Look, AI Everywhere

Ricardo Melo
3 min readJan 15, 2024

The last year was filled with challenges where we were not just asked to walk, but to run as fast as possible after the myriad of technological innovations that emerged daily and continue at a breathtaking pace. Every day, we see new tools based on artificial intelligence (AI), new services, and products. AI didn’t just open a path, but rather a multi-lane highway for us to travel at high speed.

This path requires a robust car to navigate, and in the search for this vehicle, we have many options and various extras. We need to get our license and develop skills that allow us to make the right choices, to understand the potentialities, but also the path that still lies ahead. It’s crucial to evaluate and clearly define the path we want to pursue in adopting and using AI in our products and services and how they can become assets rather than just a car we bought because our neighbor has one.

Imagine entering a world where the boundaries between the physical and virtual become increasingly blurred, where each product can be explored and experienced in realistic and personalized virtual environments, and where the effort to live this experience is ever lesser and simpler. Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Reality (VR), combined with AI, are making this vision a reality. These technologies are not just about enhancing the user experience; they have the potential to redefine how consumers interact with brands, how they purchase, and, most importantly, how they search. For example, they might see how a product looks in their home or try on a piece of clothing, and their research process and access to results can be more contextualized, such as having information from the nearest store showing the way there. All this can now be enhanced by AI, which learns and adapts to the context and individual preferences.

Moreover, product research is becoming a real-time and on-the-go experience. One of the developments that excite me the most, for example, are the new glasses from Meta (Meta Smart Glasses — www.meta.com/smart-glasses). Equipped with cameras, open-ear speakers, and powered by AI, they open up a whole new form of interaction where consumers can obtain information about a product simply by looking at it. This capability for instant and intuitive search is a remarkable advancement, providing a wealth of data and insights that were previously inaccessible or limited us to the use of a device that would require more effort or attention.

However, this technological revolution also brings challenges. Issues related to data privacy and ethics in the use of AI are growing concerns and increasingly debated in the search for effective regulation. Extreme personalization, while attractive, must be balanced with considerations for consumer data security.

Additionally, brands face the challenge of integrating these technologies in a way that complements, rather than replaces, the human experience. The personal touch and human interaction remain extremely valuable components in the buying process. As technology evolves to allow us more informed and optimized shopping experiences, the human aspect also has the opportunity to reinvent and enhance the same experience. For example, more personalized customer service for someone who enters a store after researching a specific product and wants human advice in their decision-making process or when we will be able to translate a benchmarking process between products into a human relationship after having information from a customer.

Technology can be a great ally in humanizing our purchasing processes. Technological evolution continues at full throttle, and the integration of AI in virtually all products and services is becoming a reality, opening new horizons in all industries. These technologies are changing not just how consumers research and buy products but also how they interact with brands. As we move into this new era, it’s crucial for brands to navigate these waters with an approach that balances technological innovation with ethics and human experience.

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