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5 Limitations of Artificial Intelligence to Marketers

3 min read
Dec 20, 2018




Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to revolutionise the way marketers do their jobs, making campaigns more personalised, predictive and automated than ever before. But as with most forms of new technology, there are some real limitations.

So before you get ahead of yourself and lay off your entire marketing team with the hope that an artificially intelligent machine can fill their boots and save you a small fortune... Take the time to read this blog post and make yourself fully aware of the current limitations of artificial intelligence.

5 Current Limitations of AI to Mobile Marketers

    1.  No one-size-fits-all solution

As it stands, you currently have to rely on individual solutions to perform certain AI-powered marketing tasks. From using AI to optimise and personalise your content to an AI tool that helps optimise paid campaigns, there are plenty of intelligent marketing tools out there to choose from. However, with no one-size-fits-all solution, trying to use a range of different tools to carry out a range of artificially intelligent tasks can become expensive, time-consuming and messy.

    2.  Requires Supervision

Algorithms are like an engine: they run, but someone still needs to turn the ignition. The marketer is still very much needed in order to plan, design and run the marketing campaign. They are the ones feeding the AI system with all the new information required for them to learn in the first place. This form of ‘supervised learning’ does not mimic the way a human learns naturally and experts believe this is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to creating a more human-like AI.

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A great example to demonstrate just why AI needs supervision is Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence chatbot ‘Tay’, who was modelled to speak ‘like a teenage girl’. The idea of Tay was to become more and more intelligent and human-like by learning from the conversations she was having with real humans online. However, since a lot of people get a kick from trolling others online, along with the fact that the internet is a pretty corrupt place, sweet and innocent Tay went from this…


To this...


In less than 24 hours… I think you can see for yourself the issue here. She was deactivated. Obviously.

    3.  Can't Think for Itself

AI can only do what it is programmed to do. Granted, it normally does this extremely well, but unlike a real person it is unable to make split-second judgements. For example, any good marketer will change or cancel any scheduled messaging when a tragic event occurs. This is because we as humans are capable of showing empathy and compassion to the victims and their families. A machine, however, does not have the ability to show emotion, so could get a company in hot water in times of crisis if it’s not carefully managed or controlled.

    4.  Cost and Maintenance

Like any form of new technology, there can be a significant cost of purchase and a need for on-going maintenance and repair. Your AI software will also require regular upgrades in order to adapt to the continually changing business environment. The return on investment needs to be carefully considered by your company before you go ahead and implement any AI system.

    5.  Lack of Creativity 

Creativity remains a vital component of a successful marketing campaign. Machines simply lack the ability to be creative. Unlike machines, humans can think and feel, which often guides their decision making when it comes to being creative. Yes, AI can definitely assist in terms of helping to determine what sort of imagery, for example, a consumer is likely to click on - from colour preferences to style and price. But when it comes to originality and creative thinking, a machine simply cannot compete with the human brain. We still need both human and machine.

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Whilst this post has concentrated solely on the limitations of AI to marketers, there are some real advantages of AI to marketers which you can read about here. Ultimately, Artificial Intelligence is only going to become more and more efficient, and something that any smart marketer is going to want to add to their strategy. Making yourself aware of the current limitations of AI helps ensure you do not set yourself up for unrealistic expectations.

Find out everything you need to know about AI with our Marketer’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence. Or you can reach out to me directly via emma@hurree.co. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have with regards to AI and how it can enhance your mobile marketing strategy.

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