Two words, better yet, two letters, AI. AI or Artificial Intelligence was the hot topic of AdWeek and continues to gain popularity moving forward. You have most likely heard or seen some of these at home devices in the form of the Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Microsoft Cortana. As momentum increases, you are sure to hear a lot more about all three.

During AdWeek, our CEO, Doug Robinson spoke on the OMMA AI Forum (which you can read about in a previous blog post) in addition to a panel titled: Can You Hear Me Now: The Future of Voice. Personally, Doug uses his Amazon Alexa for myriad tasks including weather updates, stats about his favorite football team (The Oakland Raiders), and listening to music or soothing sounds.

Now that AI has surfaced, it has everybody wondering which virtual assistant will come out on top. According to Doug, it’s all about preference and what you are trying to get out of the experience. Google Home is based on a general search engine, which is good for providing quick answers to specific questions and has global scale. Amazon Alexa is more of an experience and has purchasing capabilities. Microsoft Cortana also uses a search engine to retrieve results and is designed to recognize context in order to comprehend follow up questions. Cortana allows users to both type and speak requests; blending Alexa’s conversational component with Google Home’s search engine capabilities.

All of this attention on AI has brands thinking about how they can become relevant in this space. At FRSH, we have already have built skills for brands seeking to break into the AI landscape. For example, we built out a complete family experience in partnership with UNICEF that is educational, fun and helpful. With this skill UNICEF is able to donate food packets to children in need through participation of adventures games and trivia.

Brands have begun to question whether AI is going to shift to more consumer experience-oriented promotions. We believe it will still remain very conversational, but has the ability to tap into many different verticals and access many touch points.

We, at FRSH, are very excited about the new doors opened by an increase in data access. Not only do we use data to build skills and experiences but we are now able to collect more specific behavioral data through interactions with the devices. During the forum about the future, Doug talked about the upcoming DMP website that FRSH is building. It is a Data Management Platform, which will allow clients to see how their FRSH-made skills are doing as well as access to the immense amount of data we collect focused on behavioral voice data.

People are a little frightened by the fact that voice devices are constantly listening to us. What users need to shift their focus is AI’s increased efforts towards better assisting humans and increasing productivity. Overall AI can be headed in a hundred different directions but it seems the ultimate goal is improving user experiences and bettering people’s lives through this technology and it’s corresponding devices.


**You can see Doug Robinson speaking next week in New Orleans on Monday, October 9th, at the DMA & THEN conference on voice, AI, and best practices for data management.**