By 2024, AI will be part of our lives: MA Parthasarathy

Parthasarathy, CEO, Mindshare South Asia, spoke at the Bangalore Advertising club’s The Big Bang Awards for Excellence in Media & Wellness, on the trends and technological advances of the future

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Nov 18, 2019 9:32 AM


M A Parthasarathy

“Whether it’s Marxism or bell bottoms, the minute someone says that this is the next big thing, something happens because the world is an autocorrect world,” said M A Parthasarathy, CEO, Mindshare South Asia, while speaking at the Bangalore Advertising club’s The Big Bang Awards for Excellence in Media & Wellness.

Parthasarathy was speaking on the topic - ‘A peek into the future’. He opened his speech with a quote from Homo Deus written by Yuval Noah Harari. “The more data we have and the better we understand history, the faster history alters its course, and the faster the knowledge gets outdated.”

“When communism was at its peak, it was said that it is the future. Then the Capitalists started giving better living conditions to people. The next biggest prediction was Communism was dead. The same thing happened with most trends in the world. The data you have gets transformed automatically through an autocorrect mechanism, but it's impossible to predict 2024.”

‘Computers are dead, long live computers’

“I think the whole point is, here for a lot of us computer was synonyms with keyboard where you have to enter data. That era is dead,” Parthasarathy said.

“According to reports, 90 per cent of the connected devices no longer use a keyboard as a data entry mechanism. That doesn’t mean computers are dead because every single element like your voice, face and gestures are input devices today and they are going to be the way we look at computers moving into the future.”

Elaborating with examples, he further said: “The most unlikely example came from the US postal service. They are experimenting with post boxes where all you do is place the envelope or letter on top of a flat surface of the machine and say the place name. What happens next is that the postage stamp gets printed and you stick it on the letter and drop it in the box. This is an example where voice has been taken to a different level and this how the future is going to transform when we look at voice.”

He gave another example of Amazon where they are working with a chain of retail stores to develop a technology. “If you register your hand at the stores, the next time you wave as you step out, you will be billed automatically,” Parthasarathy said.

Delving further into the topic, he said, “There is an even scarier concept which is coming up. A group of people at MIT has developed a wireless router which could even detect your emotions.”

He continued, “After voice the biggest buzzword is data and the third buzzword is Artificial Intelligence (AI). By 2024, no one is going to talk about it as it is going to be part of our lives.”

Parthasarathy elaborated the scenario stating that Amazon wants Alexa to have the ability to detect illness and emotions.

“The other end of the spectrum is that they want Alexa to detect the Navarasas or human emotions like anger, disgust, hatred, love - all of that from your voice.”

Elaborating on the accuracy of voice, he said, “Voice is something everyone speaks about. Everyone says getting 85 per cent accuracy is perhaps easy, but when you talk about going from 85 to 100 per cent accuracy, we still need to think about it. Imagine if someone says, ‘Man, that’s wicked. How do I interpret the word ‘wicked’, if I am an AI device. So it is not just text, but tonality of context of judging each and every element combined, coming together to push the level of knowledge from 85 to 100 per cent. So, when that happens you will be truly be able to understand what the consumer is about and how you can cater to that consumer.”

Speaking on facial recognition technology, he said, “Imagine AI would look at a child’s face and detect what possible syndromes that child could get in the next four years. It is another amazing direction the world is heading to.”

There is a term I recently learned called GANS that stands for Generative Adversarial Networks. There are two neural networks which are fighting with each other. One will generate the content and the other curates and sees whether that is true or false. This is again an MIT technology.”

Talking about influencer marketing, Parthasarathy said the wheel will come full circle and go back when people will only trust the person who comes from their ecosystem, whom they actually know.

While concluding his speech, Parthasarathy quoted Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: “I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years. The second question is actually the more important of the two.”

As he signed off, Parthasarathy said, “What is not going to change in the next 10 years is us as human beings, our need to trust, need for warmth, empathy, affiliation, and experiences. I actually pity those brands which use technologies for the sake of it without understanding that these 5 important things are going to drive the future.”

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