Cédric Villani, French mathematician and politician, said in March 2018: “Artificial intelligence will be everywhere, like electricity.” (Source: Nouvel Observateur) Indeed, AI technologies are progressing rapidly, with countries like the USA and China investing massive amounts to develop the field. “Until recently, AI has proven itself by surpassing humans in terms of its analytical capacity and its ability to build relationships and bring out the “message” hiding behind a cluster of complex information. Data analysis and the determination of usage trends on social media are part of this trend […], says Alexandre Beaulieu, PhD Candidate. In the future, I believe that it’s the application of “generative” algorithms – those who, beyond analysis, specialize in creating new content – open the most possibilities. Chatbots, like those who assist the customer service, are the simplest expression. It’s not foolish to imagine a machine producing promotional material specific to each customer, who develops the argument most likely to join him, and who chose the best platform to do it. Or, I imagine that we will see more and more internal social networks of large companies to grow the knowledge accumulated by all resources over the years. So we could think of a robot that determines what problematic an employee is working, and sends solutions that exploit the work done elsewhere in the company that could have passed under the radar of this employee.” Regarding social media most specifically, the applications of AI are already multiple: choosing the right clothes, communication, data analysis, chatbot, market research, etc. Advanced Symbolics Inc. (ASI), a firm based in Ottawa, is a pioneer of market research and analysis, opinion research and real-time surveys using AI.
Every day, new strategies are being developed to increase social media’s role in helping business performance levels. Whether social media is utilized to better employee engagement within a company, or as a tool to market products to consumers, its facets are continually updated to provide seamless integration in business structure to improve its functioning. However, if we look ahead to the future of social media and business performance, it appears that it may not be people at all who monitor and produce the different levels of communication across various social media platforms. Who would be responsible for these specific roles then? The answer lies in one simple acronym: AI. If you don’t already know, AI stands for artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence may be defined as a type of computer or machine that possesses the capability of mimicking intelligent human behaviour (hence the word artificial). In fact, we have already had such a glimpse into the future from various businesses who have already started to implement AI across their social media channels to better their own customer engagement/service practices. One such company includes ecommerce super giant eBay, who has developed their own “ShopBot,” which uses AI technology in combination with the Facebook messenger app to assist customers in finding the items they are searching for within their price range.