Technological innovations have undeniably made life easier, faster and more efficient for humans. But did you know that in a few years’ time, technology and humans will merge and become one?
In the recently-held adobo Festival of Ideas, where leaders in the creative space came together for an insightful discourse on the melding of creativity in the age of digital, tech, data, and AI, Omnicom Media Group’s Torie Henderson and PHD Media Singapore GSU’s Ronnie Thomas collaboratively discussed The Merge and how it will shape and affect not just society but the marketing industry as well.
Indeed, technology has a key role in society as it unshackles people from the constraints of daily life. Henderson opined, “And actually at its core, all of that technology has met a human need. In other words, technology has liberated or augmented our lives and made us smarter through the abundance of information, experience, and connection.”
Contradictory to what many believe, Henderson said that the people actually are the ones controlling technology and not the other way around. “Quite often we perceived that tech is actually driving us, but it’s actually the other way around. Technology has been our liberator as a human race, and it's helping us to progress. We are driving technological development. Not technology driving us.”
However, amidst this positive relationship between technology and humans, there is still a significant gap in between that The Merge seeks to bridge. Hence, The Merge’s ultimate goal is for technology and the human mind to come together. The Merge is going to happen progressively and has five stages: surfacing, organizing, extracting, anticipating, and finally, elevating.
According to Henderson, we are already in the third stage of The Merge, the extracting stage. “Technology will change irreversibly: how we access the web, phones turning into smart glasses, glasses into contact lenses, and contact lenses into biological implants. Accessing the internet is actually going to disappear and be replaced by constant connectivity. Information is going to flow around us just like electricity does,” she remarked.
On the other hand, PHD Media Singapore GSU’s Ronnie Thomas gave a rundown of the eight technologies to watch out for during this merger including chatbots, virtual PA’s, ambient AI, wearables, hearables, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR).
The duo also shared some opportunities that marketers should seize during this merger such as building-out advertising and marketing technology to create a data strategy, investing in knowledge management to create cognitive-layers across all touch points, solving human needs, building close ties with developers that are creating solutions, and start building for AR, VR, and MR experiences.
At the end of the day, The Merge seeks not just to fuse with the human mind for the sake of technology, but also to meet and satisfy human needs. As Thomas said, “The Merge is a story about humanity, not just a story about technology.”