Dirk Knemeyer

AI, Big Data & Brand Loyalty

AI, Big Data & Brand Loyalty, January 13, 2017

The issue is right now it’s dumb data, so Netflix for example, very intelligently can push to us what we’re going to like to watch, and figure out what things to make to determine what we’ll enjoy. Their ownership of that data isn’t that valuable. If I … It’s convenient that I’ve rated a bajillion things on Netflix, and that is all there, but if I left Netflix tomorrow for some new service, I’m not losing that much. The data for me as the consumer, it doesn’t do much. It helps them maintain their business model of getting $12.99 a month out of me, fine, but beyond that, it doesn’t have a more over-arching value. I’ll say the same thing for Amazon. Amazon purchases. Those are even stupider because I don’t think that Amazon, that’s probably really, I’m naïve. I’m sure Amazon is using those things to figure out how to push things towards me that I would be more likely to buy, but it still is dumb.

There’s going to come a time, and it’s decades away, not years, when a machine can interpret that data and can draw conclusions about me as an individual. Conclusions that would draw me to date better people, draw me to pursue a better career. Draw me to spend my time in ways that are better for me. Draw me to … Plans to work around my weaknesses, or to proactively work with my genomic data to have me doing things or buying things, or behaving in context to make it less likely I die at an early age. That’s when it’s smart and that’s when it’s interesting.

Right now it’s being levered for capital gain which is fine and good, but it’s just not that interesting. If I left Amazon or left Netflix, it really matters very, very little. There’s other places to buy products, and certainly there’s other places to watch shows. Now, if anything, that market is overly saturated with Hulu and Amazon and others. The point I want to make is that yeah, in these ways that allow a company to be successful in capitalism, it’s great, but in terms of doing really meaningful things or things that matter to me where I’d be like “oh my God, I’m going to keep my Netflix for the rest of my life, because leaving it would just be too catastrophic”, it’s just nowhere near that. To me, that’s when this data will become really interesting, is the decades down the road when they understand the human animal well enough to use machine power to translate the choices we make into really, really changing our lives.

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