The Ethics of Algorithmic Bias

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence by machine and computer systems. According to Statista, it is expected to represent one of the next great technological shifts -comparable to the invention of the computer. The AI industry is also expected to grow at a constant rate of 154% from 2018 until 2021.

However, with the rapid growth of AI, we must consider the ethical implication that may cause serious problems in the future. Algorithmic bias represents one of these ethical concerns.

Algorithmic bias is defined by TechTarget as being a phenomenon that occurs when an algorithm produces results that are systematically prejudiced due to erroneous assumptions in the machine learning process. It is a common sentiment that AI doesn’t suffer from prejudice or bias due to being driven by mathematical logic, however a large number of examples prove this to be false.

One cause of Algorithmic bias is the reliance on data for deep learning. AI can develop blind spots due to certain data being missing or some being too abundant -leading to bias. A terrible example of this is when Google tagged two black people in a photo as gorillas in a customer’s photos app due to an obvious fault in the algorithm.

Sourced from Twitter

Another example found sexist biases in word embedding algorithms causing a tendency for search results to show words such as “engineering” and “programming” to males and “home markers” to females. The repercussions of this could be the industries that are already male dominated to stay as such.

Check out these articles to find out more on algorithmic bias and some shocking examples.

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Aerie – A User Generated Content Campaign Creating Social Good

User Generated Content:

User generated content (UGC) is becoming increasingly popular with marketers due to its many benefits and low cost. UGC is basically, any content that is created by unpaid contributors -usually taking the form of images, videos, blogs and testimonials and found online, where it can be easily shared. To find out more about the benefits of UGC visit this website.

The Aerie Instagram Campaign:

Aerie is an American women’s clothing company that specialises in intimate apparel and swimwear. They created the #AerieREAL campaign in a reply to the debate on the excessive use of photo editing on marketing materials -especially relating to how women are displayed on social media and online. The campaign focused on standing up against the negative impact edited photos of models has on the self-esteem of young women and societal views of body image.

The campaign consisted of two factors.

  1. Aerie pledged to stop retouching marketing images of their models.
  2. For every unedited photo a user posts to Instagram of them in an Aerie swimsuit, the company donates $1 USD to the National Eating Disorders Association.
Sourced from the Aerie Instagram page

Check out more about this digital marketing campaign here.

This user generated content campaign is a wonderful example of how a company can use cause related marketing to massively increase their brand awareness and create social change. This shows that UGC marketing is not limited to competitions and that you can create social good while increasing brand awareness and sales.

Do you know of any other examples of UGC campaigns like this?

The Age of Influencer Marketing

A key development in the rise of social media marketing over the recent years is the colossal growth in influencer marketing. An influencer is a social media user who has established credibility and audience, which they are able to capitalise on to persuade followers, by virtue of their trust-worthiness and authenticity.

We all know how important social media is in marketing today, in fact, it has revolutionized the whole marketing and advertising industry. It is now vital for companies to engage in social media marketing in order to have effective marketing strategies and compete in their chosen industry.

According to an article by Relevance, Influencer engagement is beneficial for companies for the following reasons:

  1. It is a very effective marketing strategy -due to the authenticity and respect consumers have of influencers.
  2. Generate mass word-of-mouth -this is especially important to focus on for digital marketing as the reach of consumers opinions is so expansive.
  3. Specialised high-quality content to the right audience -due to the massive variety of influencers available, there is always a niche for reaching a specific customer segment effectively.
  4. Exposure and increase in brand value -the more people are exposed to your brand, the more likely they are to engage with it in the future. Simple as that.
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

However, authentic is key to effective use of social media marketing so brands must be careful in handling their influencer marketing campaigns.

Do you think social media influencers have a large impact on your consumer activities?  

The 5G Revolution is Coming Down Under

It’s actually happening; 5G is coming to Australia. But what will this mean for the world of mobile marketing?

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

It is remarkably apparent that the digital world moves quickly. According to this article, in just a decade, mobile advertising has gone from zero to 100, now representing over a billion dollars in Ad advertising in Australia and a whopping 62% of general digital display spending. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Deloite Global’s February 2019 predictions stated that 25 network operators will launch 5g in 2019 across the world. This resulting in the installation of a million 5G devices around the world -10 000 of which to be found in Australia.

