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The future of AI and Web 3 technology - Innovation Strategy Part 2

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Mathieu Albrand Innovation Strategy Part 2: Looking into the future

This is part 2 of our interview with Senior Global Innovation Strategist, Mathieu Albrand, who works at global advertising agency McCann WorldGroup in New York.

Also if you're a beginner to tech, or even if you're someone who thinks of a silk fly trap when you hear the word Web, don't fret, there is a tech jargon glossary at the bottom.

Selina: As someone who is aware of and works with emerging technology in the advertising industry, what do you think is next for advertising or brand communication in general?

Mathieu: Yeah, that's a really good question. I'll take a crack at answering that, but really I don't know. It's like trying to predict what a potential future could be. You could look at the evolution of advertising over the past 30 years and see how it’s completely different today. In the last 10 years, even the last 2, I don’t think you could have predicted some of the culture changes that we’ve seen, that have totally shifted the way we communicate now.

Marketing has a much deeper understanding on how to build deep relationships with people on a personal level and how to care for people through the lens of a brand.
I think that genuine care and relationship building will continue, but I think we’ll also continue to see new and emerging technologies that can help serve as vehicles for delivering that care and relationship building. We’re already seeing a big rise in brands who are now using Ai in their advertising.

We're also heading to a very interesting place in terms of IP and storytelling as we move to a decentralised Internet. There will be less siloed ownership of IP and assets, so for example, I think marketing and Ad agencies, will start getting involved with brand building from scratch, so building startups internally. A marketing agency creating their own set of IP’s, and their own in house productions. So there's a lot of new potential business models that agencies can experiment with in the future.

Selina: A lot people fear tech and its potential. Tech anxiety is a real thing. As someone who works in the world of tech and understands it more than the average person, does our future in tech excite you or scare you?

Mathieu: If I'm being completely honest, it does. I am a little scared. We see the power that big tech has in terms of data and how that data can be used, the algorithms designed for addiction, the Monopolies etc.

I hope we can understand and learn from those pitfalls and put in guardrails, because I know there are 100s of thousands of people who are dedicating their lives towards building a safer tech future.

Is it normal that we're able to talk to each other on a flat screen when you're halfway around the world? Probably not. Some mistake happened at some point in time that allowed us to become so sophisticated to evolve like this. One debate is,

is there going to be a point where we are two advanced for our own biological limitations? Probably.

Selina: I believe we're already past that point of being too advanced for our own biological limitations. I also do think it would be unrealistic to not be a bit anxious of the future, because change and the unknown is an unsettling thing, especially when most people don't understand tech, they’ll just hear the odd new headline or Elon Musk comment. And that can be misleading or taken out of context.

Mathieu: I guess one silver lining, if you’re looking objectively, over the course of human history, technology and scientific innovations have without a doubt increased human prosperity.

Of course there are peaks and troughs and other hyper localised crises happening.

But technology on a global level, has increased our quality of living, life expectancy, education, etc a hundredfold. There's still a long way to go, but technology has helped the bigger picture of things and so it definitely can and will continue to help.

At some point tech such as AI can build us a more equitable future where we can remove human bias from so many industries and situations.

Every human naturally has biases and when humans are writing code, they’re writing their own human bias into the code, whether it’s conscious or not.

So can AI or even blockchain serve as this, trusted mitigator of human greed, bias and ego. Things that prevent us from building equal and equity. It’s why I love blockchain so much.

Selina: So much is changing so rapidly. We're seeing the potential unfolding of a new way of life with traditional systems such as banking, money, traditional business models, to how we shop and consume completely change.

It might sound far fetch but if someone said 20 years ago you’d be able to pay for things with a watch on your wrist, you wouldn’t have believed them.

I don’t think the scary thing is tech. I think it's how we’re going to adapt to the changes. Will people panic at the sight of change? So many people are rejecting or not believing in emerging technology such as blockchain.

I’m interested to hear what you think is next for blockchain technology and if you think it's a technology worth believing in?

Mathieu: Well, I think blockchain will permeate into absolutely every single business, every single industry, every single element of all of everyday life. I really do think it will just become everywhere.

81% of the top 100 global companies use blockchain technology.

From a business perspective, it's useful for supply chain tracking and transparency. That means a consumer can have absolute visibility into how and where the materials are coming from and the production of the products they're buying. This would eradicate corrupt business practises and brands being able to ‘Greenwash’, etc.

It would give people the ability to own all the information that they’re contributing and creating online, rather than companies such as Meta owning it.

Blockchain is empowering because it's opening up a new paradigm of value exchanges, helping people take their power back. The rules are being rewritten with Web 3 tech.

In web 2, which is the internet we know, understand and use today, all of your browsing data, even everything we're saying right now over zoom is being collected as data.

(Source: The Social Dilemma)

Instagram & Facebook is tracking everything you're saying, noticing every single click and where your eyes are going on the screen. All of that is being registered and owned by Big Tech companies and that data has value.

The value comes because they can then serve you super personalized ads that are making you more likely to purchase something which they get a royalty off.

Now imagine if you owned all of that information, you could sell it to marketers.

Everyone's personal data has a price tag on it.

Wouldn't it be nice to open up a new super highway of value exchanges that's more fair?

So that's another way blockchain can be used in a really cool, empowering, fairer way, through ownership of personal data.

Eventually, I would love it if governments were run on blockchain, and all taxpayer dollars would be paid to a government wallet that is completely traceable, so you can see exactly how taxpayer dollars are being used.

I think there's hundreds of billions of dollars that go through the cracks and go missing and straight into people's pockets all over the world.

A lot of money is being spent on things that people don't support themselves, blockchain would allow citizens to see where their hard-earned money is going.

But that is definitely a pipe dream.

Tech Glossary:

IRL - In real life. (If you don't know this one, is it cold under the rock you live under?)

Web 3: Web3 is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web which incorporates concepts such as decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. (Watch for a more detailed explanation)

Decentralised Internet: The decentralised web is a research program which proposes to reorganise the Internet using peer-to-peer infrastructure rather than centralised data hosting services. (Still don't get it? Here's a video explaining).

Blockchain: A blockchain is a decentralised, distributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers globally so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the consensus of the network. (Don't get this either? I didn't at first either, here's a video explaining).

IP: Intellectual Property is the property of your mind or exclusive knowledge. If you develop a new product, service, process or idea it belongs to you and is considered your IP. For example Coca Cola's logo is their IP.

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