The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

The Impact of AI on Sales and Marketing with Justin Williams


Artificial Intelligence or AI is a hot topic in sales and marketing today, but few in the field have the experience or exposure to provide a great deal of clarity.  We went outside of sales and marketing to speak with Justin Williams, founder of Tinman Kinetics, who is competing for the IBM Watson A.I. Xprize, to get a fresh perspective.

From the history of AI to the current state to discussions around what B2B sales will look like in the future, the discussion starts to paint a slightly different picture than we are seeing today.

Podcast Blog Link:

Value Prime Solutions:

Chad Sanderson - LinkedIn:

Tinman Kinetics:

IBM Watson A.I. Xprize:

Today, on the btob revenue executiveexperience, we're talking artificial intelligence, I'm your host chat,Sanderson and today we're going to talk to Justin Williams from TinmanKinnetics, a company, that's going after IBM Watson's Aix Prize to findout what his perspective on artificial intelligence are and how it's going toaffect sales and marketing. You're. Listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpin executives train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies or tools and resources. You've come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three to one all right, just reminderfor everybody: We want to buy you a cup of coffee in order to do that, all youhave to do is go to our website. BTOB revezeccom click on the link for thefeedback form fill that out and as a thank you for your time and insights,we will shoot you a gift card for a cup of coffee on us. Please take a secondto do that. The information is extremely valuable to us. We want tomake sure the show is providing value that you guys want. I'L. Thank you inadvance for your time today we're going to be talking artificial intelligence.This isn't something that is just affecting sales and marketing. It's aglobal concern. There are huge amounts of nasayers Elan Musk, Stephen HawkingBill Gates, a lot of people debating what is a i. What could it become? Whatshould it become? How should we limit it? How will it affect the jobs that weall have and our outlook on the world? untils e marketing is a little bitfuzzier right now. We're still not sure how it's going to effect be to becomplex sales, how it's going to affect marketing, even though we're startingto see products Kand of creep into the landscape today. What I wanted to do issomething a little bit different rather than talk about somebody who thinksabout ai from a sales perspective, I wanted to talk to somebody who livesand breezhes ai on a daily basis outside of sales. Some of the couldprobably explain it a little bit better for US help us get a clear picture ofwhat the future may hold so we're going to Beng with Justin Williams. He formeda company called Tinman, kinetics and they're going after the IBM Watson, AixPrize. It should be an interesting conversation. Hope you enjoy it.Welcome to the show. Justin is good to have you thanks for taking the time.Thank you excited to have you on the show today talk some artificialintelligence, extremely hot topic today across a lot of industries, not justmine and looking forward to hearing yeah about how you guys are going afterthe you, O the IBM Watson, Ai Prize and all that and shareing some of theseinsights with the customers. So I'm thinking the first place to start is:Let's just start with your background and how did you get into ai sure long background in computer science andTechnology in general started my career wee back Wen in onethousand nine hundred and ninety six and was a very strong introvert at the time?So I wanted to make sure that I was staying away from people as much aspossible, so I got into embedded systems programming typical types of developers at firstpeople who likes to stay away from people in dark rooms. You know it's classic right: It's my people. Life had some different plans for me,though slowly but shurely. I got away from micro processors and assembly codeand to Server Technology and server technologyled to front and Development and and pretty soon I was spending the majorityof my time talking to people which, which turns out it was all right.So it's been quite the quite the path. I really I really gotinto software, because it was way to impact people and impact people in abig, broad, important way and again at the time without having to talk to them,but but it turns out there's a lot of waysto scratch that particular motivation and so I've led teams. We work together at a little agency wayback in the day and...

