CEO and Founder, 3PM Solutions
The term artificial intelligence or “AI”- is a marketing and sales term that is actually rarely used by technology and data science teams. Some companies use deceptive and exaggerated sales pitches to define AI that may feel like a Hollywood movie. AI is not a scene from the “Matrix.” It has become a buzzword among brand protection vendors to create the perception of credibility and competence around certain product offerings. However, AI is not entirely new nor entirely unique; it is no different than other technologies that increase production and efficiency. Don’t get overwhelmed by the term.
Myth 1: AI Gets Smarter the More it is Used.
To be successful in brand protection efforts, it is detrimental to know if the product being listed online is authentic. In most cases, there is only a limited amount of data that can be trusted. When a brand protection vendor says, “our AI continues to learn from your actions, and it gets smarter,” a damaging misunderstanding is being perpetuated. Namely, they are inferring AI can learn on its own. That is not how it works. There is no load it and go. In order for AI to succeed as an effective tool, brand protection professionals and vendors need to work together to approach the challenges with a shared understanding of what are the true possibilities and limitations of AI.
Data is the foundation. To be effective, trusted, reliable and accurate, “clean” data is imperative. How the data is collected, cleaned and stored is critical to success. The team collecting the data needs to care about the data quality as it directly correlates with the success of the analysis. Garbage in creates garbage out results.
Key questions to ask and explore:
If mechanisms for collecting data are too narrow, counterfeit listings will be missed. If data collection is too broad, the number of listings needed to be reviewed will be massive. If vendors are still using humans for this task, this should be a major red flag. To put this in perspective, for one client, over a million listings per hour can be analyzed.
Myth 2: AI Will Take Away Brand Protection Jobs.
AI will change existing jobs by automating some of the mundane work, which will allow people to focus on more important tasks. Don’t take this lightly or give computers too much credit. The goal is to increase the confidence in decisions over time by using meaningful insights and data points. Because of the complexity in brand protection, humans and computers will always need to work together.
AI: Forms you might already know and use
Data needs to be stored in a way that allows it to be analyzed fast to provide insights. Because e-commerce data is unstructured and not standardized, this is not a trivial task. Knowing this is important, but you don’t have to be a data scientist to ask how a vendor analyzes listing content.
The following forms of AI are valuable to business operations. Some AI you may already utilize:
Myth 3: You Don’t Need an AI Strategy.
Companies need an AI strategy or at least a full and thorough review why they don’t need one. It’s about finding use cases where forms of AI technology can increase your team’s efficiency and businesses productivity. As AI myths continue to be debunked, it’s clear that forms of AI are here to stay. Forms of AI should be part of the brand protection team as they are vital to the success of business.
A Parting Truth: What AI Can Do.
AI can help analyze unstructured data faster. It can help companies work more efficiently by removing mundane tasks from their employee’s workload, allowing staff to focus on more strategic opportunities.
THE BRAND PROTECTION PROFESSIONAL |JUNE 2021 | VOLUME 6 NUMBER 2
2021 COPYRIGHT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
THE BRAND PROTECTION PROFESSIONAL |DECEMBER 2017 | VOLUME 2 NUMBER 4
2017 COPYRIGHT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES