I’m excited to reveal Unmade’s next event.
As we grow beyond an email newsletter and find our place in a crowded trade press market, what we will not be doing is copycat events. So our aim is to focus on emerging communities within the industry and to help them develop.
That’s why I’m so pleased with the support we had for this coming week’s RE:Made - Retail Media Unmade. We’re expecting more than 200 people next week, which is an amazing result for the first time the retail media community comes together in Australia. It’s not too late to buy a ticket, by the way.
But now we’re looking to the next thing, and we’ve chosen what excited us most: the developing world of AI, and more specifically how it will change the way business is done in the media and marketing world.
The arrival of ChatGPT is what put the AI discussion into the mainstream. We explored some of those possibilities on Unmade at the start of the year. Across every type of agency and every marketing function, the least thoughtful and most repetitive work will move from humans to AI. That also means procurement people will see opportunities to remove costs. While that’s both an opportunity and a threat for the marketing world, humAIn’s focus will be on the opportunity.
That disruption was already coming before ChatGPT - that’s simply the moment when most of the world noticed. The lightbulb came on for me six years ago on a flight to Advertising Week in New York to chair a panel on the topic. I vividly recollect reading media agency PHD’s book Merge on that flight and feeling mindblown.
At the time the predictions seemed a little improbable. I gently teased one of the co-authors of Merge, PHD’s global CMO Chris Stephenson, about the predicted timeline when I caught up with him in London last year. I thought things were running late. But actually, things are moving fast.
Also included on the panel that day was Microsoft’s evangelist Christi Olson who was there to talk about the company’s digital assistant Cortana (little did we know back then about Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI). And Publicis Groupe’s Chip Register was there to talk about the company’s Marcel AI project which was just a concept at that stage but is now an AI platform connecting the group’s 80,000 staff.
The conversation felt like incomplete glimpses of a future, which is finally arriving.
So that’s why our next event, early in July, will be humAIn - human creativity x AI. We’ve chosen the name carefully. AI will be a disruptive, revolutionary tool that will have more effect on our industry than almost any other. But it will still be a tool in the hand of clever humans.
Speaking of clever humans, I’m delighted that humAIn will be curated by Cat McGinn who is also the brains behind next week’s RE:Made program. Cat has a rare talent for connecting to an industry community and synthesising their thoughts into a program useful for everyone.
Cat will be looking to devise a program which sees everybody leave with a playbook in mind for how to make the most of the AI wave in their own jobs.
So just like RE:Made, we’re starting by asking the community what they want from the first local event of its type. When you go to the humAIn site, you’ll find just one page - an invitation to be involved. That might be as a speaker, to tell Cat what we should be thinking about, to express interest in sponsoring, or simply to be first to know when tickets go on sale.
I hope you enjoy the irony that you will need to tick a box to confirm that you are not a robot in order to submit the form. If you are a robot, I’m sure you can figure out a workaround.