A Guide to the Artificial Intelligence Galaxy

By Hayley Panagakis, May 30, 2018

Knight in Shining Armor

Security is an ever-growing concern for the events industry. Planners must have a contingency plan for every scenario these days—whether it be threatening weather conditions or a dangerous person on event grounds. That’s where Knightscope comes in. Available throughout the United States and used at stadiums, malls, hospitals and corporate campuses for companies like Microsoft and Uber, Knightscope’s series of crime-deterring autonomous robots are made to enhance security patrol. Each of the three models (and a fourth in beta testing) is equipped with four cameras for 360-degree video, thermal imaging, license plate and person recognition, two-way audio and weather sensors. The K1 model is stationary and will soon have the ability to detect weapons, while the K3 and K5 models are mobile for indoors or outdoors, respectively.

Place one robot at the entrance to registration, another in the parking lot and another in convention center halls. While the bots can be hired for a mere $7 an hour, the unarmed machines aren’t intended to replace human security guards, who will be needed on-site if a danger does arise. Instead, Knightscope’s bots are made to provide security personnel with real-time information to increase their awareness and help them do their jobs more effectively.

Drowning in Data

Artificial intelligence is often viewed as talk of the future. While much of it is, marketers have been using it for years, likely without even realizing it. In 2008, for example, MailChimp launched its Omnivore system, an abuse-prevention initiative that uses AI to scan every email created on its service to deter spammers.

But AI has increasing potential in data processing—so much so that studies show AI could pose a real threat to the vitality of data-related jobs. Leadspace, for example, is a B2B audience-management platform that, in December 2017, received $21 million to accelerate its research and development. Utilized by brands like Google, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, SAP and many others, Leadspace uses AI to provide predictive intelligence and data to sales and marketing teams that enables them to find, target and engage with customers more effectively. Planners and their teams can use Leadspace to get a more educated prediction on whom to market to, which will in turn increase attendance.

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Should We Be Scared?

Killer Robots?

At National Governors Association’s 2017 Summer Meeting, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, warned politicians of the potential dangers associated with artificial intelligence. “AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization,” said Musk in an onstage interview, urging for pre-emptive regulation. “Until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal… AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive.” In August 2017, Musk was one of more than 100 leaders in AI to sign an open letter to the United Nations calling for prevention in the development of autonomous weapons.

Job Threat?

In a 2016 study by McKinsey & Company, manufacturing, food service and accommodations, retailing, and data collection and processing were reported as having the highest feasibility of becoming automated. The study also stated that it’s likely AI could replace jobs with predictable physical labor, but automate elements of other jobs.

While some jobs will be left for machines, Spellos says new jobs will be created in return. “This isn’t the first time in our country that this has happened,” he says. “What we are experiencing now is the transition from an industrial to information economy (in the same way we went from an agricultural to industrial economy [in the early 1800s]).”

What matters most is whether society and economies at large are able to keep up with the changes. “The difference is that the speed of change is so much greater today than it was in an earlier century that it will have massive, visible repercussions,” says Spellos.

How About Meetings?

Luckily for planners, artificial intelligence isn’t predicted to be much of a threat to jobs in the event planning field, largely because it’s highly relational and requires interaction with other people. Will Robots Take My Job? is a website created in response to a 2013 report by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne entitled “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?” Using data from the report, the website says event planners are low on the totem pole of being replaced by robots—a 3.7 percent chance, it says.

BUZZWORDS

> Artificial intelligence: A computer science framework focused on simulating human intelligence in machines

> Machine learning: A branch of AI that enables machines to learn from received data

> Deep learning: A branch of machine learning inspired by the brain

> Autonomous: A machine is autonomous when it is able to function independently without any human input after it has been programmed

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