Chris Stephenson, head of strategy and planning for PHD APAC, opened the annual Mumbrella 360 conference last week with the announcement that in the not too distant future, consumers will have VPAs (virtual personal assistants) making their purchase decisions for them, whilst marketers need to prepare for a world where they are marketing to algorithms, not people.

Chris said strong AI would allow computers to learn more and more new tasks and open up a number of possibilities where computers can actively help consumers in their purchasing decisions and other practical tasks.

“Why would you ever buy a toothpaste again? When your VPA can buy your toothpaste for you?” Chris told the room.

You can read a full report of the session and watch a video of Chris post event here.