Many believe the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology across all industries; is AI the answer to getting more done without hiring more people? 
AI uses deep learning to receive data and interpret it. Programmers don’t determine these interpretations either. Obviously, this is a rapidly developing technology that marketers and brands are implementing in everyday workflows. As AI develops further, you will see it eliminate a lot of jobs, transforming the workforce.
So instead of having a director lead and manage people, he or she will be managing their AI interactions. In my mind, I’m picturing us all having one of those J.A.R.V.I.S. assistants like Tony Stark had in the movie Iron Man. Now, does that make you more efficient and effective, and help with your personal relationships? If used correctly, probably. If AI can take routine tasks and simple work functions off my desk, that allows me more time to engage with my community of friends and connections and spend valuable time focused on more important tasks that require my focus.

There are a lot of misconceptions around AI. What are some myths that need to be debunked?
Social media platforms are essentially huge AI systems designed to keep users ‘tuned in’ by showing them things they want to see and using data to improve the success of that goal each time a user engages. But AI isn’t really that smart yet. Most AI is big data pattern recognition that gets better at predicting what they will do as more people use the systems. It’s not actually ‘thinking’. As the Trump media machine proved, real thinking beings can manipulate these systems with relative ease using anchor content such as a blog post, or video, bot based syndication (half of Trump’s Twitter followers are fakes) and then the power of real people sharing and training the algorithms to ‘think’. Add in some well-placed adds on automatic networks like Facebook and bam, media that motivates. Brand marketers can easily do this in a less nefarious way and tune the process to eliminate endless digital spam and create awesome content that the AI algorithms connect with people along the path to purchase that might actually care..

Are the robots coming…to replace us or to help us? 
Robots are coming (they are already here), but hard to say in what form and what exactly they will replace when they actually scale. Understanding and predicting that is not really in my wheelhouse.

What am I working on right now? 
My business partner John Andrews, a retail geek and thought leader, and I are close to publishing a book… RETAIL RELEVANCY. Although no longer involved day-to-day at Photofy, we are still actively supporting Photofy as advisors and investors, and continuing to actively experiment with and help brands to understand that Employee Content Enablement will dramatically expand Brand Engagement… and evangelizing Employee and Community Created Content (#ECC and #CCC) in that respect and for the future of Retail and Commerce.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Employee and Community Content Enablement is scale. Retailers have massive workforces that all have strong personal networks. The beauty of these networks is that they are much more engaging and connected than brand networks. The average Photofy enterprise user has over 1000 connections and receives between 6-8% engagement. Because most personal networks are also localized, they are an organic connection for branded content at a local level. Scale is also a key feature of this media format. One of Photofy’s enterprise partners with around 25,000 of its associates using Photofy regularly is averaging over 500,000 pieces of shared content posts per month across almost all platforms including, private networks like groups and text… think of that scale of creating localized, relevant, personal influencer content, and the results it can help achieve.

And now with more time to devote, John and are busy educating ourselves about blockchain, crypto-currencies, and the blossoming market for, and use of, NFT’s to create personal and brand opportunities. I have so much to learn and consider myself extremely fortunate to have easy access to John’s big brain, his thought leadership, and most importantly his invaluable friendship.

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