PHD Worldwide continues to explore the implications of technology on marketing at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and for the seventh consecutive year, brings this thought-leadership to the main stage, this year in collaboration with inventor, futurist and author, Ray Kurzweil.

Described by business magnate, Bill Gates, as “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence”, Kurzweil has a thirty-year track record of accurate predictions being called “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison” by Inc. magazine.

With the next three decades being predicted to be the most technologically disruptive era in human history, “Merge – The closing gap between technology and us”, explores a future in which humanity and technology become inextricably linked. The session will take place on Wednesday 21st June at 5pm on the Debussy stage at Cannes Lions.

Mark Holden, PHD’s worldwide strategy & planning director will introduce Ray at Cannes Lions and address the implications of trends such as voice, hearables, wearables and insideables on the marketing industry, revealing exciting new opportunities for brands.

Addressing the topic of robotics in further details, PHD will host a second seminar at Lions Innovation, which will see APAC CEO, Susana Tsui lead an intimate Q&A with Olly the Robot and his inventor, co-founder of Emotech and winner of 4 CES innovation awards, Chelsea Chen.

“Merge – Will the future be “robot shaped” will take place on Monday 19th June at 11am on the Discovery Stage at Lions Innovation, discussing the opportunities robotics hold for the creative industry and featuring a live demo of Olly, the first robot with a personality, powered by emotion AI, face recognition and voice recognition, enabling it to adapt to its users’ moods, resulting in every Olly being as individual as the person who controls it.

Both of these seminars touch on topics being discussed in PHD’s latest thought-leadership publication “Merge | The closing gap between technology and us”.  “Merge” will be available to purchase via Amazon and the PHD Media app as of 21st June 2017, with all proceeds going to UNICEF.