AI for Associations…is it time?

Written by Jeanne Sheehy

Chief Marketing Officer, Bostrom


Right off the bat let’s get the terminology down:

Artificial Intelligence – A branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers. The capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. (Merriam-Webster)

Machine Learning – The field of computer science dedicated to solving cognitive problems commonly associated with human intelligence, such as learning, problem solving, and pattern recognition. (Amazon)

Deep Learning – A subset of machine learning, deep learning is based on the same principles as a lot of the machine learning, but the model behind the learning is larger, more complex, typically requiring a lot of processing power and a lot of “learning data”. Examples of this breakthrough include image recognition, sound recognition, recommender systems, etc.

Augmented Intelligence – Some people believe artificial intelligence is too linked to science fiction and pop culture so this term has surfaced and is defined as an alternative conceptualization of artificial intelligence that focuses on AI’s assistive role, emphasizing the fact that cognitive technology is designed to enhance human intelligence rather than replace it.

Chatbot – A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation by using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory or text-based signals. Chatbots are frequently used for basic customer service and marketing systems. (Techopedia)

Okay, okay, so computers are taking over human cognitive capabilities and will replace 40% of the jobs we currently do. A new Brookings Institution report says “roughly 36 million Americans hold jobs with ‘high exposure’ to automation — meaning at least 70 percent of their tasks could soon be performed by machines using current technology. Among those most likely to be affected are cooks, waiters and others in food services; short-haul truck drivers; and clerical office workers.” Other experts project anyone driving a car for their job will be out of one in the next 15 – 20 years. Alarming yes, but there’s action to take – upskill, reskill, and/or change careers.

Association work is high touch in the areas of communication, connection and collaboration. So where will AI be the most beneficial? Below are tools already in use by associations that organizations large and small should consider:

ASAE recently endorsed as a business solution partner. This AI technology makes cutting edge AI available to everyone, allowing organizations of all sizes to interact with their subscribers regularly and be the number one resource their audience uses to stay on top of industry trends. They use your data, along with cutting edge Artificial Intelligence, to develop a real-time engagement profile on your subscribers. They then use that information to send uniquely personalized, smart email newsletters to each reader. Your own content is prominently featured along with relevant content from pre-determined, authoritative sources.

Social Intents is a Live Chat app that your team members can use to answer questions immediately on the website through an online chat feature. You can also leverage advanced natural language processing with their integration with Google’s Dialogflow. Answer questions, build leads and create advanced chat bot sales funnels for your association.

Bold360 by LogMeIn, makers of GoToMeeting, have a conversational AI chatbot among other solutions for customer service. Their chatbot can understand, remember, and respond like humans, so your members can just be themselves and get the help they’re looking for in a quick, personalized way. It can be branded, work across all messaging channels, and is never scripted but always customizable with transparent AI.

Right now these AI technologies are focused on communications and customer service but just think what kind of power instant feedback on your website, your newsletters, your mobile apps can give you to increase engagement, increase recruitment and better serve your members?  The following are productivity AI apps to make your staff more efficient:

The Timely app automatically captures all the time you spend across devices in web and desktop apps and pulls in GPS locations and phone call data to give you a complete picture of your working day.

Aloe is a note taking AI assistant that gives professionals and their teams a journal for meetings and calls. automates meeting scheduling and the related back-and-forth, so you don’t have to.

With, you can cut out unproductive pre-meeting preparation by pulling together relevant information from documents, digital files and CRM systems for your review – you never have to waste time rooting around for a specific file.

Otter is the smart note-taking and collaboration app used to get more value from meetings, calls, video conferences, interviews, lectures, and wherever important conversations happen. Record conversations right from your phone or computer. Import or sync recordings from other services. Integrate seamlessly with Zoom. Get real-time captions and, within minutes, a searchable transcript synched with audio and photos plus speakers and key phrases.

There are hundreds of email productivity apps as well but listing them would turn this article into a novel. This is just the beginning of the power of AI so hopefully this got you thinking about how your association could benefit. I now have to go upskill my marketing techniques to keep up with all of this!

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