Automation And The Future Of Work Enters The Political Dialogue

Andrew Yang is a long shot to make the next round of debates but deserves credit for bringing the conversation about automation and the future of work to the debate stage. To be fair, the impact of AI and automation on work is a difficult conversation. Conservatives speak to the unemployed at factory gates, coal mines, and aging docks, blaming the workers’ struggles on soft borders, unfair trade practices, and excessive regulation. Liberals point to insufficient investment in education and resistance to minimum-wage legislation. Business points to AI’s potential to free workers from mundane tasks.

But the talk track stops there. They don’t dig into the inevitable tech trends that will transform the workforce or what we should do about it. Yang’s views of guaranteed minimum income are unlikely to fly in the US. But he has started the conversation, and for that, he deserves credit. For a view from Forrester, check out the recently published book, Invisible Robots in the Quiet of the Night.

UPS Seeks Authorization For Full-Scale Drone Adoption

UPS is working to receive the first commercial authorization by the Federal Aviation Administration, empowering it to go public with its use of autonomous delivery drones. This authorization would overcome the current restrictions that have governed its trial earlier this year, delivering blood and other medical samples to hospital testing facilities in North Carolina. Once approved, first operations will be for medical, commercial, and industrial customers. This authorization could come as early as this year. For more on these types of tech-driven innovations that can enhance healthcare and human lives, see this CIO Forrester report.

Approach AI-Powered Advertising Creative Work With Thoughtfulness

JPMorgan Chase announced a five-year deal with AI firm Persado to optimize its email and direct marketing messages with AI-authored copy and calls to action. The financial services firm tested AI-authored versus human-authored campaigns and determined the technology led to higher rates of conversion. Forrester has outlined the opportunity to adopt new technologies to streamline the process of advertising creative development and incorporate AI technology as part of the advertising toolkit. Consider the limitations and unintended consequences of overreliance on adtech and the digital sea of sameness across advertising and digital experience. A balanced approach for funding creativity and technology will result in the right combination of inspiration and information, magic and machine.

The Battle Between Agencies And Consultancies Reaches A Flash Point

Global agency holding company Publicis recently acquired Epsilon, a marketing and customer database vendor. Epsilon brings a massive US customer profile database, a world-class identity matching system (so marketers will know who someone is in any marketing moment, for example, to present more relevant messaging and offers), and a whole lot of software for email marketing and loyalty. The move is “Game of Thrones” strategic: Publicis Sapient, a consultancy/agency hybrid with Publicis, will lay claim to a stark market differentiator using Epsilon’s data and tech, establishing itself as an agency that also can enrich any client’s first-party customer data sitting in a proper CRM. The consultancies, led by Accenture, Deloitte, and IBM, own no customer data whatsoever. And they never will. They don’t want the liability. Which will win? Stay tuned as marketers, who crave third-party data, and business, which craves actual customer data, wage warfare on the customer database by calling on their favorite supplier: agency or consultancy.