The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and global media network PHD have partnered to launch the first official festival bot for Messenger. The AI powered bot will be accessible by all 180,000 Facebook fans and is designed to help attendees navigate their way around the festival.

The bot features a personalised greeting and allows festival attendees to view what’s on ‘now and next’, set reminders, search events and FAQ’s as well as location based questions.  Machine learning has been used to understand user intents; the nature of this technology means that it improves as more people use it.

People will also be guided on what content has been curated for them that day, via PHD Picks, surfaced each morning within the bot.

PHD has added additional hidden ‘Easter egg’ content into the bot, in the form of both digital excerpts and free hard copies of the agency’s latest thought leadership book – “Merge – The closing gap between technology and us”, which is also the title of the agency’s keynote seminar with author, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Clues to unlock the content will be communicated via PHD’s social channels and on posters in the Palais during the first few days of the festival.

The bot for Messenger was created by the Cannes Lions team, PHD and Artificial Intelligence company, IV.AI.

Avril Canavan, PHD’s worldwide marketing & communications director said; “Partnering with Cannes Lions on the first festival bot compliments PHD’s position as a leading voice on AI and future technology and we’re delighted to bring this handy utility to delegates. Our growing relationship with bots and other tech developments are explored in PHD’s latest book ‘Merge – The closing gap between technology and us’, which launches at the festival and features within the bot as hidden content to be unearthed.”

Rhod Joyce, product director at Cannes Lions said; “As part of our ongoing focus on improving delegate experience, we’re delighted to be working with PHD on this, our first AI project. Every year there’s so much to discover and we know the chatbot will be an invaluable help – alongside all our team on site – to first timers and veteran delegates who want to discover the content schedule and seek quick answers to commonly asked questions.”

David Marcus VP of Messenger said ‘We’re delighted to see the Cannes Lions create a bot for Messenger with PHD, the experience is fun and helpful, we think the planning your next move with the ‘Now and Next’ feature will be especially useful for all attendees.’

To access the Cannes Lions Bot, search for ‘Cannes Lions International Festival’ on Facebook or visit facebook.com/Cannes.Lions.Festival.of.Creativity/ on a desktop computer.

The bot can also be launched by scanning the unique messenger code (below), found on posters around the Palais and Facebook Beach, which will launch the bot in Facebook messenger.