1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


We typically think of Robot's as a humanoid contraptions capable of restricted movement and speaking at us in a voice akin to that of an ageing rock star gargling Jack Daniels.  Not so the new fast automated marketing solutions of the post-naughties.  Ubiquitous and socially integrated these systems smile wryly at the inefficiencies of physical form, self assured in their ability to manipulate our behaviour without us even being aware of their presence.  This is stealth marketing, so humanised that you could be forgiven for succumbing to its delicate seduction, pressing return and inadvertently sharing your life history, next weeks holiday plans and all your lofty aspirations with the a machine. 

 

After watching Adam Ostow's TED presentation, 'After your final status update', I quipped on Facebook that when I die my daughter will be able to project my hologram and chat with a digital representation of me that predicts my reactions based on my facebook profile, tweets, you tube posts and so on. (But that I suspect she'll have better things to do!)  Perhaps this is a little far fetched but the marketing robots don't wait for you to pass away.  They want you to commit your money now and they put you in check every time you go online.  OK, so the objectives are set by real people; increase subscribers by 30%, increase per head spend by 10% but the method is increasingly sophisticated and invariably, at least in the case of bigger brands, becoming automated.

 

I've blogged a bit about SLAM (Simultaneous Location And Mapping) which in lay terms means both your location and environment can easily be computed using mobile phone data.  Combine that data with a platform that tracks your social media activity and allows for the creation of multiple automated responses given your situation and persuasion, selects the most appropriate message (if A=B then C; if A=D then E and so on) then triggers it to go out over the most appropriate channel to reach you at any given moment, SMS, email, Facebook post, tweet or whatever.  We then have invisible digital marketing robots designing our futures based on corporate objectives.  Perhaps you're rubbing your hands together thinking yes, we know, but if this sounds in any way disconcerting or even makes you feel oddly guilty tagging a friend in a photo fear not...  Thanks to a science fiction writer from the 50's, at set out at the head of the post we have The Three Laws.  So there's nothing to worry about as these are obviously written into the manifesto's of Ofcom, the Advertising Standards Authority, the Office of Fair Trading and all their international equivalents, all of whom have their feet firmly on the ground, are themselves immune to all forms of advertising, political and corporate whipping and are fighting daily for our psychological protection form any exploitation of anything that we may freely of express via machines.

 

Leading Interactive Marketing Solutions Providers:

http://www.neolane.com/uk/

http://www.unica.com/

http://www.sas.com/

http://www.aprimo.com/

http://www.alterian.com/

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/siebel/

http://www.sap.com/

http://www.portraitsoftware.com/

http://www.infor.co.uk/

http://www.teradata.com/

http://www.responsys.com/

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simultaneous_localization_and_mapping

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Laws_of_Robotics

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I set up Who'd of Thought It in 2010, as a blog and place to share and develop ideas. 

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