The insights industry is in a state
of accelerated evolution.
We have built up a paradigm and
language between ourselves, both suppliers and clients, over decades that has
remained steadfast. As we have learnt more and more about how humans think –
thanks to fields such as neuroscience and behavioural economics, amongst many
others – we have integrated this into how we measure things, although these have
been iterative improvements rather than revolutionary changes. Nothing has put
the wind up our industry, though, like the collective areas first referred to
as “big data”, then “data science” and now just “artificial intelligence”.
These technologies promise to allow
humans to do more: heal more people, create better cities and sell more. However,
in the process they have also offered us a glimpse of the automation-like
aspects of our humanity, the things that can be easily measured, quantified and
manipulated. Indeed, these aspects can even be abstracted away, as science
fiction has constantly done, into things called “robots” and “AIs” (both
malevolent and benevolent), eliciting fear in some and excitement in others.
While ESOMAR Fusion is not about the rise of the robots, it is about the clash of the old and the new; what makes us human and what we associate with machines; how these boundaries are blurring as technology propels us forward. The conference brings together the things that we think make us human – empathy and holistic thinking – with the things that we associate with cold, hard technology – narrow, brute computational power – to present something new. As such, it offers us a peak into where our industry is heading, framed within a paradigm that is neither fully “quant” nor wholly “qual”, but rather something in between.
Talks by industry stalwarts such as GfK, Ipsos and Kantar will stand alongside technology giants such as Microsoft and Twitter, and global brands such as Molson-Coors and The Coca-Cola Company. They will cover the gamut of topics relevant to this new paradigm, from security and privacy to natural language processing and machine learning (or what we now refer to simply as “AI”), all with an eye towards applied uses that make brands and companies better. In addition, there are master classes where you can learn the basics of natural language processing, or how to fuse qualitative and social media data, amongst others.
ESOMAR Fusion will give you insight
into the state of the industry – i.e. what is being done on the cutting edge –
and will inspire you to ride the technological wave currently washing over our
See you there!
Fusion 2019 Programme Committee Chair
To register for ESOMAR’s Fusion 2019, taking place in Madrid from 10 to 14 November, please go to this page.