October 6, 2023 | 3 Min
So You Have Access to AI. Now What?
There’s this great closing scene in the animated film “Finding Nemo”: after the team of tropical fish successfully execute their great plan to escape the dentist’s fish tank and be free in the ocean, they all realize there’s one problem: they’re stuck in floating plastic bags of water. The closing line of the film is one of them saying “Now what?” - I still laugh at that one.
As I look at what is being announced by content technology vendors on how they’re implementing Generative AI, I can’t help but ask brands and retailers who might use them “You’re now able to generate some rich text, embed keywords for SEO, or generate a product image from a prompt in a UI. Great! Now what?”
I last wrote about how almost everyone in the commerce tech landscape – in particular those who put themselves in the content management or digital experience platform categories — is introducing GenAI into their software. It is widely accessible after all and will certainly bring some benefits. But without vertical expertise and the most important ingredient of all, context – just as Amplience proudly has with hundreds of brands and retailers – generative AI and other machine learning models with no industry, brand, customer and product context will hit a wall. Those businesses must demand that any AI they use be fueled by the vertical context that is relevant to them and their customers. AI must understand internal contextual factors such as product, customer segment and price, and external contextual factors such as events, locations and even celebrity activity, to name but a few. The vendors who try to be everything to everyone just can’t deliver on that vision.
There’s another critical aspect that these vendors are missing that decision makers need to pay close attention to: where is all that content and its metadata being stored, managed, and how is it being delivered?
We’ve seen demonstrations of content and images being generated and manipulated for specific platforms and applications. That’s cool. Real time savers, I’m sure. But once they’re generated, there are some fundamental questions decision makers need to pose that those other vendors aren’t answering:
Where is all the content being stored? A CMS? Is there asset management functionality for images and media?
If not, do you need to pay for and integrate another content management or asset management platform to store and manage all that content and media, which are only going to grow in volume exponentially as we use AI more and more?
Is it being stored in an inaccessible proprietary format? Or is it in a standards-based schema that allows that content to be accessed and leveraged across customer and shopping experiences, much more than the application it was generated for?
And that’s just where to manage the content generated and manipulated by AI. But we’re not using this incredible AI technology to create content for the sake of it. It has a purpose, and that’s to fuel standout experiences with your customers, no matter where they are and how they interact with you. So, that brings up more questions you should be asking:
Do these vendors have the means to reliably deliver all that content and all those assets around the world, across devices and channels?
Do they have the options front-end developers need to incorporate that content into the experiences they are building, without having to bother marketers for changes?
Do marketers have the ability to preview the total experience their customers will have – in real-time and in the future — with the content they generated with AI, without having to bother developers or deal with multiple versions across staging sites?
These are all valid questions, and if you’re asking them of your vendors, you’re on the right track. I’m proud that everyone at Amplience can answer in the positive to the questions posed above. We already have this fundamental foundation of content management, asset management, real-time previewing, content delivery, and an ecosystem of integrations, that an entire orchestra of AI technologies and services for shopping content must play on in order for brands and retailers to truly gain meaningful business benefits.
So, if you do end up asking yourself “OK. Now what?”, give one of us here at Amplience a shout and we’ll have an answer to that question that will continue the story for you and your customers. And we promise we won’t laugh.