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Jul 29, 2015 Automation and Us

The movie studios’ war on intellectual property infringement inadvertently produced a lesson in automation the other day.

It was reported that a major movie studio demanded that Google de-list the IP address 127.0.0.1 for piracy. The trouble is: 127.0.0.1 is the “localhost,” that is, it’s reserved for whatever computer a user is on. That’s the sort of erroneous assumption a computer would make, but a human would not.

Automation can—does—save time and money; increase efficiency. My colleagues here at WebINTENSIVE use it on-goingly. Just one example: on behalf of one of our clients, we created a system to automatically generate offer messages to the client’s prospects. It was an effective campaign, too, generating a strong response.

What automation won’t—can’t—do for the foreseeable future is replace human oversight, judgement, and finesse. A more adroit workflow at the movie studio might have included in its algorithm the ability to flag potentially questionable results and queue them for human review. Such human review, by the way, was a factor in that outreach campaign’s success.