With time and technology, the world is fast moving towards a world where technologies like AI will be the norm, completely revolutionising the way we buy, work, learn and communicate. This formed the premise of PHD Malaysia’s “Predestination” event held in Kuala Lumpur on March 21st.

In 2016, PHD partnered with the author, visionary, provocateur and Wired founder Kevin Kelly to understand the technological forces that will shape our future. Kelly, the author of The Inevitable makes a compelling case for how the roots of the digital world are the springboard for the enduring and profound changes we will live through over the next thirty years. This formed the core of the thinking behind PHD’s Predestination series.

While, AI was just one of the subjects explored at the event, which also coincided with the launch of the agency’s thought leadership booklet titled ‘Predestination: Where we are all heading’, there were 5 key takeaways for the audience –

  1. Agencies are evolving to make a success out of AI/technology. Agencies are not here to build AI/tech, but rather it’s how we use the technology successfully
  2. The accessibility of devices that contributes to the distribution of technology, will further enhance the progress of AI, VR & AR
  3. Middlemen will not be removed with the rise of new technology; rather more capable middlemen will be re-invented
  4. While brands in Malaysia are slow in adopting the technology, brands cannot deny/ignore the relevance of it
  5. Data privacy will not be compromised at any cost

Speaking at the event Eileen Ooi, Head, PHD Malaysia said “We see a future where AI supplements human knowledge and experience. A future where AI predicts consumer needs, which will help us better understand and communicate with clients to offer impactful solutions.”

Ranga Somanathan, CEO Omnicom Media Group, Malaysia and Singapore said “As the technology forces take over, the human element plays an even more important role. While AI algorithms do the grunt of the work, it is us who add real value by addressing real life problems with technology”.

The event featured an interesting panel discussion involving experts from Hyperlab and PHD led by Eileen Ooi that explored the changes the technological revolution will bring and how they see brands adopting this change. This led to an interesting discussion of how brands and agencies are not here to build AI or Tech, instead they are evolving by successfully using the technology to enhance their service offerings.

Chris Stephenson, regional head of strategy and planning for PHD APAC, added, “There’s no reason to be fearful that AI will take over our roles, instead it will open new opportunities and ideas. As repetitive tasks and jobs get replaced by AI, new roles for humans will emerge in the creation and development of AI-enabled tools and systems. In the future, we’ll be judged effective based on how well we work with our AI partners”.