fbpixel The Power-Up Series 2023: Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition, and a Potential Solution to the Data Privacy Problem. - MG Empower
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Written by - Daniel Shale

The Power-Up Series 2023: Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition, and a Potential Solution to the Data Privacy Problem.


With the rise of AI and an ever-growing emphasis on data-driven approaches to customer relationship building, hyper personalisation is reaching new heights. But have we gone too far? Is there a balance to be struck? And are we about to become characters in an episode of Black Mirror, or are some people just being dramatic? 

All these questions were asked and answered at the third panel of MG Empower’s 6th edition of The Power-Up Series: Data, Tech and The New Age of Consumer Experiences. 

Aran Culleton, Junior Data Analyst at the BBC, Venice Asourmatzian, Creative and Content lead at Bayer, Jonathan Aina, Head of Platform at MG Empower, and Natalie Grey, Senior Client Director at MG Empower, sat down for a 40-minute deep dive into AI’s impact on marketing, data governance and consumer trust; painting a very real picture of a very real problem that every brand, business and human being is grappling with… right now. Indeed, Jonathan (MG Empower) summarised the big question: “How can we make computers understand humans?”

This blog gives you a glimpse into the conversation that went down in panel three. But to really wrap your head around the big idea of the moment, you’ll need to head over to our YouTube channel. The full story lives there.

The data privacy sweet spot

When it comes to online platforms’ approaches to user data, we’ve all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Or, as Aran (BBC) put it, “Everything is transactional.” But, with incredibly personalised and relevant ads reaching us on our evening scrolls (and occasionally creeping us out), we’re more aware of it than ever. So the questions arise: How granular can we get? Are there concerns? And what should businesses be doing to address these? 

According to Venice (Bayer), it’s all about striking a happy medium: “It’s a balance. And I think that’s the biggest challenge brands are facing nowadays: really being in the minds of their consumers and communicating in a way that feels natural and authentic – not creepy.”

KFC in China uses facial recognition so that when you turn up to order, they will tell you what they think you’re going to order. Brands like Stitch Fix are analysing user data to provide personalised fashion recommendations. Life really can feel like Black Mirror sometimes. But the common thread between these two examples is that both KFC and Stitch Fix have used data to create something that’s genuinely valuable for their consumers. 

“If you use [data] in the right way by truly listening and adapting content, and really going granular on the different audiences you’re speaking to, that’s how we can provide personalised experience and value. That’s the really exciting thing about data. And when we truly take the time to invest in it, it really allows us to connect audiences authentically and in ways they’re not expecting.” – Natalie (MG Empower)

Watch the full panel discussion on YouTube to deep dive into data, AI and the new age of consumer experience with our all-star panellists. 

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