Huge technological trends often have humble beginnings. Think for a moment about Saved by the Bell. One of the iconic elements of that show was Zach Morris’ cell phone – a brick-sized piece of plastic with a huge antenna. It was a novelty, a luxury item that was only used by Wall Street traders and the coolest kid in a fictitious high school. Could any of us have predicted that cell phones would become the fastest-adopted consumer technology in history?
In terms of artificial intelligence, we’re in the Zach Morris cell phone era.
Most popular uses of AI today are novelties – winning Jeopardy, recognizing cats in pictures, playing board games, Snapchat filters. Don’t let these uses taint your judgment of the world-changing potential that AI has.
At Maritz, we were recently in the news, talking about how we use AI to predict reward preferences. We and our client, HSBC, are proud of that work, but it’s only scratching the surface of where we’ll be taking AI. It’s an exciting time, and there is significant energy and momentum about AI here in St. Louis. Tomorrow, May 8th, we’ll be sponsoring a conference by Prepare.ai, a local non-profit focused on AI. Silicon Valley doesn’t have a monopoly on AI. St. Louis is a growing tech and startup hub, and we have some amazing AI companies and talent. I’m excited to meet people, hear cool AI stories, and share our own.
If you are attending (there is still time to register, use code “Maritz” for 20% off), stop by our booth and say, “hi.”