01:45 – From music manager to keynote speaker
07:06 – The world’s greatest chess player vs. IBM
08:56 – Your job could be in danger
11:34 – An algorithm that thinks?
13:04 – Conversational AIs
15:55 – How far off is Skynet?
20:23 – AI-assisted keynote speaking
27:01 – Half human, half machine
29:59 – What AI did for a horror movie
32:23 – What can you feed Watson?
35:43 – The importance of mentors
37:15 – AI, the Iron Man model, and heart
42:58 – The best rock band marketer
46:02 – Wrapping up
James S.: James Schramko here, welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today I have a special guest, mostly because his name is the same as mine, which makes it easy to remember. Welcome, James Taylor.
James T.: It is my pleasure being here. Nice to speak to another James today.
James S.: You’ve had me on your show before, and you’re a prolific marketer and you’re doing great things in a few different areas, especially for creative people. And some of the work we’ve been doing together, I’ve been watching you craft fantastic solutions for people who want to develop their business and maybe had an artistic angle.
But the thing that really caught my attention is just a casual remark you made inside the SuperFastBusiness membership, and that was that you were using artificial intelligence to help you create your keynote presentations. And I was like, ‘What? Would you come and talk to my audience about this topic?’ Because I think that was really interesting, and you know, today’s episode is, How AI Can Be Used By Marketers To Increase Performance.
So, just before we dive right into that, I just think it’d be worth you giving a little bit of preface to where does James Taylor find out about A.I. and why should we be listening to you about this subject?
From music manager to keynote speaker
James T.: Yes, I’ve come at marketing from a slightly circuitous route. I started off my career managing rock stars and pop artists. So, when I left school, I got into artist management pretty early on, managing big club nights, a little dance music. And so, I had a great option, I got a chance to manage, you know, some great platinum-selling artists, Grammy-award winners. I got a chance to work with members of the Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck. And then I kind of went through that as a career, and I was always very interested in the marketing element, because essentially when you’re building up an artist’s career, you’re building a brand and marketing is a key component of that.
And then in 2010, I was asked to move to California, to the San Francisco Bay area, to take my skills from really understanding the music industry and entertainment and applying it into the online education world. And so, I moved there. One of the original guys who’d been at AOL had started a business and it was involved in creating online membership sites around teaching music online. So, stuff that you know, many of your listeners will be kind of familiar with.
And so, over the course of about three years, we created about 30 online membership-based sites. My role was really to go out and find this great talent, these Grammy-award-winning music artists, and then we essentially created an online membership-based site around their brand. And that’s kind of what we did, and we did it for a number of years, and that company’s still going and it was really exciting.
And then I got a bit bored, as you do, you kind of get that entrepreneurial itch after a little while as well. So, I decided to take a year off, did a bit of traveling, my wife and I went around Asia and different places. And then when I started coming back to it, I initially actually started coming back into the world of running live events, because I came from that, I love that experience of being alive.
And what I started really noticing is, in terms of where a lot of online education is going, is that hybrid model, where someone might be a member of something, a member of a membership site, for example, but then there’s also a live component, some kind of live event. And so that’s what I started doing. I started doing that with other people in music, but then started moving out into the world of people who were more thought leaders and speakers, and helping them create both the live events, live retreats, smaller events and also kind of memberships as well.
And then that, strangely, brought me into the world of then being a keynote speaker myself. Because as you kind of get to learn about the world of keynote speaking, you quickly learn that there’s kind of these two tribes in the speaking world.
There’s the tribe of the, we call them kind of platform speakers, people who are selling from the stage something. So, they might give an hour’s presentation, and the last 45 minutes, 15 minutes, is they’re kind of selling their coaching, their consulting or something. And that’s a great model, and some of the most successful speakers out there are platform speakers.
But then there is this completely other type of model, which is called more classic keynote speakers, the people who get paid the 10, 15, 20 thousand dollars just to go up and give a 45 minute, an hour of speech on something. They’re not really selling from the stage.
And that’s where I started to get involved. I was able to transition my online marketing skills into that space, because it’s a really strange thing – a lot of the online marketers gravitate towards the platform speaking side, which is great, but there’s this other side, the keynote speaking side, and strangely there’s less people who have come from the online marketing moving into that space. Maybe because they feel a bit intimidated because it’s larger companies you’re dealing with. But it’s just a fascinating place to go into.
And then as I started getting involved in that, you want to get really good at your skill and develop mastery in it. And I was doing some stuff, I was running a retreat in California, one of our retreats, and there was a gentleman there from IBM Watson, and we were just talking about things and he was telling me about AI and IBM Watson. And I thought, I wonder if I can use this for my speaking? I wonder how that could work? And that’s how I kind of started using AI in speaking.
James S.: That’s a fantastic journey. It’s the second time I heard about IBM Watson in a week. The other time I heard it was when I was sitting on a private conference call, as a special guest with the invitation to be an adviser for a blockchain company that is integrating into IBM Watson to help write contracts for people in a particular industry where the outputs had numerous possible outcomes. If that makes sense without spoiling the topic.
