Survey data from Loyalty360’s 2019 Loyalty Landscape found that a majority of today’s brands are looking into AI and machine learning. However, very few brands are past the initial investigation stage. It is, therefore, fortunate that we’re starting to see reports that give us the opportunity to know where the technology stands today.
 
The AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC), a first-of-its-kind organization committed to open discussion about where artificial intelligence (AI) technology can and should have an impact on advancement, today released the first State of AI in Advancement Report. The study is the first benchmark on the opinions concerning and the adoption rates and uses of AI in the advancement industry. It comes at a time when artificial intelligence is beginning to revolutionize philanthropy.
 
“We’ve entered an amazing chapter of innovation and progress with artificial intelligence,” says AAAC member Reed Sheard, Vice President for College Advancement and Chief Information Officer, Westmont College. “In order to truly harness this technology in a way that helps us build successful organizations, it will be critical to utilize AI in a manner that always seeks to benefit society. It is important to ask both ‘What can we do?’ as well as ‘What should we do?’. The early results we’ve seen represent new opportunity and I am excited about what the future holds.”
 
The AAAC’s State of AI in Advancement Report includes an historic overview of AI and its special connection to philanthropy, findings from a survey of more than 200 industry professionals on the state of AI in advancement, an analysis of how AI is changing the advancement workforce, and a pledge that the AAAC recommends all nonprofit advancement organizations take to ensure the ethical, effective, and fair use of AI within advancement.
 
“As artificial intelligence revolutionizes what’s possible in advancement, it’s incredibly important that we remember why we’ve committed our careers to organizations and missions that propel society forward,” says AAAC member Kim D. Rich, Executive Director Advancement Services, The Medical University of South Carolina. “The AAAC has included an AI Pledge in our study to address these ethical concerns and we encourage all organizations to consider this pledge as they determine how they will use AI in their work.”
 
Anyone in loyalty marketing should be following the development of AI. It has only begun to impact the industry, and as the technology develops, it will likely change loyalty and the role of loyalty marketers as we know them.
 

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