Another Friday and another Zoom meeting for RCSE!  The Board decided to continue with Zoom meetings through March with the goal of returning to in person meetings starting in April.  Once all Rotary business items were discussed, President Laura Lane McKinnon introduced our speaker for the day, Dr. Hyunju Shin, who is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Georgia Southern University. 
Dr. Shin began her presentation with a brief background of herself.  She was born and raised in South Korea and came to the United States on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship which allowed her to study marketing at the University of Alabama.  She became an Associate Professor at Georgia Southern University in 2015 where her focal area of research is on retailing and services market strategy.  She then talked with the club about how new technologies are transforming customer experiences.  There are three stages on a customer journey:1.  pre-transaction, 2. transaction, and 3. post-transaction.  Technology plays a role in all three.  
Dr. Shin then discussed Artificial Intelligence (AI).  AI are machines that exhibit aspects of human intelligence.  The machines are driven by algorithms.  With each task the machine performs, the AI agent improves in efficiency and effectiveness.  AI can comprehend, learn, act and perform jobs that typically require people skills.  For example, there is a smart compose feature in some email programs that will complete your sentences.  Dr. Shin then addressed the applications of AI in marketing.  In Japan, robots are used frequently in the hospitality industry at hotels and restaurants.  There are now companion robots for senior citizens which help remind them to take their medicines.  We have seen AI used in delivery of packages and we all have virtual agents in the form of Siri, Alexa, and Google Home.  Companies are using augmented reality and virtual reality to help enhance their customer experiences.  The benefits of AI are the amount of data that is able to be processed, low cost, accuracy, and there is zero attitude or sick days!  The risks of AI is privacy concerns and low emotional capabilities.  If you want to bring AI to your organization, you need to clearly identify goals and determine the purpose of AI.  In conclusion, Dr. Shin said that AI helps all businesses and businesses need to embrace AI.