6 November 2018

On Tuesday the 30th October 2018 we opened our office doors for an evening of industry insights, covering tech trends and what they mean for communicators and businesses. We were lucky enough to have three fantastic speakers attend the event, Alicia Edmonds-Smith (Managing Director at Teneo Blue Rubicon) Stefano Hesse (Global Communications Leader: eBay, Google and Facebook) and Sam Lansley (Artificial Intelligence Developer at Generis). It was a wonderful and extremely insightful evening discussing a variety of topics!

One of the first topics discussed was the upcoming necessary transition period that moves communicators and clients into a more digitally focused world. The main issue discussed was the potential for mass unemployment when the transportation of goods is digitalised. Sam, an artificial intelligence developer, suggested that Uber drivers and people whose jobs focus on transporting goods will be the most effected as our world moves into a more digital era.

Alicia then went on to discuss what she described as one of the most fascinating effects of technology on the communications industry; traditional business moving into a digital realm. You would expect most companies to be positively affected by digitalisation, however, Alicia pointed out that some sectors, for example estate agents, may benefit more by remaining traditional as most people prefer to speak to someone face to face when it concerns making big life decisions, such as buying a house. It feels more personal and secure to make a payment or sign a contract face to face rather than online or with a chatbot (understandably!)

Data was also discussed in terms of it being a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ entity and the consumer confusion surrounding the topic. People freely upload personal information onto social media platforms (such as tagging a location) and enjoy music apps such as Spotify and Apple Music suggesting music that they may like based on their data as they understand how their personal information is being used and shared. Another example of how data can be used for ‘good’ is through CCTV face recognition – in China, facial recognition can be used to profile criminals. However, every piece of data shared, good or bad, is hackable, and cyber security remains more dangerous than data misuse.

Sam ended by stating that people hugely underestimate the power of Artificial Intelligence. Facebook chatbots were able to create their own language without the help of any humans and even a pacemaker can be hacked. AI is only getting started and Sam predicts that in 3-7 years, it will have a bigger impact than the internet did!

Everyone at JFL would like to say a huge thank you to Alicia, Stefano and Sam for being brilliant and informative speakers. We would also like to extend our thanks to those that attended and hope to see everyone again at future events! Keep an eye out on our blog section of the website, and our social media accounts for any upcoming career evenings or talks!