This revolution is set to massively impact the messaging experience. Predictions are that soon we will be able to send and receive photo, video and even augmented reality content instantaneously.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

While it still may seem a far way off before you and I are handling a device rocking 5G, people are beginning to wonder about the marketing implications. Specifically, a number of brands are beginning to look into how to use this new technology to create richer brand experiences through mobile devices. By reducing friction and allowing for instantaneous content, the opportunities really do seem exceptionally grand for digital marketing applications.

What are your thoughts on the imminent rise of 5G around the world? Are you ready for this tech development to hit the shores of Australia?  

Non-Profits Using Digital Marketing Like Pros

Although non-profits don’t exist to make profits, they still rely on marketing to spread their message, engage their audience and inspire people to donate. Non-profits need their campaigns to make a big splash with a small budget. Like these three examples:

1. WATERisLIFE

This campaign focused on the hashtag “#firstworldproblems” and featured an advertisement of people living in poverty to read out a list of common first world problems. This was extremely effectively executed, reaching over 7 million viewers, and opening their eyes to how trivial their problems are in reality, thus spurring them to donate.

2. Greenpeace

Greenpeace’s campaign, the “Great Whale Tail” was an exceptionally innovative use of digital technology and marketing to fundraise for their cause. This campaign used GSP technology to show people the live feed tracking of a group of whales as they migrated through dangerous waters where they are hunted. People got behind the campaign, making personal fundraising pages to raise over $120,000.

Sourced from the Great Whale Trail webpage

3. Social Tees Animal Rescue

This charity in NYC jumped onto the tinder bus. They created profiles of dogs so that people could match with them, when doing so they would receive information on how to adopt the dog or were encouraged to donate, foster animals or volunteer to dog walk. The first 10 dogs got over 2,700 matches in one week!

Who needs a human partner when you can have a dog, am I right?

Would you be convinced to donate by these campaigns?

Would you like some Big Data with those fries?

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

The fast-food giant, known in Australia as the infamous “Maccas” has just announced their acquirement of the Israeli start-up, Dynamic Yield for $300 million. This hefty investment will soon bring a new development to the world of take away food -customer personalisation.

Considering the massive benefit personalisation has on the customer experience, it is expected that this move by McDonalds was indeed a clever one.

McDonalds is no stranger to the use of digital tools, and as a result of their usage of tools such as Uber eats, digital kiosks and their app, they have a massive pool of data available at their greasy fingertips.

Sourced from Fragma Data on Flickr

The CEO, Steve Easterbrook, stated in an interview with Wired, that in order to transition from mass marketing to mass personalisation, a company must “unlock the data within that ecosystem in a way that’s useful to a customer”, and this is precisely what Maccas it beginning to do.

What will this look like for us?

Well, the first application of this technology is to take place in the drive through where an algorithm will crunch data to personalise the display boards to the customer, based on a large range of variables. These including; the weather, time of day, historical sales data, how busy the store is and even the particular order that customers are making.

Sourced from Mark Mozart on Flickr

Do you think Maccas knows what you want better than you do?  

What else is in-store for McDonalds customers?

Comment bellow!

The Future of Shopping

You’d be hard-pressed to find an adult in Australia that has never partaken in some form of online shopping these days, but are we getting to the point where people would rather their stores be virtual than “brick and mortar”?

A (very) brief history:

Online shopping is a form of online commerce that connects the buyers straight to the customers, with purchases being completed over the Internet. The beginning of this movement came in 1979 with Michael Aldrich’s invention of the two-way message service, videotex. From here, online shopping continued to emerge with the development of the internet.

Online shopping in the present:

Based on a report done by Australia Post, we are no longer facing the simple mix of online and “bricks and mortar” stores, but are now seeing what they call a “new retail”, whereby, across a range on in-store experiences and online platforms, consumers are experiencing a major increase in touch points in their purchase journey.

In 2017, one in five online purchases were made via mobile phone and we saw a growth in on-line spending of 18.7%, with services such as AfterPay having a significant impact.

The most popular purchase categories online are electronic goods, clothing and books.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

The FUTURE:

The report predicts that one in 10 purchases in Australia will be made online, but this is surely only the beginning.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Will we soon see the day when these old-school brick and mortar stores are completely overtaken by the online shopping world?