But the key that I got was they’re plugging into this machine, and the machine will be able to go beyond where you’re going with your standard sort of concatenation-type formulas that a lot of scriptwriting-type tools use where they just, you know, pull A, B, C or D, and then the next line ABC. Like, we went through this with the SEO industry, with spinning software.
James T.: Yeah, I remember that.
The world’s greatest chess player vs. IBM
James S.: It sounded like this Watson is able to go beyond that, and I don’t know anything about it, so I would be really curious. When we’re talking about AI and IBM Watson, what is it? How would you explain it to someone who you met on the street or in a cafe who doesn’t know about it?
James T.: Sure. Probably the first time people would have maybe heard of IBM, not necessarily Watson, but let’s say artificial intelligence, was when in 1991 there was a famous chess match with Garry Kasparov, the world’s greatest chess player. And it happened in New York and he was playing against the one before IBM Watson. It was called Deep Blue, a supercomputer, it was an artificial intelligence. And what IBM wanted to do is they wanted to see, could a computer do the kind of complex cognitive tasks that we’d always associated with us as human beings? So, it is said, one the most difficult games to play is the game of chess. And so, they put their IBM supercomputer with A.I. up against Garry Kasparov, the chess player. And what was really interesting is everyone thought, ‘Oh that’s fine. That’s really nice. It will be, you know, Kasparov’s the world’s greatest chess player.’ You know, it’s five times easier to become a billionaire than it is to beat Garry Kasparov at chess. So, you know, this computer, that’s interesting, it’s a bit of fun, I guess some news, but it’s not really a thing.
So, what happened is in the first game, Kasparov did a move called the King’s Indian attack, was able to take his advantage. But in the second game, he just kind of lost his concentration a little bit, and the AI started taking advantage. So, there’s essentially a gentleman there who was moving the chess pieces at the instruction of the AI. What it was doing was it was calculating 200 million moves per second using brute force logic. So, no human can do that. But where the human normally leads is, as humans we’re very good at pattern recognition, we’re very good at strategy, we’re very good at creativity. But what happened is towards the end of those games, the IBM actually managed to beat Garry Kasparov. And when it beat Kasparov, there was like audible gasps in the room because people were just so shocked that an AI could do this.
Your job could be in danger
So that was the first big time when that happened, and why this is important for anyone listening here is, they’ll go, ‘Oh, that’s nice, a game of chess,’ is because they estimate that nearly 50 percent of jobs over the next 20 years are either going to disappear or going to be fundamentally changed because of AI and automation. And one of the industries that’s going to be most changed is the world of marketers.
“Nearly 50 percent of jobs over the next 20 years are going to disappear or be fundamentally changed because of AI and automation.”
If you go onto a site called Replaced by Robot, it’ll actually, if you type in your job description, let’s say you’re an online marketer or maybe you specialize in email marketing, you’ll see the percentage chance of your job being replaced by a machine. If you’re an email marketer, incredibly high. So, what happened is AI started to get used for that as a bit of a test case. Then we started seeing it used in pharmaceuticals, more complex tasks, and a big corporate.
And now what we’re starting to see is AI entering the world of you and I as marketers that don’t have billion-dollar companies, can start to use. Essentially what they’re trying to do, we hear about artificial intelligence, this horrible thing of people thinking it’s going to be like a Terminator-type of thing that’s going to kill us all or something. That’s not what we’re fundamentally talking about.
Over the next 20 years, what we’re really talking about is many of those routine analytical type of tasks that we do every single day are going to be replaced by AI doing those tasks. Now, that will hopefully allow us, as the humans in the relationship, to be able to do those higher quality tasks. You speak about, you know, work less make more. The AI is the perfect partner. It’s almost like, you know, 10 years ago we all moved to using CRMs like Ontraport or HubSpot or Infusionsoft. This is basically the next generation for us as marketers.
James S.: So, we’re seeing that with ManyChat and Facebook Chat bots, which interestingly have had a bit of a slap in the face recently with the data breach that Facebook has discovered. They’ve sort of stopped people rolling out new ones until they work out what they’re learning. But you’ve raised a few points there. By the way, you’re a fabulous guest, because you just cover all the things I’m thinking to ask.
My first thing that I wanted to ask is if it’s five times easier to be a billionaire than a chessmaster, why aren’t they using these things to become billionaires? I suppose some Forex traders probably do, and they’re not telling us.
James T.: Yes. Hedge funds are one of the earliest. If you look at some of the big investment firms now, they’re saying that over the next few years they’re going to get rid of many of their investment managers and just replace them with AI.
An algorithm that thinks?
James S.: Well, I think Ray Dalio was talking about using algorithms in his book, Principles, which is a very good book. And I had a guest on this show, Justin Brooke was talking about using algorithms in marketing. But is it too simplistic to say that AI is like an algorithm that can think for itself?
James T.: Yeah. I mean the way AI is just now, I mean, people sometimes talk about things like your Amazon Alexa. I was talking to Chris Brogan the other day and he was saying he created his own little Amazon Alexa skill. Now, people think about that as AI. In truth that’s not real AI. You’re just feeding it a whole bunch of things. And a lot of the chatbots we often think about is not really true AI. Where you’re seeing a lot of AI being used at the moment is what we call kind of narrow artificial intelligence. So, one particular task.