...and and and then artificialintelligence really hit the scene in a big way. There was kind of there'salways been an interest, obviously by a lot of people, including me for a longtime, kind of watching it and ther'r sort of hit a a milestone where thedata got big enough, that the artificial intelligence got really goodand when I say artificial intelligence, we're still a long ways from you know,an android that that is human like right. But butthere's there's this suite of tools. That kind of broadly we talk about asbeing early ai that that is really cool, but unfortunately, there's also a lotof negativity around that there's a lot of snake oil out there there's somedoom Sayers, pretty pretty famously on Elon Musk,founder of SPACEX and open Ai, as recently said that Ai will be the cause of world war three,and it should be a much greater concern to Americans than North Korea. Well andthen puten comes out and says: Whoever you know, whoever masters Ai will rulethe world. So you're right, you know definitely a lot of naars. I mean helans, not alone yeah, so the IBM Watson, artificial intelligence sex prize cameout, and when I saw that I thought that it really spoke to me aboutputting the positive spin on ai, because I think the pioneers of ai arereally the ones that are going to define what this reality is like downthe road, and I wanted to be a part of that. So, let's take a second, so our audienceis largely sales, anmarketing people and there's huge topic of AI in sales, but but I want to makesure we set some context for our audience. First now you and I've hadwe've had multiple conversations about this. We both Keek out on this topic,but I would love, let's start with kind of the the overview from yourperspective, of what does artificial intelligence really mean? Where are wetoday versus the the snake oil people that are that are out there and what'skind of the next step? What's the next evolution? Sure great great questionvery broad question: Yeah prob probably should have been a little more specific,but I'm just GOINNA. Let you roll with that. One well, you know you reallycan't be more specific, because you know this thing kind of came out ofleft field and it is broad. It's not one thing. It's kind of AE. WholeIndustry, that's coming to th together, which is fascinating to see so there'syou know the Deda Science Aspects of this that you know a lot of people think thatthey were working in statistics and doing some of these things for a longtime. But now it's it's just become machine, assisted and something alittle bit beyond that and there's all the personalizationengines and things that marketers and sales folks, I'm sure, are veryfamiliar with that: try to target individuals based on their ownactivity and some ethnographic guesses about what they might be like and howthey compare to their peers and so forth. There's the chat, bots that arecoming to more prominence, IBM Watson fairly, famously used a chat, Bot and aknowledge engine to beat jeopardy contestants Ng ago, but wasn't thatjust like a big super powered search engine with some? You know with somelinguistic recognition software on the front end or Wer eor. was there moresecret sauce to it? Well, I mean ultimately that kind of is what we'retalking about. Right is I kind of think of of computer sciences as branching intotraditional physics. If you'll bear with me on this analogy for a minute,in quantum physics, quantum physics is all about. The statistics andtraditional standard physics is all about the direct equations right. Thedirect modeling and a lot of machine learning is about the statistics, andtraditional software is about those...

...equations that the directly inputedfrom a computer programmer. This is what you're going to do, but when you kind of hand it over to the statistics to thedata to tell the computer what to do, sometimes you get unexpected resultsand it can become a black box that a lot of people don't necessarily knowhow it's coming up with the answers it is, and nobody specifically programmedWatson to figure out how to answer those questions based on Wi competygame entries it just they just fed that information in andstatistically speaking, it kind of figured it out for itself with some variety of learning techniques. So Imean from a so that's that right. There is where its a little scary right. Itfigured it O if Youl get it out, so you got you basically take Serie and I'mover simplifying. So just to the audience knows, I have I'm dangerouswhen it comes to these topics so I'll over simplify, but so you have seriebasically plugged into the Internet and they call it Watson and somehow itfigured out when a question was asked where and how to go, find thatinformation and spit it back out. But the were and how it figured that out.What's how did that happen? What's that? What's that secret sauce in there,because to me, that's the that's the mystery to the laymen, that's themystery of it! If a programmer didn't tell Watson! Okay, when you hear aquestion, and you can tell it's a question based on you know the thelinguistic structure of the words that you're hearing you know it's a questionand you didn't tell it to go: Look how how did it figure that out tha language really speaks to one of mygrate passions for artificial intelligence in general, and that's areally great example, and as and look at something like series so way back in the day, a lot of very,very smart programmers and very very smart linguists came together and triedto build some really complex rules just around the English language to be ableto understand and parse an English sentence and be able to know what isthe subject. What is the verb? Not even what that means just what are thecomponents of a particular sentence and those models really kind of sucked just English? It's moving very fast,there's there's just a lot of complexity. Therules and very few people use the rules perfectly when they're using English sothen came along machine learning and we took a huge amount of of text that came from books. That camefrom newspaper articles different things like that, and we said,statistically speaking, you figure it out computer. Here's some examples ofthings that we've hand pasted. So you can kind of learn from what we're whatwe've hand crafted here, but then you figure out the rest and see how peopleare actually using language and the next thing you know you're born withSeri or all of these different natural language processing pieces and againthey don't have meaning behind it necessarily, but they understand how people are using that language and and again, and when you get down to thethe root of it. It is a series of weighted learning and when I saylearning I mean statistics right so it said: Did this work? Yes, then it givesthat a stronger weight, this not work. Then it lowers that weight, and it justdoes that Rinson repeat over enough data and it becomes really smart. Sothen it really comes down to processing power. How fast can you run those thestatistical analysis to figure out the right path? Yeah, and we haven't evenhad that kind of power to do this again, except in the last. You know decade ifyou're going to be generous, so this this really is an exciting beginning ofa whole new industry. Even if you've been in sales for decades, newtechnology, new buyers and new dynamics create challenges. Your team may not beready for value. Prime solutions...

