AI – from Hollywood to Reality

Artificial Intelligence is one of the biggest growth areas in business and marketing at the moment.  Real-time personalisation, automated decision-making and virtual assistants are changing the way that businesses interact with their customers.

Data-savvy businesses are quickly getting up to speed with how AI can bring great improvements to the customer journey, making sure they get the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

In fact, technology is moving so fast in this area, that we often forget that much of what is possible today, wasn’t even on a marketing wish list five years ago.

With that in mind, we take a look back in time at where some of the ideas we now take for granted came from.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s take a trip to Hollywood!


Minority Report

AI Minority Report

“Hello, Mr Yakamoto.  Welcome back to The Gap.”

The ultimate in real-time personalisation was brought to us in ‘Minority Report’ when Tom Cruise’s character walked into a Gap store.  A quick scan of his retinas and a hologram pops up with a cheery personalised welcome.

Of course, the hologram wasn’t to know that Tom had stolen someone else’s eyeballs to avoid capture so wasn’t actually Mr Yakamoto, but still, it’s a neat bit of personalisation.

Both IBM and NEC are working on developing interactive billboards which will personalise messages to passers-by, based on a RFID chip they carry, similar to that in an Oyster card.

And we’re already seeing location-based personalisation to mobiles, when a customer is in close proximity to a store.

So it may only be a matter of time before your favourite brands are quite literally calling to you as you walk down the high street.


Star Trek

star-trek-the-motion-picture

“Beam me up, Scotty.”

Star Trek foretold a future in which we could all carry around a small device which would allow us to communicate with others at long distance.  It was now possible to seek advice, contact friends, or order the destruction of a small planet no matter where you were.

Later on, Star Trek would go one step further and incorporate this futuristic technology into a smart device that could be worn on the wrist.  Crazy stuff.

Can you imagine the benefits for marketers if you could reach your customers wherever they are?

Maybe one day…


Knight Rider

AI Knight Rider Image

“Michael, where would you like to go today?”

Ah, KITT.  The talking car of the future, driven by the leather-jacketed David Hasselhoff.

KITT could understand voice commands, locate destinations, display them on an in-built screen and provide directions.

Without him, the Hoff would have spent whole episodes driving aimlessly around the city, looking for terrorists, kidnappers and damsels in distress.  KITT’s built-in GPS capabilities ensured that the bad guys could be comfortably put away within 57 minutes on a weekly basis.

Today, we’re seeing in-car technology that would make KITT blush. GPS, in-car wifi, voice controlled assistants and self-diagnosing cars are all here and readily available to consumers.

Bring your own leather jacket.


Back to the Future

AI Back to the Future film image

“McFly!  Hello McFly? Anybody home?”

Back to the Future brought us a whole DeLorian-full of futuristic inventions.  Hoverboards, self-tying shoelaces and of course, a time-travelling flying car.

But we also witnessed a vision of technology in the home.  Future Marty has a video call with his boss on his ridiculously large TV screen, before being humiliatingly fired.  By fax, of all things.

Skype, Facetime and video conferencing are now commonplace and a way of not only communicating but sharing content with others.  We can even access it via our handheld Star Trek communicators.

Anybody still have the fax as part of their marketing mix?


2001: A Space Odyssey

AI 2001: A Space Odyssey image

“Hal 9000, play my music in the kitchen”

Voice activated computers have long been a key feature of science-fiction movies.

Hal 9000 was the perfect (dis)embodiment of this.  He was the on-board, voice-activated computer on the spaceship in the 1968 film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

The ever-helpful companion, you could ask him anything you wanted and he was there to provide the answer.  You could even play games with him.

Hal 9000 is a spookily accurate predecessor of Alexa, Siri, Google and all their friends.  Although he also became a little murderous in the movie, which could be problematic in a domestic setting.


We can’t offer you flying cars, killer virtual assistants or a hoverboard, but we can definitely help you with your real-time marketing, if you want to take things to the next level.

The future of data and data-driven marketing is here today.  We can help you gather real-time data, integrate it into a high-tech single customer view.  Sophisticated analysis and statistical modelling can trigger personalised marketing to individual customers, across multiple devices and multiple locations.

Each touchpoint can have the right data and be programmed with the exact action for optimum impact.  Our sophisticated analysis and statistical modelling gives you the ability to learn from customer engagement, to enhance the customer’s future experience and increase sales revenues and improve marketing ROI.  Enough to make Scotty and KITT very jealous!

You can read some futuristic examples of how we’ve helped our clients here, or just get in touch.