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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE:Where silicon meets soul

Artificial intelligence:Where silicon meets soul

Artificial Intelligence is one of those wide terms that covers an enormous amount of activity, from natural language consumer-to-machine conversation (think Alexa and Siri) through to robotics, automation, algorithms and machine learning.  The AI machine has buried its way into your everyday already. Just look at how our lives are influenced by the algorithms and machine learning all around us.

Netflix tells you what programmes you should watch, Spotify what songs and artists to listen to. Linked-In tells you where you should work and Amazon tells you what you should buy. Trust me, without knowing we have already handed over a good share of our decision making to the machines. ‘People like you also bought’ and ‘Recommended for You’ is AI whispering in our ear, selling us what it knows we like.

At some point along the path-to-purchase there is a real live consumer who makes a decision. As such they are open to influence. Using clever marketing techniques, an understanding of behavioural economics or consumer psychology, we manipulate and bend a consumer to consider and buy whatever we are selling. But what happens when there is no consumer involved? When we trust the algorithms and AI systems as much as we trust the payment systems we have built. When we hand over our purchase decision making to the machine. What then for consumerism and for marketing?

This speech looks at where we have come from, where we are and where it could all be going.  AI isn’t about the machines. It is about how we keep our influence and consumer communications as the algorithms and robots step in.

3 key learnings from this talk


Influencing a human is easy. Influencing an algorithm is not. Sure, you can buy your way up a Google search today, but AI will be smarter. Clever businesses will start to invest and shape their AI communication strategies now, as the technology and use develops, not wait until the game is on. Learn to talk machine


The adoption of consumer facing enabling technology has got faster and faster. While AI remains at a relatively young stage, businesses and brands need to invest in equal measure on both sides. On one hand investing in the seamless machine learning algorithms and on the other in deep and meaningful human facing CX. Business needs to be able to deliver value in parallel across these two platforms


The consumer values of seamless, frictionless, predictive and personal are going to become hygiene factors very quickly for the customer experience as AI beds down. Identifying your new competitive edge is critical and positioning your brand above other machine led solutions is something every business needs to be thinking about.

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I didn’t check my phone for the last 45 minutes. THAT is saying something!So engaged

Extremely valuable takeaways from @KenHughesIE this morning

Fantastic talk by @KenHughesIE today! Lots to think about and lots of ideas down on paper… Thank!

Probably the most entertaining talk I’ve heard at a conference ever! Fantastic!



As always, Ken delighted our delegates with his vision of the future. His energy and insight around consumer behaviour, technology trends and how these intersect and will change society, consumer behaviour and our industry were out-standing. This is one speech every business and brand should hear


If there is one speaker you want at your event for sheer energy and entertainment, while at the same time delivering hard hitting and thought-provoking content, it is Ken. His speech on the future consumers was both exciting and scary in equal measure



Ken’s view of the future consumer, and the future of consumerism in general brought a stunned silence to the room at times. The disruption headed our way through AI, IoT and B2M was a topic that many delegates spoke about afterwards, always a sign of a good speech. Highly recommended


"What happens when we hit B2M, Business -to-machine?"

- Ken Hughes -