...enables you to focus on sales on theprospects and customers, not the noise and the sales framework you implementwith them is simple, scalable and proven check out value PrimeSolutionscom, and ask how they can help. You Bet your target all right. We got abasis for for ai and en kind of the history of it where were at today. Sohow did where did Dinman cinnedicts come from and what are you guys aimingto do with the IBM wanton aiprize yeah? So this? This prize is a lot differentthan a lot of other exprises. If anybody's familiar with those xprisewas, is a foundation that launched such things as the spaceexprise that launched companies like spaceex, most exprise competitions have very fewteams. This one was a little bit broader in what it would accept, and so there was a lot of interest. Ahundred and forty seven teams were accepted in the initial round were partof that and and the goal is to answer humanitiesgrand challenges, it's as simple as that as to put a positive impact on artificial intelligence forthe benefit of humanity. So Tin Man was the an original robot that was actuallycreated before the term. Robot was ever coined famous for wanting hearts and kind ofhaving more heart all along than anybody else, and so we wanted to havetechnology with heart and we wanted to get rid of the thekind of the black box around Ai. Make it a little bit more approachable, makeit accessible to a broader audience, not just the the fortune. One hundredthat have the money today to be able to invest in it, but medium, even small business, can takeadvantage of this. As we start seeing this explosion of artificialintelligence capabilities and platforms, Excombas Yeap- and you guys, you guyshave you- have a unique. I thought when we were talking about it, kind of aunique take on what you're trying to accomplish with storytelling. Can youacalpolr audience understand that yeah, so there's a lot of ways that you cango with that general mission right, so our particular xprise entry is, is just trying to capture legacy and be able to share that with futuregenerations is kind of the short version of this. The invention of paper made the abilityto share knowledge easier. The invention of internets and emailarguably made it easier, but you also have a little bit of informationoverload of your in book box, an say anything like mine, at least yeah and and the next devolution of that isgoing to be too foll. We want to be able to let people record their stories,but we also want people to be able to access those stories. I know my kidsaren't ready for a lot of the stories from my family from my own life. Myfather was a cop for a while. You can imagine he's got some some interestingstories. I had a grandmother that the era of World War Two survived afire that burn ninety percent of her bodyand she had to learn to paint with her toes while she recovered in thehospital with with pig skin covering her and losing fingers and stuff andwent on to have five kids, including my mother. You know there there's a lot ofpowerful stories and I've got. My youngest is just about toturn to and she's, not really ready for grandma's stories yet yeah, but what asource of strength and inspiration and some of the darker side of this tooright, there's, there's some family history that we can learn from that,isn't always positive, and I want to be able to capture thatand when she's ready to be able to have her have natural language conversationsthat that let her explore these stories...

