AI: The Future of Us, London
We wanted attendees of our first AI conference to come away feeling more knowledgeable about Artificial Intelligence and with a deeper understanding of how it relates to media and society more generally.
We were joined by some amazing AI experts to help us achieve this, including Alex Kozloff (COO, IAB), Cameron Worth (Founder, SharpEnd), Dr Ron Chrisley (Director Centre for COGS at University of Sussex), Deidre McGalshan (Chief Digital Officer, MediaCom), Kseniia Kalashnyk (Strategy Director, Vizeum Global), Henrik Busch (MD and Founder, Blackwood Seven) and Michal Szczesny (COO, Artfinder).
If you couldn’t attend, then you can find photos on Facebook and replay all the sessions on Vimeo (coming soon).
These were some of the key points of discussion:
Don’t bot for bot’s sake
While chatbots are one of the most mainstream ways that AI is applied in marketing, both Alex and Deirdre urged brands not to adopt bots for bots sake. While it’s important to stay ahead of the curve, you need to think about how bots can best enhance your brand.
Deirdre offered three useful tips on how to think about your bot strategy. First, she encouraged delegates to download and play with the current bots on offer on Kik, Telegram and Messenger. With over 20,000 bots on Kik alone, there’s enough to suss out what works and what doesn’t. Use these examples to evaluate how this can add value to you and your brands proposition. Finally, focus on the consumer value of bots – what purpose can this have and how will you develop its personality? It’s important to establish how it will fit with your brand prior to development.
One example of this is with bots, who by nature are limited in their conversation. Xiaoice operates as a chat bot in China. Her personality is that of a 17-year-old girl, and her developers have used this so that when she’s asked a question she can’t answer, she’ll get stroppy – which fits in with her personality!
Equally, many of the speakers agreed that AI can’t operate without a large data set and this is often the issue when applying it. Kseniia commented that stock market traders often need to experience failure and learn from their mistakes to get better at their jobs. Incidentally, AI is similar and in making mistakes and learning, this is a key differentiating factor from simple machine-learning.
The internet of things is NOT a fridge re-ordering milk for you
As Cameron made very clear. See also, re-ordering beer, butter or any other household items. Cameron founded SharpEnd to work on specific IoT campaigns for brands and agencies. As he explained, brand building in a zero UI world is a challenge but offers a unique brand building opportunity. He put forward a proposition that people will become device loyal – Alexa, Cortana etc. – rather than brand loyal, as the devices search to offer you the cheapest and fastest products.
AI has transformed businesses
This year LoopMe will be celebrating our 5th birthday! However, it’s only recently that AI has become part of the mainstream. Even if we take this (fairly unrepresentative) sample of the Artificial Intelligence search on Google, it’s clear interest has boomed in the last 2 years.
But as Henrik at Blackwood Seven explained, AI is not an easy concept to talk about. For a while they even removed mention of AI from their deck, as ‘people thought we were crazy’. It can be hard to convince people of the power of AI, as it’s such a new concept.
And its transforming more than just media. Kseniia spoke about how The North Face have been using AI across their business – from eCommerce to advertising, while Michal spoke about how Artfinder adopted Emma their Twitter bot to offer better customer recommendation and cultivate a better relationship between art and the buyer. Alex also highlighted this amazing example of a Cannes Lions winner, where multiple partners collaborated to create ‘The Next Rembrandt’ layering data and analysis. Read more about it here. AI can be used to create some amazing experiences and we’re glad that our speakers highlighted this.
Look within to adopt AI
Henrik pointed out that companies often have a wealth of data that they can use to develop AI, but too often look externally. Their own data is their greatest asset. Of course, this then led on to the challenges in AI, which our final panel summarised as: structuring data, transparency, privacy and talent. This was also echoed by Kseniia who encouraged companies to look to people with non-traditional backgrounds to help fuel business growth.
Thanks to Ron Chrisley for this gem!
A big thanks once again to all delegates for participating and asking such insightful questions, and of course to our speakers for giving up their time. We hope to replicate this event again very soon.
We also announced the launch of our ‘Advanced AI Award’ which will equip media agency and brand’s with a deeper knowledge of AI. Get in touch to find out more: email@example.com