Let’s say in finance, you’ll give it a task to find very small quick trades to be able to do, and AI can go to work very good on that. If you ask that same AI, ‘OK, now compose me a piece of music,’ or ‘now create me a marketing campaign for this new product launch,’ it’s not going to be able to do that. You have to have another AI for that.
And that’s when we’re quite far away from what we call general artificial intelligence, where you can have an AI that can do all these things, a little bit like we see with that, that movie. I’m trying to remember the name of the movie with a guy, he has this kind of artificial intelligence kind of sidekick. Iron Man. We’re not quite there yet. Where I think we’ll start to see how those algorithms play into what we do, is you mentioned things like chatbot. So that’s the kind of front end.
Companies like Alibaba, world’s biggest B2B marketplace. They use AI now for 95 percent of all their customer interactions. So, if you’re having an interaction with them from a customer service perspective, chances are you’re having a conversation with an AI.
The next stage that we start to move in is this sense of how you potentially convert people are coming into your funnel. Let’s say they’ve signed up for your opt-in page, your lead magnet, and then how do you take that person from that being like kind of cold, warmish kind of lead into actually a final sale? So, converting That’s when you’re starting to see things like we call conversational AI being used. There’s a great company you can check out called Conversica, and they have one of these.
And I was talking to someone recently from CenturyLink, they’re a big phone company in the US, and they basically take one of these conversational AIs, and they fed it all of their opt-ins, people who were kind of opting into all their various lead magnets and things, and they were getting a 2000 percent ROI on that, in terms of taking those people from relatively cold leads into paying customers with a lifetime value of that customer being about 400 dollars.
So, what it essentially was doing is, and if you go into Conversica, if you want to sign up for, there’s lots of different conversational AIs out there now, the companies are doing this, you know, sign up to get one of their, like a walkthrough. Chances are the emails you’re going to be having correspondence with, they might be called Sally or Sue or Joan, that will be an AI that you’re having those e-mail correspondences with. And then what they’re trying to do is it’s not necessarily that they have preset phrases that they’re using, but they’re kind of learning from you. They’re seeing certain triggers from you to know how warm you are to potentially getting on a call with a salesperson. And that’s essentially what they’re doing.
So, the calls that those eventual human salespeople are doing, they’re much more qualified. They’ve gone through many of the other stages and they’re only really starting to do calls of people that they know are the hottest. And those that aren’t really hot particular prospects, they’re going to move into a slightly separate funnel and continue more with AI. So, we think, okay, that’s really cool, and that’s CenturyLink, a big, big company, but this stuff now is getting down to the point of I think it’s like $4000 a month to have your own conversational AI.
“Imagine if you can have a salesperson who never sleeps.”
So, imagine if you can have a salesperson who never sleeps. Just every time you bring in that lead, and especially for membership sites, sites like BombBomb. I think you use Bonjoro, which is a video type app to send quick video messages. BombBomb’s is a similar kind of version, I use BombBomb. And they have a membership program for people to sign up, mostly for realtors, but some for speakers as well, and they’re using a conversational AI to warm up those cold leads in order to get them on to either a sales call or get them to purchase by clicking that buy button. And it’s all happening through an AI. There’s not a human interaction now.
How far off is Skynet?
James S.: So, because we’re still a fair way away from that general AI that you’re talking about, does that mean Skynet is not quite here yet? It’ll be awhile until the AI can figure out that humans pretty much kill everything and they’ll take us out?
James T.: Yeah, that’s not the biggest challenge that we have just now. I mean we’re seeing all these things going on in Facebook just now, and part of the problems that are going on in terms of privacy is the technology was going so fast, moving so fast that people weren’t really having those conversations about ethics, frankly. And that’s slightly different in AI world, because people are recognizing how powerful this can potentially be, especially when you start to move into defense contractors and things like that as well. Those conversations and those groups and those panels, people like Elon Musk and others, are assembling groups, and there’s a big one at Oxford University where they’re assembling those groups to look at what are the laws, what are the things that we need to do in order to protect people.
But the idea of AIs coming along and us being essentially house cats for artificial intelligence, that’s a long way off. What you need to be more concerned about is as a marketer, as entrepreneur, how you can best harness and also ensure that not only do you survive in this new age of artificial intelligence, but also you can thrive. You can essentially use this as a new tool in your toolkit, and that’s actually the most exciting stuff. I think so often as marketers we get caught up in the tactical, you know, setting up that campaign, setting up that opt-in page, doing all that stuff.
IBM Watson now have a marketing suite, which is essentially used to create, take maybe 30 days to create one of these big complex multi-channel marketing campaigns. The AI is doing it in less than 24 hours. So, imagine, let’s say if it takes you two weeks to set up a launch, you got a product launch, you’re launching a membership, you’re launching something, a book. Imagine being able to take that same amount of time and have it compressed. And so, then our question then becomes, well, what is our role as the human in that? If the AI is able to do many of these tactical things, and our role, going back to Garry Kasparov after he lost that game of chess, what happened was he went to a pretty dark place. So, imagine what it would feel like just now if you consider yourself, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a great marketer and suddenly a machine come along and do it faster, cheaper and better than you. How is that going to feel?