...and let those stories remix in a waythat specific to her and so that's that's. The root of our competitionproject is to be able to to take serie that understands language,pretty well improve that and then also dramatically improve the natural language generation or thetalking back part of of Ai a and have some meaning andcultural stories, and preservation is a heart of that, and so correct me. IfI'm wrong, is I think, through this? It's it's almost like you know thepaper was invented. Now you can share the knowledge you can capture it.Internet comes along and, like I said, information overload a d an quitefrankly. Let's t be honest, O much crap a D, and this seems to me like a returnalmost to the oral tradition, but in a much more interactive manner that isn't constrained by thelife cycle of the storyteller. Yes, exactly that's exactly right, I thinkthere's a lot to get from more of the oral tradition in a digital age andthere's not really been a way to do that until artificial intelligence,excellent okay. So now, when we think about I mean storytelling is obviouslybig topic in sales of marketing to people are trying to understand thepower of stories right, especially, this audietce should understand you'remuch better off when you're doing a complex sale, telling a story ratherthan Sayi Hey my product does xyanc and go into features and benefit, but we'reseeing ai pop up in really odd, maybe not odd. Maybe it's just the firstplaces, ATS POPP IT UP, but everybody's talking about Ai, an sales, and you seeit sometimes in the latest example I saw is there's a new software product.I think it just came out or it's inbade a called Balto software, andessentially they say- and I don't know how it works. You probably can decipherthis, but essentially, if I I'm oin to call like with you, this program isrunning into background and it's actually giving me visual cues on myscreen. As I am talking to you and it's telling me: okay, they just put you onmute or based on that response. They're, not paying attention they're, notgetting it or you're, talking too fast right and that to me doesn't seem tofulfill the whole promise of Ai, but it's a very unique application in salesthat may not get in the way of the actual sales process right. The concernbecomes some of these AI tools. I think, have the risk of becoming far tooinvasive in the sales process and delaying the human connection. So I'mkind of curious. Maybe that goes back to the doomsayer stuff with you onmonth. But but I'm curious, if you think about you, know sales is peoplebuy from people at least today, people by for people, and they want to trust.Can you see other scenarios where you think ai will be a great application incomplex sales and marketing situations? Yeah? I actually really like thatexample. I'm not sure the execution is ideal, but but I like that it's people buying frompeople still because I think one of the core goals that we have is that wethink the technology should empower people. It should supercharge peoplewith artificial intelligence. It's not something that should replace people.When I look at the future of jeopardy, I see a bunch of contestants, each ofthem with their own version of Watson and their own transparent version thatthey understand how Watson is, is coming up with helpful strategies for them andcompeting with each other ad sort of level that humans nevercould and then machines couldn't without people dhe. You already seethis with some chess competitions out. There actually is have a bunch ofpeople assisted by a I, but still it's a it's a partnership, it's not areplacement, and so that idea of artificial intelligence, helping youalong the way and evaluate a situation,...

...especially when it may be difficult,especially like, for instance, over a phone call where you don't have bodylanguage. t sort of give you back that body. Language sounds like a really good applicationto me, because I don't think that that anytime soon we're really lookingat useful techniques that replace people outright even down at the lowest levels. At thegrunt stuff. You see some of the some of the fast food chain storesreplacing people with Automatid kioks right. You know, where's your where's, yourmanagement going to come from. If you cut the bottom out of the bottom rungof the ladder out from your workforce, you know. Is there a way to maybe makethose people more efficient, more accurate? You know super charge them make them beable to do more with less, without replacing them out right and reallyharming yourself and they'll not to distant long term as we're alreadysaeying. Actually, and that balance is interesting right I was, I was talkingto Gable arcines O vpof insidesales, and we were talking about kind of howsales has swung from you know. There was you know, people that did every dideverything right back in the day, then technology coves in and now we've kindof overspecialized in sales o you have SDR who sets appointments and then in aAccoun manjer who who actually talks to them- and you know it's gotten to thepoint where specialization and and there's some debate on this, butspecializition may actually be getting in the way and hugs this analogy of oftech being able to create the kind of that iron man. Sales person, like you,have a Jarvis that you're working with that Jarvis in I of itself is cool, butthere is a power in that in that partnership between the two that makesboth parties better. Now the question becomes you throw in the millennialsright and we've got in sales there's a whole another challenge withmillennials. These are these: Are People that have grown up withtechnology right they're used to looking at their phones? How at you andI used to talk about the stats like people literally Millenas- will rollover and pick up their phone before their touch, their significant other,so they're very they're, very used to this technology, and then I can seethat I can see it becoming very powerful when they parted with it, butmy concern would become: Does it run the risk of making, andmaybe this is broader than just sales, but does it run the risk of makingsales people or just people in general, Lazier at being human? Hmm? Well, I think if there's not a lotof work to be done, then thet runs at risk. From my perspective, I neverhappeneough hours in the day, so I don't know about that. But, but I thinkone one interesting point to kind of emphasize here is the next phase of AI,which is a huge focus of our project, for xprise is semantic ai, that's themeaning behind you know words, the meaning behind theactions and so forth, it's kind of taking that black box and making ittransparent- and it's also is varied as there are meanings to to to doing any kin given task. So toback that up a little bit, you know, ask three people, the meaning of life.You know get six answers right, there's no one, there's no mathematicalright answer to meaning and that's why it's such a difficult problem inartificial intelligence. So when we are talking about storytelling, it's alittle bit easier because we can put some some confines and somepersonalization and we can say what that meaning of that story is supposedto be. But what you'll see is that as artificialintelligence gets better and starts partnering with people more, it's goingto reflect the person it's working with more, and that means that you'll havevery different results from that millennial versus the season sales,professional. Even though the emonial will be assisted and super powered andincredible ways, their approach will be...

