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Time Is Now To Act On AI: OMD’s Edwards

CANNES — Artificial intelligence has been around for a long time – well, in theory. But one leading ad agency thinker says the technology has reach the point where executives simply must decide what their execution strategy looks like.

So OMD’s Jean-Paul Edwards commissioned a Europe-wide research study to understand how companies in different countries were treating the emergence of AI tech.

“AI has been in our culture for 200 years, since Mary Shelley came up with Frankenstein,” he tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “We’re now at the point where AI solutions can scale in to mass-market everyday consumer realities.

“Now is the time you move from it being led by technology to being led by consumer thinking, marketing thinking.”

Edwards, who is OMD’s EMEA strategy and development director, says OMD has been going out to talk with customers, stage hackathons and commission research, all to educate and understand customers’ views on AI.

The aim?: “Start to make those big strategic decisions based on empirical data,” he says.

So, what does the data show? Edwards explains: “In the UK, two thirds of people are either using AI or open to using AI, 34% are pushing back. People in Spain and Italy are actually more open to AI, which surprised us.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s AI Series from Cannes Lions 2017, presented by The Weather Company, an IBM Business. For more from the series, please visit this page.