James S.: Well, I’d be OK with it. I would just want to tap into it.
James T.: You would want to tap into it. Exactly.
James S.: You know, like my car gets me somewhere faster than I can, and I don’t have an issue with it. I harness and embrace that.
James T.: Exactly. But a lot of people don’t.
James S.: My internet connection lets me speak to people all around the world, which I can’t do by myself. So, I embrace it.
I love the part where you said it can be tools, but I really need to understand two things. I want to know, how do you actually do it? Because I know what it’s called now, I know where I might go to sort of find out. But, like what do you actually have to do to make it work, and what kind of things can we have it do? You’ve already sort of given us an idea that it could help us with funnels and it could help us with conversations that might be having like a support type role, but how do you actually… Like, you’re listening to this, you go, ‘Yeah, I get it. James Taylor, you’ve given me an idea, a light bulb’s gone off. I’m going to go over and check out Watson.’ But what happens? You go to the website, and then what?
James T.: Yeah. So, we go to IBM Watson have a different suite, and there’s other companies, not just Watson, Microsoft have their own version as well, Hosanna.
James S.: Does theirs work? Didn’t someone have one that went a bit rogue?
James T.: Yes. This is the thing. We’re kind of a little bit in the Wild West. It’s not quite as bad as the early 90s in the internet marketing world when there were lots of these long pages with yellow highlighter.
James S.: And red headlines.
James T.: It’s a little bit like that, and it’s a little bit like you know, in the 2000s apps.
James S.: I think one of those robots became like a communist or something.
James T.: Yeah. This is the interesting thing. When you start getting into the AI… Let’s imagine if you have a child and you start teaching it all these incredible things and you’re instilling all your knowledge that you have and you’re passing all this on and you’re hopefully teaching the child values. But at some point, in their life, maybe when they hit puberty, they’re going to go, ‘Actually, I have a completely different set of goals from you. I want to do other things.’
AI-assisted keynote speaking
And that’s the slight danger with AI, is that we can get to a point where with AI, it can say, “OK, those goals are all very good, this is what you want to do, but actually, I have completely separate goals for myself.” That’s the threat piece. But it’s just going to bring it back to like, this, kind of grand, and actually if someone is listening to this and doesn’t know how they can do it, I’m just going to use the example of speaking, keynote speaking.
James S.: Yes. That’s the exact example that triggered my interest, as someone who every month puts together a keynote for my own audience. Is there something that I could apply from this podcast that would help me?
James T.: I’m going to take you through how I do a keynote, and I’ll show you how the AI bit comes in. Because when I say to people, I’m using AI for my keynote, they think, ‘Oh, that’s great, you’re cheating, because you just basically have AI write the speech.’ And that’s not what I’m doing at all. I’m using it as a tool. So, this is my process for how I write a speech or a keynote. You could use it whether you’re giving a keynote to a thousand people or whether you’re giving a presentation as a salesperson. It doesn’t really matter.
This is the kind of steps I do. So, the first thing I always do is going back to the human part, is I’m having a conversation with the client I’m speaking to. So, I’m getting on that call, having a conversation with the CEO of the company, or the vice president of sales and marketing, whoever’s really bring me in to speak to their organization. And I am trying to find, what are the emotions that you want me to bring out in the people, you know, what do you want them to feel, what do you want them to have learned by the time they’ve left. So that’s kind of the initial human part.
Then I do the other human bit as well, which I sit down on my backside with a cup of tea (because I’m in the UK) and ideate, and just think, think through this. We’ve taken all this information about a subject, you may be a subject matter expert, but you want to be coming up with your own ideas and your own thoughts around it. So, I ideate, and then start doing like a brain dump, writing stuff down.
So, this is all even before I bring the AI into it. I’m researching as a keynote speaker, I’m using probably more stories than maybe other types of speakers, and I’m using also a lot of visuals in what I’m doing in terms of my presentation, because I know that stories are going to make people listen, but it’s visuals that will make them remember. So, I have to have that visual component to what I’m doing with the stories.
Then what I do is I start to essentially kind of write my first version of my speech, get the structure and write the first version. When I’ve done the first version of my speech, very basic version, I’m just doing the same with a PowerPoint presentation. I will then do what I call a table read. And this goes to what actors do, where you’ll do a reading of it so you can feel what it feels like to be presenting this particular pitch, this particular kind of presentation.
I’ll then do a second draft of that, making all the changes I want to make. And then when I’ve got that second draft in text form, I will then go into IBM Watson, and they have one key tool you want to use there. It’s called Personality Insights. So, because I know who I’m speaking to, let’s say if I’m speaking to, like the other day I was speaking to a thousand B2B marketers at a conference. These B2B marketers are a little bit different from B2C marketers and that they tend to be a bit more analytical. They’re talking about big numbers. It’s sometimes called the unsexy part of marketing for B2B marketers. I don’t believe that. I think it’s amazing stuff.