...different and the artificialintelligence that semantics behind that, if this is done well, is going toreflect that and there's there's an infinite number of combinations ofpeople and AI assisted approaches out there that that's just going to to paint the universe and all kinds ofinteresting colors. Well in that and it gets close to, I mean not- and this maysay more about me than the audience wance to know. But to me it almostsounds like the a I would have: Borderline personality disorder and yes,everybody that is, that is a DSM qualification. Don't ask how I knowthat or why interesting childhood, but anyway I mean if the AI starts to takeon or augment like. If you and I were given the same set of AI and itsexposure to us as people kind of shapes itself, then there isn't. Maybe that reduces the fear thatthere's one cognitive sky net right, that everybody is a determinatorreference, guys aor the young ones sky at kind of thing, where there's justone consciousness, digital consciousness, and I think that's whatand maybe I'm wrong. But I think that's what scares the crap out of people isthat Itats to the point where you know all the Doom Sayer say: humanity is avirus and, let's you know, launch the bombs if you incorporate and melt thehumanity into the AI and they they amplify each other. I think in my wrongand thinking that probably there's some reduction of risk associated with thatapproach. I think that's absolutely true. That was the goal of Velan USKSmusks OPENAI initiative. It was to make ai kind of for everybody and andhonestly, it's just the natural progression. You know we had mainframecomputers back in the day and then we had personal computers and personaldevices and sure there's a lot of cloud computing, but that personalization, no matter where it lives and exists, isgoing to be just the natural course that this is going to run. We're goingto all have multiple agents that are acting on our behalfs that are morelike us than they are our friends who have their own agents. Excellent,excellent! Well, just I've really enjoyed this conversation and you- andI could talk about this for hours if there's people listening that wantto get more information on Tima cinetics or connect with you. What'sthe best way to do that sure just shoot us an email, hello at tinman, dot Io is a good way to do it and happy to talk more reallyappreciate the time today. Justice has been great cant. Thank you enough forcoming on the show and wish you guys the best luck with the prize aspossible. Thank you very much all right that doesnit for this episode of theBTB Revenue Executive Experience, Siam your host chat, centers and want tothank you for taking the time to listen to this episode. Please go to thewebsite. Click on the link fill out the feedback form B, Tob, revizaccom clickon that feedback. FORMAND will shoot you fivedolar Gift Card for a cup ofcoffee on us. If you've got feedback for us on the show or would like to etin touch with us, linked in obviously for myself or just shout us an email ataccelerate at value, prime solutionscom share the the podcast out with friends,family and coworkers. Let people know it's out there and if you get a chance,please write US review on itunes. We greatly appreciate that until next timewe have value prime solutions which you and Nou ors nothing, but the greatestsuccess you've been listening to the BTBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you somuch for listening until next time.

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