Artificial Intelligence at the service of Content Marketing: what is happening?

Interview with Roberto Marmo, Data Scientist and Professor of Information Technology

With a mental abstraction that emerged in the distant 19th century, the idea of a machine capable of reasoning like a human brain passed through the last century as a “future sun”.

In 1950, for the first time, the attempt was made to reproduce a biological neuron with a mathematical neuron capable of retracing the behavior of the human cell with a mathematical formula. However, in order to be able to reproduce the brain, which has millions of neurons connected to one another, the latter, at the base of the current deep neural network, must “work” in the same numbers. But, with computers, we are able to reach a maximum of 100,000 mathematical neurons. To have a comparable level of power, we must wait, therefore, for the quantum computer.

Within the great “circle” that is AI, we can find other smaller “circles”: deep learning and machine learning. These are deep learning structures that recognize information from large amounts of data and learn from them.

Undoubtedly, there are an increasing number of solutions that put AI algorithms at the service of content marketing. One of these is THRON’s Content Intelligence: its AI engines classify content before extracting data on user interests from the analysis of their behavior. This is information that can be used to improve editorial production and personalize communication.

Given that, according to Gartner, in a few years 20% of content will be created by AI, we asked Professor Roberto Marmo, who has been studying neural networks and AI since 1999, what the future holds for human creativity and in what way new technological tools will be able to enhance it.


Q: What kind of relationship will Artificial Intelligence and the communication that a company directs towards its interlocutors ever be able to establish? Do you think that technology will be at the service of human creativity or that it will go as far as replacing it?

A: Artificial Intelligence can provide sophisticated tools to create new forms of communication and to bring in-depth personalization strategies to life to speak to each interlocutor according to their specific interests. But they are tools that need to be managed and guided with the support of an expert. This is because the results provided are still fairly limited, as innovative as they may be compared with just a few years ago.

Up until now, human creativity remains unbeatable. Its mechanism of producing ideas is still to be discovered down to the last detail. For this reason, it cannot be easily reproduced with a network of simulated neurons in a computer. Perhaps, in a few decades, the progress of hardware technology may be able to provide new generations of much more powerful computers. For now, creativity remains a human characteristic that can be enhanced with digital tools. This is why we talk about Augmented Intelligence.


Q: What is the role of data in the Augmented Intelligence universe? And how can it be activated so as to become useful for business?

A: The role of data quality has always been important, also in Augmented Intelligence. If there is a lot of rubbish, inconsistency and a lack of what is needed in the data, the result will also be very poor, despite it being achieved with advanced techniques. Therefore, the first step consists of verifying the quantity and quality of data. Their subsequent use depends on the business type; now there are hundreds of cases from which to draw inspiration.


Q: What do you think the value of a data-driven content marketing strategy is? 

A: Data analysis now provides a strong content personalization in order to create something that can be provided at the right time, in the right place, with the right words, and to the right person. Other aspects of a data-driven strategy concern: the observation of the content created by the user to help the previously described personalization; the understanding of which content is more or less widespread online, and why; and the studying of content created by the competition, both to protect yourself from unfair forms of competition and to do better than your competitor, anticipating their moves.


Q: Given the availability of different AI tools to be applied to content marketing, what do you think the future holds for content creators? 

A: Those who want to create content will have a lot to do; they won’t be replaced by forms of Artificial Intelligence in the short term because human creativity is still mysterious, fascinating, complex, and impossible to reproduce. Their future will see an increasing availability of tools to find content and check how it is organized, what its winning features are, where it comes from, and who has created it.

For this reason, those who create content must keep up-to-date with these new tools in order to improve their work. Only by updating their skills will they be able to avoid being overtaken by those who are fully aware of such potential. In particular, it is a good idea to keep on top of tools used to create new content automatically. Currently, the results are interesting but are still far from reproducing human creativity. These tools can create phrases to read a table of numbers, but they cannot yet explain the reasons behind the phenomenon and cannot write a critique or reason. But improvements are continuous, and proposals are increasing, so it would be best to get up-to-date.