So, what I would do is I would take the Twitter accounts of the association or the organization I’m speaking to, let’s say they’ve got 20,000 Twitter followers. I will then, essentially, I can just take that handle, that Twitter handle of that association, put it into IBM Watson. It will give me a visual representation on a graph, like a circle, like 76 different personality characteristics of the audience. So, I can see, from just looking at that one graph, what the personality of the overall audience is in the room.
So, I’ll give you an example. When I was giving that B2B, that speech to B2B marketers, the areas that were much higher than I would normally expect to see them were around things like wanting things to be proven. So obviously, they’re coming from a more statistical background, many of these people they admit, there’s a lot of data analysts about that type of conference. So, they’re wanting me to be using much more stats, much more data to support what I’m saying.
I spoke the week before that to a room of authors, thought leaders, experts. They want much more like, almost integrity, as in why are you up there on stage? What is it that brings you to that point? Like, more heart-centered stuff. And I can see that from a visual representation. So, imagine almost being able to have a bit of a cheat in some ways, being able to see exactly who your audience is and what is important to them. Then what I do is I take my keynote, that text, copy that text, and paste the text into IBM Watson, their program is called Personality Insights, and then that will give me exactly the same, the visual representation of the personality of my keynote.
Then what I do is I overlay the personality of my keynote with the personality of the audience, and it will very quickly then show me, Ah, OK James, you’re not hitting enough here around, let’s say, trust. This audience wants much more trust involved. So, I’ll figure out how to bring that into a story. Or, this audience wants much more about community, and these are all different kinds of personality types.
And so then, I’ve got that information. That then allows me to go and start doing a third draft of my PowerPoint based upon that new data that I have in. So, I have this tool that’s essentially allowing me to kind of see into the minds of the audience I’m speaking to and know that I’m going to be hitting all the different points. Because the social media accounts are just reflecting, this is what we’re finding with Facebook, they’re reflective of the people and their personalities.
Once I do that, I go back to the human part of me again, and I do what we call beats and transitions, and that’s like oratory type devices where I’m like a musician, at certain points they can ramp up, they’ll increase the volume or there’s a transition between one song to another. I’m doing exactly the same thing. I’m going, how do I transition from this story to this story? Then I’ll do blocking, which is where if I’m speaking, let’s say I’ve got a particular story and it really gets down to be a personal type of thing, then I want to be at this part of the stage and I want to be presenting in this type of way.
Then I’ll do my performance stuff, where I’ll memorize it. I’m checking for my cadence, I’m trying to get rid of all those ums and ahhs and all the stuff that you do there. I then fill in that, I send that to some of my team, my speaking mentor, get feedback from that. I rework then, based upon that, and memorize that. And then I go out and perform it and give that keynote.
Half human, half machine
But the thing I want to stress here, you can see the AI is right in the center of that, but it’s not the only part. It’s what you call “centaur.” Your heart is a half-man, half-beast character. This is what Garry Kasparov, all the great chess players do now. What you call a “centaur chess player” will beat any human chess player any day of the week. Centaur chess is a human paired with an AI that will beat any chess player any day of the week, and it will also beat any AI working on its own any day of the week.
This is what we can do, whether you’re marketers or speakers, you basically can use the thing you’re amazing at as a human – your creativity, your strategic thinking, your imagination, and then combine that with this incredible tool of being able to use AI to create something. And the audience, that audience member just feels that your speech lands with them and feels that they’re talking to you, you’re speaking in their language, you’re speaking in their lingo. It’s kind of weird.
And then you will see this coming back in terms of your ratings from speaking because people will say things in their ratings like, “Wow, it felt like he was really talking to me,” or, “He really understood.” It’s kind of a bit weird, you know, and I’m showing you kind of behind the scenes of it as well. Some people feel, well that feels very manipulative, but really what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to be a great presenter, great speaker and a great marketer. Marketing always comes asking the Ryan Levesque stuff, ASK. Ask what your audience wants. Don’t try and impose what you think your audience wants. And that’s where it comes back to AI.
“Ask what your audience wants. Don’t try and impose what you think your audience wants.”
James S.: It kind of reminds me of the tool that I found out about when I was at Ryan’s ASK workshop, and that was TagCrowd, where you paste in text and it pops up a little word cloud of the most commonly used words. It sounds like Watson is doing something very similar but with personalities. And it’s giving you some kind of detail like you might expect to see in your Facebook page analytics or your Google Analytics. It shows you male, female, education level, those sorts of stats.
James T.: Yeah.
James S.: How much does Watson cost?
James T.: So, this is the bizarre thing. Most of it, well, much of it is free. If you go on to IBM Watson, you have a thing called Bluemix, just look for Bluemix, and you can get many of these tools for free.
It’s a very interesting time, because they’ve been primarily working with large enterprise companies. So, some of my friends involved in IBM, they’re working with large pharmaceutical companies, for example. Now they’re starting to transition into more kind of the entrepreneurial space and smaller type of companies as well. So, they’re looking for thought leaders all the time, people that can show examples of how they’re using this.
So, for example, I was talking to Brian Fanzo the other day. Brian Fanzo and I are speaking at an event together, and Brian Fanzo is a real leader in using social media and millennial marketing. And so, he is part of one of the influencing groups, IBM. So, they’re looking for people, maybe people listening to this just now who are experts in their area.
