaper.
Additionally, AI enable brands to offer a commitment to their customers. This commitment will trigger some kind of emotional response in the customer depending on the perceived quality and the surrounding circumstances. In fact, AI can provide a software with means to detect the feelings arising during an interaction or engagement with customers, and determining whether these feelings are positive, negative or neutral.
In summary, with tools such as those outlined, AI would be capable to allow:
- Knowing your tastes, desires and expectations as a consumer, as well as predicting your needs.
- Analyzing your behavior and consumer habits when browsing the Internet.
- Studying the emotional response during an interaction.
- Anticipating trends.
- Offering to selected customers the products or services they demand in a timely manner.
- Using the most effective channels to enhance the consumer experience to the best possible.
- Customizing communications to enhance the customers feelings.
All of these achievements are easy to reach when virtual assistants are able to retrieve a complete picture of a customer’s behavior, tastes and way of interacting. By these means, customers are not offered a generic experience but rather a unique result fitting their needs.
Since all data is not available in digital formats, the speed in which they are generated, processed and analyzed is dizzying. This velocity is one of the key aspects when it comes to applying AI to marketing, and especially when monetizing publications or services in social networks or the Internet.
This Special Issue focuses in cases that explore the relationship between Artificial Intelligence and marketing, as well as neuroscience. AI can be combined with specific neuroscience techniques to achieve a more successful and profitable neuromarketing. For this Special Issue, we have found that descriptions of successful use cases are highly valuable to help researchers identify fields where novel applications of AI can enhance the outcome of digital marketing and neuroscience.