by Sahil Patel
Some come to CES for the self-driving cars and smart sprinkler systems; media companies and advertisers are in Las Vegas to talk voice and artificial intelligence. And pour some cold water on virtual reality.
Thanks to products like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, it’s impossible to escape the growing hype behind voice technology and artificial intelligence from both publishers and advertisers alike. Turner Sports, for instance, has launched Catch Sports, a “digital personal assistant” available on smartphones and the Amazon Echo that tells you where you can watch or listen to a game as well as the latest scores.
Publicis Groupe, meanwhile, went even further by having a robot give a full powerpoint presentation — a “proof of concept” to demonstrate how voice and AI will impact everything from medicine to day-to-day tasks at ad agencies. Even The Weather Channel hosted late-night food trucks to show off IBM’s Watson technology.
“This year more than ever, physical shopping has blurred with digital experiences. Just look at the buzz around Amazon Go or Echo,” said Joe Migliozzi, shop+ lead at Mindshare North America, which hosted an event with Amazon covering how voice technology and artificial intelligence will affect commerce. “Our clients are very interested in what we can do with voice recognition and automated assistants. It’s something that we’ve already started bringing to market for brands.”