What AI did for a horror movie
I’ll give you another example, there was a movie that came out last year or two years ago, maybe last year, called Morgan. And what they did with Morgan… Did you see that movie?
James S.: No, I saw movies like She, and I’ve watched Black Mirror, and I feel like they’ve been giving good sort of viewpoints as to where things could potentially go.
“By the end of this year 20 percent of business content would have been authored by a machine.”
James T.: Yeah. So, here’s the interesting part about that Morgan movie. So, they estimate by the end of this year 20 percent of business content would have been authored by a machine. So, no human would have created that content. That’s white papers, that’s SMS messages, that’s e-mail messages. A machine would have authored that, AI would have authored that.
So, with Morgan, what they decided to do is like, let’s feed into IBM Watson the hundred or 200 best horror movie trailers, and let’s see if IBM Watson can figure out what the commonalities are between all these trailers. So, they fed in like, 200 great horror movie trailers, and then what they did is they fed in all the raw material from the Morgan movie, and the AI created a trailer, three-minute trailer, which if you go online to YouTube you can watch the Morgan trailer. That trailer was created by an AI. And here’s the thing – it is as scary as any other trailer you’re going to see. It’s an amazing trailer. And that took them, normally a trailer will take 10 to 30 days, to create a movie trailer. That trailer was created in around 24 hours. So, if they’re doing that with something as complex and as big budget as a movie trailer, just think what they could be doing with other types of content marketing.
James S.: Yeah, that’s interesting. I think I remember hearing about that, but I don’t watch horror movies, which is probably what stopped me. When I heard you talking about the keynote, I remembered, I know they’ve fed this stuff in to make movies, they’ve created little chatting software. The episode of Black Mirror is where that person passed away and they fed his account into the machine and then it started emulating this person.
James T.: Yeah. That’s already happening now.
James S.: Yeah. And those like, robot dogs, those things, you know, they can open doors now. I think that was such a fascinating series. I watched every single episode, and the social rating is happening in China. So, if you haven’t watched Black Mirror and you’re listening to this, I would recommend you do, just as a sort of step in this direction. But I’m going to go and check out Watson and I’m going to feed in some things.
What can you feed Watson?
Wouldn’t it be fascinating to feed in my book transcription into the machine and see what it tells me?
James T.: Yeah. So, I think what you do is, in your case you’d feed in, first of all give it your Twitter handle, because there’s all those other correspondences kind of going on there, or maybe give it the Twitter handles of some similar types of, let’s say there’s particular associations or….
James S.: Well, in Intercom I’ve got the Twitter handles for all of the members of my membership.
James T.: Perfect.
James S.: So, I could put in, like, you know, like quite a large sample size.
James T.: Yeah. So that’ll feed in, that will give you a sense of your, I mean you’ll know it as an experience, almost from a gut perspective, you’ll know what those things are. But then having that visual representation up and then feeding in, whether it’s your speech or you’re going to give it next live events or your book, you can then feed that into there and you can see, OK, how closely did these overlay that? Now, AI will then not go and tell you, ‘OK, you need to add this chapter in and do this kind of stuff,’ but that’s where you come in. That’s your job.
James S.: That’s what I was hoping it would do.
James T.: Unfortunately, not.
James S. But, you know, in my world everything that I do is transcribed, because mostly I speak, and then it turns into text, so I have transcriptions. You know, I could even punch in a few of my podcast transcriptions and see what’s happening. So, I’m interested to do this.
James T.: I was hearing the other day, and I don’t know actually who it is, it’s a coach in Australia, actually, who is creating a coach AI. I think he’s spent about a million dollars on it so far. And it is essentially allowing them, they’re just feeding in all their thoughts, all their transcriptions, pretty much everything they’ve ever done, feeding into the AI. So now, when their coaching clients are doing their, maybe their email coaching or their online coaching, they’re getting from it, it’s actually the AI coach that’s giving that feedback, because it knows what that human coach, that well-known coach would have said so well, it can actually say that. That’s leverage.
James S.: That’s fascinating to me. I mean, it does sound a lot like what Dale Beaumont’s done with his app. I interviewed him on this podcast about BRiN. But he has had a brand change, and he’s right into this technology. But the thing that I’ve been doing is documenting my coaching notes for about nine years. I’ve written down notes every single session, so I know all the topics and the patterns, what comes up over and over again.
And I think you’re right that I would intuitively know most of what’s happening, but the interesting thing is when I did the ASK survey, a whole area came up that I wasn’t creating an exact section for, and that was around team and scaling. Because it was so familiar to me, I wasn’t experiencing the pain and awareness that my students have, because a lot of them have small operations, trying to get one or two or three or five people. And because I’ve been running teams for 20 years, it just didn’t occur to me that it’s such an issue. And the ASK survey brought that out.
So, I’m very interested to know what will be revealed that has been currently blind to me, in the same way as the Johari window works, which is that area of the quadrant that I don’t know. There’s two areas, actually. I don’t know, and Watson knows, maybe? And then there’s probably stuff that I don’t know and Watson doesn’t know, which we’re yet to discover in the future.
