A rare post today. It looks a little further out into the future than I normally tend to. It attempts to simplify a topic that has more than it’s share of coolness, confusion and complexity.

While the phrase Artificial Intelligence has been around since the first human wondered if she could go further if she had access to entities with inorganic intelligence, it truly jumped the shark in 2016. Primarily because we got our first real everyday access to products and services that used some form of AI to delight us. No more theory, we felt it!

I’m going to take a very long walk with you today. This topic has consumed a lot of my thinking over the last year (you’ll see the exact start date below). It’s implications are far and wide, even in the narrow scope that I live in (marketing, analytics, influence). I have so much to tell you, stuff I’m scared about, and so much I’m excited about.

Here are the elements I’ll cover:

Through it all, my goal is to make the topic accessible, get you to understand some of the key terms, their implication on our work, our jobs, and in a bonus implications on the future we are responsible for (your kids and mine).

AI also seems so out there, so hard to grasp. Let me fix that for you.

Humans took 2.5 trillion pictures in 2016. As you are trying to find that one special picture, it feels like all 2.5 trillion are on your phone! A real problem for all of us. Google Photos uses AI to solve this problem.

For example, I want pictures of Sushi… I simply type in Sushi… Boom!

Clearly I’m not your classic I love my food so much I must Instagram every meal person. 🙂

Notice nothing is categorized or tagged in the pictures above. Google Photos has to be able to recognize the content all on it’s own.

It is actually smarter than what you see above. When I type in the name of my son and Sushi, I get just one photo back! If I type in his name and the word beach, I get pictures of him on a beach… throughout his entire life! Photos can keep track of him from baby to today.

On your phone, try to search for people in your lives by name, by faces, combine their name with events/things/locations and you’ll be surprised at what the AI returns.