Artificial intelligence (AI) has already transformed multiple industries to the benefit of consumers. Yet when it comes to how consumers actually experience the world, AI is still in its infancy. Today we can talk to our phones or smart devices around the home, but it’s often a frustrating experience, and the functionality is limited. Nonetheless, even in these early stages of the AI revolution, it’s clear that the way consumers engage with brands is going to change fundamentally. The question is, how?
Earlier this year, I hosted a week long hack event in London to help business leaders understand how eight powerful forces are reshaping the consumer — including the way consumers will use technology, like AI, to live “smarter” lives. With a better understanding of the alternative futures that could evolve, leaders can better navigate the road ahead.
We worked in teams with technologists, innovators, future thinkers and EY professionals to model a series of alternative “future worlds” that these forces might plausibly create, and to identify the implications and opportunities for business today.
In one of the worlds we modelled, consumers valued time much more than money. Their personalised AI learned about their unique preferences and used those insights to buy most of the things they needed. This allowed them to spend their time shopping only with brands that reflected their values and purpose. In another world, AI evolved beyond a tool of convenience to become an integral part of what it means to be human. People in this world used AI to become “better versions” of themselves every day. Without th