AiThority Interview With Lukas Hakos, Co-founder of Clever Monitor
Know My Company
Tell us about your interaction with smart technologies like AI and Machine Learning?
We have developed an algorithm which makes visual and product recommendations, collecting all available customer data which suggests a specific type of product for individual customers based on their previous behaviour. For instance, a person who has bought running shorts recently is sent information about running shoes or fitness watch. It is about finding the right product for you without being intrusive.
How did you start in this space? What galvanized you to be part of Clever Monitor?
LH: I have been in AI for seven years while working with Czech Insurers’ Bureau. I had a development team who had great ideas to find a better way of extracting the maximum from data collected by our clients. This experience gave me the idea to make my own solution for the client and to build a business knowledge base.
The team developed it into a concrete plan, and this strengthened my belief in the vast potential of machine learning and smart technologies. This is how Clever Monitor took shape, and now we bring powerful AI-driven technology in the market. Clever Monitor helps companies serve their customers better and improve customer experience.
What is Clever Monitor and how is it impacting the Marketing Tech landscape?
LH: Clever Monitor has developed a marketing automation tool, Clever AIM, which helps medium and large companies communicate with their consumers and automate a wide range of their marketing activities. It sends personalised emails to users with the right message and at the right time when he/she is most likely to check their inbox. Clever AIM wants to provide unique customer experience and reduce sending irrelevant messages to users.
It is developed keeping in mind those businesses who sit on a vast amount of data but are not able to capitalise on it. Clever AIM uses this data to improve email marketing communication.
What makes working with Data Science and Deep Learning so fascinating?
LH: The patterns and correlation that is hidden in the data are mind-blowing. Data Science helps us understand our users better. Finding a pattern in the data is like finding a gold mine. For example, fashion industry is a competitive and dynamic market. Trends and styles change with a blink of an eye. Here Data science can be used to analyse historical data tipping-off fashion retailers about the next hot trend. Data scientists can use concepts such as predictive algorithm, visual search, capturing structured data from photograph to find what’s the next hot trend.
We can bring in all this and deliver the right content to the right person at the right time based on the data trends. The results of this are immediate – this is what I love about Data Science – our work has a measurable impact.
How do you see the raging trend of including AI in Enterprise Business Operations?
LH: AI can reduce boring tasks, help with the predictions and forecast that are essential for planning. From the digital marketing point of view, I believe that very soon we will be witnessing automated and AI driven communication from the very first interaction with a new customer to their retention.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for businesses in leveraging AI/ML?
LH: The biggest challenge, what I saw so far, is the data structure. Large-businesses have extensive data records and often there is lack of communication between various departments who are sitting on piles of unstructured and unleveraged data. Not all the information, that a company collects, is usable it is able to use to their advantage due to lack of systems to decipher them. Another issue around unstructured data is collecting the wrong information by asking the wrong questions from consumers.
Businesses now understand the criticality of data storage and its structure, so pretty soon this challenge will be over. From my perspective, the most significant advantage of AI/ML is providing a fantastic customer experience that drives sales. Chatbots, behavioural marketing, targeting, that’s something that can benefit from AI and ML. Also, automation will have a significant impact by reducing manual tasks up to 60%.
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How should young technology professionals train themselves to work better with AI and machine data?
LH: Google recently released a new service called Cloud AutoML which uses several machine-learning tricks to automatically build and train a deep-learning algorithm that recognises things in images. I suggest starting with this and then develop your own simple, yet functional machine learning algorithms.
Challenge those algorithms, add more data sources and keep improving.
What is the biggest challenge to Martech transformation in 2019? How does Clever Monitor contribute to a successful digital transformation?
LH: Digital transformation is a necessity for B2B marketing operations, requiring multiple marketing technologies. The reason it is such a challenge because more than half of senior executives cite a lack of familiarity with technology.
Clever Monitor brings simplified technology, powered by professional consultants, who help to integrate all systems necessary for the client and provide a steady reliable support that helps clients to integrate and use it without any hiccups.
Where do you see AI/Machine learning and other smart technologies heading beyond 2020?
LH: The most significant contribution would be the improvement of customer experience – something that every single brand aims for. I cannot overlook the possibility that in future websites, emails and social media, everything will be tailor made, not just for a target group but a specific customer.
We will also see its application in determining connections and recommendations. It will be implemented into mass markets and things we use in our day to day life. For instance, cars will advise you on where to get your tank filled (based on price and preferred type). Recommendations will get more precise. Internet of Things will see a rise further.
The Good, Bad and Ugly about AI/ML that you have heard or predict –
LH: AI/ML can definitely make our work life more manageable, reduce manual tasks, improve targeting, make predictions, analyse the colossal amount of data that the human brain cannot.
For companies that are developing AI technologies, it can be frustrating to kill many ideas and put them on the back burner before they reach the goal. AI Research and Development can become costly.
The ugly truth is that AI can be (most likely will be) used for wrong things (weapons, tracking, etc.). The scariest part is the thought that one day AI will rule our world.
What is your opinion on “Weaponization of AI technology”? How do you deal with the challenge here?
LH: AI is the future, no doubt about it. Not only in Digital Marketing, but in general. But also, I am a bit cautious about certain AI developments. Every single day I see how the AI field is moving forward, and it is fascinating, but could also be dangerous.
AI technology can be a great helper, but a bad master. We have to find an equilibrium – when the AI is helpful and when it could start to be dangerous.
The Crystal Gaze
What AI/ML and Marketing technology start-ups and labs are you keenly following?
LH: Sizmek, IBM Watson, CognitionX. These companies are pioneers in the field of AI. The algorithms developed by them are unique and bring in innovative ideas in the sector.
What technologies within AI and Blockchain Technology are you interested in?
LH: Machine Learning is an exciting application of AI. However, Blockchain technology doesn’t come into my area of work. This said it doesn’t mean that it is not a fascinating discipline.
As a tech leader, what industries you think would be fastest to adopting AI platforms with smooth efficiency? What are the new emerging markets for these technology markets?
LH: One of the fastest growing segments in AI and ML are chatbots and speech or voice recognition. For example, chatbots have tons of messages that they can be used in the learning curve, so they become very precise (very human-like) in a short period. We can see the use of chatbots on various websites as a customer query point of contact. Chatbots can manage the communication requirements of large companies.
Also, ML through speech recognition will help develop ‘predictive models’ for disaster relief. This will enable first responders to automatically analyse mass behaviour and movement through multiple sources of data such as social media platforms, web forums and news sources. Based on the data collected, responders can scale their rescue efforts and distribute supplies promptly.
What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
LH: I only respond to emails in the morning and the evening. Throughout the day, I dedicate my time to work and addressing concerns at work that need my full attention.
Even though we are a tech company, I love face-to-face interaction with my team. Nothing beats a personal interaction and emails don’t offer much help in that.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
LH: Rezah Zadeh – professor at Stanford University and CEO at Matroid. Reza dedicated his life to IT and its development. It is a delight to listen to him. The best thing – he shares his knowledge to the Stanford’s students.
Thank you, Lukas! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.