CANNES — Artificial intelligence may get talked about a lot as a future technology. But the reality is that some of the big technology firms already make several AI and machine learning disciplines available for any developer to use in their own applications today.

That means the time is now to pick a horse in the AI race and back it, says Carrie Seifer, chief revenue officer at The Weather Company, whose acquisition by IBM has upgraded its own AI chops.

“If you’re not using AI in your marketing, you’re actually behind the boat,” Seifer tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “We have seen several different marketers, just with our tools alone, use it and get higher engagement, better CRM, increase their Net Promoter Score.”

How does AI help marketers and advertisers. The opportunities are many, but Seifer calls out planning, strategy and optimisation as areas that can benefit from machine intelligence.

Furthermore, The Weather Company is working with IBM’s Watson AI division to offer what the pair are calling a “Watson ad unit”, wherein Watson powers chat bot dialog between a consumer and a brand.

“It’s about how machine learning can augment what humans need to do,” Seifer adds. “It’s not cute anymore to not understand what your customer wants. They’ve given you all this data – if you’re not doing anything with it, then shame on you.

“Natural language APIs allow you to have a conversation with your customer with limited human interaction. You feed it data that maybe comes from your call centre.

“Just start exploring the APIs.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s AI Series from Cannes Lions 2017, presented by The Weather Company, an IBM Business. For more from the series, please visit this page.