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Roland Rust Gives “AI in Service” Keynote at European Marketing Academy Conference

Oct 12, 2017
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Roland Rust, Distinguished University Professor and David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing, addressed “Artificial Intelligence in Service” as a keynote speaker for the European Marketing Academy's 8th Regional Conference, Sept. 20-22, 2017, in Timisoara, Romania.

Rust, a fellow of the academy, was the leadoff speaker for the conference, themed “Bridging the Marketing Theory/Practice Gap and Competitiveness of the New Europe.”

Also executive director of Smith’s centers for Excellence in Service and Complexity in Business, Rust expanded on a premise that AI stands to be lucrative for companies, while daunting for workers. Given such incentive for employers, “the only hope for humans is to incorporate AI as part of the brain,” he said. “It’s not a joke at all…It’s already happening.”

For example, Elon Musk reportedly is backing a brain-computer interface venture called Neuralink, while Silicon Valley startup Kernel, according to The Verge, “has a growing team of neuroscientists and software engineers working toward reversing the effects of neurodegenerative diseases and, eventually, making our brains faster and smarter and more wired.”

“AI has already taken many mechanical jobs and it’s just a matter of time – 10-to-15-years – before a significant number of analytical jobs are gone,” Rust said. “So we’re talking 20-to-30 or 40 years before all jobs are under threat.”

Cyborgs “are no joke,” Rust said. “If you’re connected to a computer, you can calculate very well -- you can do everything a computer can do. So, [brain-computer interfacing] is probably the biggest hope for humans.”

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