If you have seen the 2013 science-fiction film Her, then PHD India’s Predestination session, held on the second day of Zee Melt 2017, will possibly get you thinking that a future like that is not very away. The session began with Jyoti Bansal, MD, PHD India, introducing everyone to PHD and what Predestination really is.
“As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes ubiquitous, sweeping changes are going to happen and the destination is almost pre-destined,” said Bansal rather ominously.
A video, that elaborates on Bansal’s “pre-destined” comment, followed. The video talked about how AI is becoming all pervasive and in the near future AI will start making decisions for humans and marketers will then have to target AI to sell their products. The video called this the evolution of AIs into sentients.
Bansal then made way for the panel discussion where Arnab Goswami, Founder Republic TV; Raghav Bahl, Founder and Chairman at Quintillion Media; and Samir Bangara, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Qyuki, explored the impact of the emerging trends in technology. The session was moderated by Kel Hook, Regional Head of Global Account Management, PHD APAC. While the session was supposed to focus on technology and its impact on future of marketing, because of the media heavyweights on the panel the discussion invariably got turned into technology and its impact on media.
Speaking about how data is the key in today’s world, Bahl said, “The real media is really “Big Data”. There used to be a world of unknown but that has completely changed today to a world of over-certainty. There are a lot of data points today,” said Bahl.
Latching on a part from the video that talks about machines taking over the responsibility of thinking and decision making from humans, Goswami was of the opinion that when machines start to think for humans it could end up in trouble.
“The moment you start depending on machines to think for you, you are finished. I believe in disruption of the mind. What you can do is you can use technology to get all the rudimentary stuff done. You can use AI to run a vacuum cleaner but you can’t use it for a content organisation,” said Goswami.
Goswami also expressed his concern over how digital media has not been able to produce original content and how the entire media industry is chasing its own tail. He also mentioned that the smart ones are those who use technology to go back to the core which is content creation.
Bangara also weighed in with his views on the abundance of content today on digital and importance of having quality content.
“There is a lot of content creation that is happening on a daily basis. Especially in the genre of music and comedy. While brands have already become publishers, a creative revolution is now taking place that is creating digital superstars wherein the CREATOR really has become the brand and therefore the publisher. Now how do we leverage that? The tragedy today is that out of the 10,000 crore spent on digital in India, a mere 125 crore is spent on true content marketing,” said Bangara.
Goswami also commented on how media earlier was all about push and today it is all about pull. The two aspects imperative to pull viewers to content today, according to him, is the quality of the content and trust and goodwill a media organisation is able to build.
Bangara also pointed out a shift in the content. He opined that people are now consuming a lot more Hindi content as compared to English content.
Goswami also said that every prediction about technology in India has been proved wrong.
“When people were discussing how much DTH penetration in India will reach everyone said 4-5 per cent, today the numbers have magnified by twice and thrice. I think we underestimate our ability to accept technology and reject technology,” said Goswami.
Corroborating his views is Bangara who says the biggest mistake one can make is to assume that Indians are not tech-savvy.
“I used to run a gaming company and there was a practising ‘poojari’ in Bihar who was one of our biggest gamers. I think Indians are one of the most savviest technology users in the world.