This article was originally published in Lions Daily News – Issue 4, page 13  – on June 20th 2017. Click here to read the full publication online: https://issuu.com/lionsdailynews/docs/d4-turnerlr

Olly the Robot’s presence at yesterday’s Merge – Is The Future ‘Robot Shaped’? might actually represent the end of advertising as we know it.

Olly, described as the first robot with personality, is the brain-child of London-based startup Emotech. The firm’s co-founder, Chelsea Chen, joined Susana Tsui, CEO of agency conglomerate PHD APAC, to explain why robotics tech is intertwined with marketing’s future.

“In the next 50 years, we will see the rise of robots, as humans and technology merge into one” said Tsui, whose company is launching Merge, a new book about smart technology, AI and machine learning, at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. “We will find ourselves becoming as dependent on connectivity and technology as we are on oxygen. As this occurs, machines will become more embedded into our lives and continue learning from us, eventually becoming as intelligent as us.”

Emotech’s response is Olly, a robot that develops its own personality, based on its relationship with an individual human and that person’s specific needs. “Each Olly is different, just like you,” Chen said. “Olly will learn about your personality and life pattern. It’s your assistant at home, it can help manage your schedule, support you to reach your goals and be your companion.”

AI is not expected to replace human creativity, but it will be indispensable. “The new world that we are creating for ourselves, in which we are increasingly connected to technology, threatens to overhaul marketing and advertising as we know it,” Tsui added. “Many decisions we make will begin to be dictated to us by algorithms and logical, self-taught machines, leaving brands struggling to influence an algorithm rather than a human.”