The importance of mentors
James T.: You’re almost kind of pulling also on the role of a mentor, there. Now, you’re a mentor for me, as part of SuperFastBusiness, in terms of the online parts of what I do. In my speaking I have two mentors – I have a mentor that works on the actual speech, the craft part of what I do, and a mentor that works on the kind of business and the sales part of what I do, because he’s one of the most successful speakers in the world. He gets paid very large amounts of money to speak all over the world.
And this is the thing I always think with that is, is it so hard to see what’s written on the bottle when you’re in the inside? You need to have that person that can reflect back to you what you just cannot see. And so, I’m a huge fan of just having mentors.
So, I was interviewing someone yesterday, and he said something really interesting, and he said, I think this was from, I’m not sure what culture it was from, but they were saying, whenever you have mentors, you should always have a mentor that’s older than you, and a mentor that’s younger than you. Because the mentor that’s older than you is maybe further along the road and can teach you certain things, but the mentor that’s younger than you is basically kicking you up the butt to go, ‘OK, I need to like, really up my game – this guy or this woman, she’s coming along really, really fast.’
James S.: It is very interesting, and one thing that stands out when I’m doing things with you behind the scenes is how fast you execute. You’re an excellent implementer, which means you get tremendous value from having these people around you because you actually pay attention and then do the things, and that implementation part cannot be understated.
AI, the Iron Man model, and heart
James T.: I think that goes back to what you said just there, the team. That would be impossible for me to do if I didn’t have a team. So, I’ve got a team, in my case I’ve got a team of five, mostly in the Philippines, and they allow me to be able to implement at that fast rate. And so, if you think about the AI, essentially the AI is going to be like another team member, for me. And it’s just going to be a pretty highly leveraged one, because the way I think about it is, I don’t want to give a task to a human being if it’s going to take time away from their families, if it is going to do stuff that I think is beneath them. I’d rather give that to a machine.
James S.: Exactly. It’s like, I gave my team the logins for Trint, and whenever I do a podcast they run it through Trint and the software turns those words into text and that’s their first draft for transcription. And it speeds up their process. I don’t want them sitting there, listening to me, typing it word for word. Like, let them have a robot help them out. So, this is embracing technology, and my team don’t fear these tools. Whenever we can get a tool or a software or an automation that makes their job easier, it’s not replacing them – it’s just leveraging what we can do. That’s why we’re so fast.
And I have a team of five just like you. From the team-of-five club that we’ve got here, I could strongly endorse it. I actually called it the Iron Man model, and we talked about him before. And I actually heard some rumor that it was based on Elon Musk. But it’s where you can basically have this suit that does all these amazing things – it helps you fly and shoot things down and protects you from hard falls. So, it just compliments what you’re doing.
James T.: And I think you had a guest on a few weeks ago, the gentleman from Mindvalley. And I think what I find really fascinating is the AI thing, OK, it can sound very technical and everything and it’s not at all. I don’t consider myself a technical person, really, but I’m able to use that tool. But it kind of comes back to what he was talking about, was the reason he does things, the reason he builds companies, the reason that Richard Branson builds companies, is it’s a personal growth call to that as well. And AI takes away so much of the stuff that kind of gets in the way of you being able to focus on developing yourself and developing your team, as well.
So, I think where the really fascinating things that I call centaur marketing or augmented creativity is where we combine that real heart-centered, really the humanistic part of what we do that he was talking about as well with some of these pretty cool, slightly futuristic technologies.
James S.: Right. That was Vishen Lakhiani, and that was a super popular episode because he was very generous with his thoughts. And also, it’s a little bit different to your standard technical online marketing discussion, as this one is, and these are the sort of stories I want to bring to my audience. I want us to be on that bleeding edge of the bleeding edge. And if we’re doing it for great reasons, isn’t that a nice thing? We can sleep well at night. And I don’t have any issue with the label of manipulation, because if you ever need surgery, you want your surgeon to be manipulating those tools with precision. You want everything they do to be relevant to a positive outcome for you. And if you’re doing these things to be relevant and to help people, I think you actually said this in your speech framework, where do you want people to be after they’ve had that interaction? Then that’s a noble thing to be focused on.
James T.: Yes, it’s intention. As long as you’re going with the right intention. And where we’ve seen some terrible things recently, especially in social media, with the British company, Cambridge Analytica, recently had some pretty terrible stuff, is the intention was wrong. You know, the technology is benign.
James S.: It didn’t help, that old quote from Zuckerberg about people being dumb f*cks for giving him their logins and that there was some other thing I read where, at some point, he may have used their logins into other things, emails, to see if they were writing about him in the Harvard newspaper. This is all just alleged, I don’t know the details on this. But it doesn’t help, and you’re right, yeah, that tool was just a facade. It’s a Trojan horse for some nefarious purpose, and that’s where we have to be careful.
You got to have a good look at companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Between those people, they own pretty much all the data on everybody. And if something were to connect them, if they’re not already, like with the CIA or something, then they have everything. There’s nothing they don’t know. Like, you can find someone based on if you know their pet, these days. And the geodata that’s stuck in pictures that you post online on your phone reveal your house. I mean, everything is there. They already know all this, so we have to be careful.
