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19 Reasons Why Pricers Should Fear Technology

Since the dawn of the computing age, scientists have obsessed over the idea of thinking machines. For decades, researchers have worked to develop artificial intelligence (AI) systems capable of learning new things and mimicking the human brain.

In the past, AI seemed more like science fiction than an actual possibility. It looked like humans would always be better than machines at certain tasks like understanding speech, identifying faces, understanding emotions, controlling a vehicle, or creating art.

Not anymore.

In the last few years, AI has come of age. Artificial intelligence can now do all sorts of things that once seemed impossible. Here are 19 things AI can do now:

1. Navigate an airplane

2. Sort recycling

3. Sort packages

4. Detect when you are in a bad mood

5. Win the board game Go

6. Carry on a conversation

7. Determine the optimal driving route

8. Drive a car

9. Play Scrabble

10. Defeat Jeopardy champions

11. Categorize documents

12. Forecast the weather

13. Book a plane trip

14. Recommend movies you will like

15. Make Netflix faster

16. Translate languages

17. Identify dog breeds

18. Compose music

19. Create art

If a machine can do all those things, could it also optimize pricing?


In fact, forward-thinking B2B firms are already using analytics and price optimization tools with AI and deep learning capabilities to do a better job of maximizing their profits. However, a lot of them are keeping these activities quiet. Because AI is still in its infancy, companies that are using this technology are able to gain a competitive advantage—at least for now.

So does this new wave of artificial intelligence mean that you’re about to be replaced by a robot?

Maybe, but maybe not.

While some experts predict that as many as half of current knowledge worker jobs will one day be performed by computers, others envision a future where humans and machines work together to accomplish more than they could alone. And many note that, at least in the short term, AI is creating more jobs than it is replacing because the economy needs people to design, run, and maintain those AI systems.

In other words, the rise of AI means that some people will lose their jobs and some people won’t.

The key to being one of the pricing professionals who gets to keep their jobs is understanding how AI and price optimization technologies work. To help you get started, we have a couple of resources: a webinar called All About Price Optimization and a guide called Analytics or Optimization: Which Do You Need? In addition, stay tuned for more research and coverage of how AI is impacting the pricing profession.

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