“Faux AI hype” hurts sales, marketing efforts, say AI entrepreneurs


The public is riveted by artificial intelligence, but most people don’t have a clue what “AI” actually is. Media hype and populist stories confuse rather than clarify. How does popular perception impact the vast array of Silicon Valley companies building actual AI products and services? We spoke to leading entrepreneurs and executives to learn their unique challenges with selling and marketing AI.

Not surprisingly, the biggest challenge AI entrepreneurs collectively identified was lack of buyer understanding regarding what AI entails and requires. “We’re early in a convoluted market. AI means a lot of things,” says Christian Monberg, co-founder of Boomtrain. In eagerness to capitalize on this growing and exciting trend, many label their wares as “AI-powered” when in fact no machine intelligence exists. This further confuses buyers outside the tech industry who are already grappling with constantly changing technical terminology.

Josh Ziegler of Zumata points out media hype has led to inflated expectations about the impact of AI. “AI and chatbots have been touted as a silver-bullet with infinite magical powers,” he explains, “The dawn of AI taking over the world and being a plug and play technology has fostered a misconception of what is truly possible today.” Work Fusion’s Alex Lyashok calls this “faux AI hype.”

The industry does benefit from the increased attention, but Ziegler believes persistent false advertising can create more obstacles than opportunities. He observes the market is full of “technology for technology’s sake,” where “bots often fail to solve a real need or an actual pain point.” Even when bots are being used to solve actual problems, inexperienced buyers often don’t understand the requisite level of commitment required to see meaningful results.

“Most of our clients wish to dip their toe in the water with chatbots. They tend to have grand ideas of what is possible, but wish to start with a tiny scope prototype as they control a small budget absent approvals,” Ziegler elaborates. “The goal is to then use the results to request a larger budget. While this seems rational on the surface, it is like buying a skateboard to see if a Ferrari would be accepted by your users.”

  • By Marlene Jia, TOPBOTS chief revenue officer, master of monetization

Read the source article at TopBots.