James T.: And I think old fogies like us, because we’re not necessarily digital natives, I mean we’ve lived with this and we work in this all the time…
James S.: We’ve lived without it and with it. And that’s been a blessing.
James T.: Yeah. And I think one of the interesting things from my friends and their kids is, I’m noticing something the kids are doing is they’re almost creating legends, in the sense that we’re a spy. If someone works for the CIA or worked for MI6 or MI5 or something, you have a legend. So, there is the real you, and then there’s this other you, that’s created, a legend. And I’m seeing a lot of young people almost doing this automatically now, creating their legend and recognizing that these are different things.
Ready Player One, great book, which I know is just coming out as a movie now, as well, with Steven Spielberg, is really talking about that. People having these two completely separate lives – the life that they keep hidden from technology, from social media, from places like that, and then the one that they put out to the world, the avatar of them, as well. And I think that’s going to be, I think people are going to be much more protective of their privacy and you’re going to see much more of that going on.
The best rock band marketer
James S.: That’s been really interesting. James, you have shared plenty of stuff with us. I know people can find out more about you at JamesTaylor.me. And I do have to ask you, who do you think is the best rock band marketer on the planet?
James T.: The best rock band marketer – it’s so difficult, because I tend to think the artists, all the artists I’ve ever worked with, the big sellers, at their core they understand branding and they understand marketing. So, sometimes the people that get the credit, where it’s the managers or the marketers, are essentially the people that follow in behind them. It’s the artists. So, I would look at people, artists like Lady Gaga, for example, I think is a genius. Now, she has an amazing manager behind her and has had amazing managers. But I actually think it’s sometimes the artists now because many of them have got the tools at their fingertips now – they don’t necessarily need to go through a third party to be able to get their music and their message out into the world.
James S.: Right. So maybe like Taylor Swift or someone like that, as well.
James T.: Yeah. I know Taylor’s first manager and she – I mean, there’s just a huge amount of skill and craft that’s going on there, but….
James S.: Or Kanye?
James T.: Yeah. Here’s the thing: it’s still a team. And this is the thing, you mentioned you were at a Led Zeppelin gig the other night, so you, as the audience, you see that one person or there’s five people on stage. Me, as the manager, I stand at the side of the stage getting to watch. And so, I see the audience going mad, which is going great. Ten thousands of people out there. I see the artist up there that’s creating. But when I looked to my right, I see the hundreds of other people that are every bit as responsible for making that as a great show as the artist up on stage.
I call that backstage creativity as opposed to onstage creativity. And I think, unfortunately, our culture, the celebrity part puts that one person on the cover of the magazine, or the entrepreneur on the cover of the magazine, and it doesn’t give credit to the people that are behind the scenes. They are every bit as responsible for making that a great creative project or making a great creative company.
James S.: Yeah that’s interesting. I mean, in this case, I was there to see Robert Plant and the band that were supporting him were definitely secondary in my mind to the reason that I was there, and he was the one part of the Led Zeppelin that was on the stage. But gee, it was a great performance.
James T.: Yeah, yeah. And I mean, I know some of the crew in that band, and there will be a crew of 50 to a hundred people behind there, and you’re seeing some people out front like the sound engineers and stuff as well. And you know, I’ve had it where we’ve taken bands on the road and there’s been like multiple trucks and multiple buses. And we’ve had three nannies, because now many of those artists, they all have kids and grandkids and so you have to have nannies on the road. And sometimes the nannies are more hard work than the actual rock stars.
James S.: Wow, that is amazing. I actually did notice how good the lighting was, and how good the sound was. And Joel, who took me to this performance, sat us right near the sound desk. He said, “Hot tip: sit near the sound desk. This is where you get the good sound.” And I’ll be forever grateful. Big shout out to Joel Ozborn.
Alright, so we’ve talked about artificial intelligence, how it might be useful for marketing. You definitely gave us a whole bunch of things we can implement. We’ll have this episode completely transcribed and accessible on SuperFastBusiness.com. James Taylor from JamesTaylor.me is our special guest. And I want to say thank you for coming and sharing this and thank you for sharing some of this inside SuperFastBusiness membership. It’s a classic example of how I learn more from my students by being in there and answering questions and observing the conversations than they’ll ever know. I mean, it’s just a rich tapestry of learning for me and I love to get a story like this and magnify it, because we can be in front.
If you’re on to Watson now, you’re in front of your competition and you’re at the leading edge. So that’s been a wonderful share. Thank you so much.
James T.: And you’ve been a great coach to me and I think this is the thing I’ve always found with memberships, having quit other ones in music is, people join initially for the content, but they stay for the community and the character of the person that’s leading that. And so, myself included. I came initially, becoming a SuperFastBusiness member, because I wanted that content or that learning in terms of being able to drive my business. But the reason that you stay is because there’s you, as the character of the person behind it, leading it, but also the community of all those incredible other entrepreneurs are in there as well, sharing their things and sharing their insights, and that’s just sparking ideas from you.
James S.: I love it. It’s a beautiful thing. Thank you so much and I’m sure we’re going to speak again when I notice something else you post because you’re a very interesting man, James Taylor.
James T.: Thank you very much for having me on the show.
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