In the final part of the three-part series, the PR Director of Modernage Design & Communication talks about the rise of relying on AI in our everyday lives, even if we don’t notice it
When brands want to get their message across to the masses, it’s Angeline Loo they look to. With 20 years in public relations under her belt, Loo is equally at home talking about trends on the runway and in designer home collections, whether as campaigns for print or on the latest social media platforms. (We’ve partnered Vidy to bring you bite-sized videos, so hover over words (or press and hold on your mobile) highlighted in pink to watch them.)
The PR and communications sector is usually one of the earliest adopters of digital tools and social media. What do you think will be the next big tech tool in the industry and why?
We have already seen tests of AI-powered chat bots. As the system is refined, we can possibly have them churn out regular social media posts that are indistinguishable from those written by an actual person.
What is the most significant technology-led change you have witnessed in the way brands convey their messages?
Augmented Reality. It is all about giving the consumer the power to try things out before they make a purchase. Brands have used it to give a sense of how a piece of furniture would look in a room or how a dress would look on an individual.
From the consumer’s point of view, how do you think technology has changed the way they receive the brands’ messages?
The biggest change is in social media and the Internet. Data analytics is so sophisticated today that companies know what the consumer needs before he even knows it himself.
With the prevalence of digital platforms, what relevance do you think the more mature platforms of print and broadcast have today?
The advantage that print has over digital is tangibility. It allows an ad to remain in the presence of the consumer for a longer period of time. With broadcast, the immediate targeted reach is broader as there is usually a larger audience present at any one time.
As a communications professional, a lot of your work is about putting the human touch on something. What place does AI have in your industry?
Back-end analytics will be the primary role AI plays while it is still in its infancy. But while AI may be able to make recommendations based on past statistical data, humans will still be the ones crafting the message in a relatable manner and making the final choices.
On the contrary, in which areas of your industry do you think the human touch will remain irreplaceable?
Face-to-face meetings will be irreplaceable. If anything, the prevalence of AI will put a premium on actual human-to-human interactions, as they become rarer. Coming up with creative concepts will also remain a key role for humans. Anything that requires emotional connections will still be done by humans, at least in the near future.
How has AI affected your personal life and do you embrace or resist it?
Today, we can accomplish in a minute that which would have taken 30 a few years ago. Everything is within reach at the click of a button. Money can be made at a traffic light while waiting for the lights to change; what is on the runway today can be purchased and worn within a couple of months. An entire wardrobe can be bought, exchanged or returned with a click or two. The world follows us everywhere and it is present in our homes like the helper that never sleeps. I am grateful and yet resentful of its intrusion at the same time.
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