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TUESDAY / JUNE 21 / 2016



Artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality are here. But are marketers ready to use them? You may find out at Lions Innovation. JULIANA KORANTENG reports


T THIS year’s Lions Innovation, we’re going to be introduced to the awe-inspiring future of the ad business. Take the seminar Man-Machines — Humanity And Creativity In The Age of AI, for example. Speaker Yifei Chai, an innovation architect at London-based innovation studio Unit9, will introduce The Pretender Project. Essentially, Chai will demonstrate how wearing muscle stimulators, compression sleeves, and flex sensors attached to a computer and electric stimulation, together can allow one wearer to control the physical body

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of another. “The first can see through the other person’s eyes. When one looks down, he or she sees what the other person sees,” Chai says. “In the future, it will be possible for people to use another person’s body to experience new things.” The Pretender Project is obviously still experimental and the neo-noir world of I, Robot, the 2004 Hollywood sci-fi movie is not here yet. However, as with any emerging technology, the long-term ramifications of The Pretender Project cannot be ignored by marketers. Robotics and robots are increasingly part of industry manufacturing process and

The Pretender Project

consumer retail services. “Technology and engineering have always been about extending humans’ natural limits,” Chai adds. “Physically, we’re not as strong as gorillas, but we’ve used engineering and robotics to compensate for our physical limitations. As we move into an increasingly creative economy, so robotics is moving into empathy.” Consequently, robots with human characteristics, for example Japan’s Junko Chihira and SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper — which was at last year’s Lions Innovation — are increasingly common. Chai doesn’t fear the rise of robots or the possibility of AI taking over the human race; nor does he believe automated advertising will dictate marketers’ strategies. But as robotics takes in more of human beings’ five senses, the more

20/06/2016 10:18 PM

Lions Daily News 2016 Issue 4 Tuesday June 21  
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