AI-volution | The unfolding story

AI-volution | The unfolding story

Recent breakthroughs, such as the advent of Generative AI tools herald a new era set to rival the impact that personal computers, the internet, and smartphones had on our lives.

This wave of innovation has the potential to propel industries forward at a pace, promising to revolutionize the way businesses operate. Tasks, once mundane, are being automated, insights are generated with greater precision, and decision-making is reaching new heights of sophistication. At the same time, AI is opening up fresh avenues of growth, sparking product and service innovations, redefining value propositions and driving operational efficiencies.

One fundamental theme, something that has been consistent across all of our research, remains the importance of the human touch. As the story unfolds, AI’s true power lies in its ability to complement and enhance human capabilities, accelerating progress and efficiency, and delivering higher quality end products and experiences. Firms are actively harnessing AI and related capabilities fueling a surge in M&A activity, as they strive to gain an edge in an increasingly digital economy.

Our report is designed to identify key themes arising from AI developments and their subsequent impact on businesses and M&A
across the following sectors:

We look forward to continuing the conversation as the story unfolds. In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to have an in depth discussion on this topic or the broader market contact us

Value Creation with AI – Productivity vs. Growth

Value Creation with AI – Productivity vs. Growth

JEGI CLARITY’s 20th Annual Media & Technology Conference in New York City brought together senior executives and investors from across the global media, marketing, information, and technology sectors.

At the conference, Philipp Mueller, Chief Analyst & Product Officer of Outsell moderated a panel titled, “Value Creation with AI – Productivity vs. Growth.” 

The panel featured Sejal Amin, Chief Technology Officer of Shutterstock, Nikesh Kalra, Chief Operating Officer of DeepMedia, and Ilya Meyzin, SVP, Head of Data Science at Dun & Bradstreet.

The discussion kicked off with Philipp reminding the audience that ChatGPT was only launched 15 months ago. While there has been time to understand what real value creation with AI can look like, achieving it still remains elusive for a lot of companies. He continued by sharing findings from a survey conducted by Outsell in Q3 2023 that revealed that over 80% of senior executives were experimenting with Gen AI, with a third feeling very confident that it would drive productivity improvements in their enterprises. However, nearly half of the respondents lacked confidence in the ROI of their AI investments, with only 10% anticipating revenue and growth.

A lot has happened since ChatGPT was launched nearly 15 months ago.

Philipp Mueller, Chief Analyst & Product Officer of Outsell

The Impact of Generative AI on Productivity

Gen AI’s impact on productivity was the first area of discussion with the panelists.

Sejal Amin elaborated on Shutterstock’s utilization of Gen AI to enhance productivity across their operations by improving customer experience through actionable insights to their customer and sales teams, optimizing developer workflows, and bolstering infrastructure security.

Ilya Meyzin, added that Dun & Bradstreet had been employing LLMS for several years (large language models) to improve data quality, ingest data, and generate new types of insights.

The Issue of Trust and Safety with Gen AI

As Gen AI adoption increases, concerns regarding trust and safety become more acute.

Nikesh Kalra from DeepMedia discussed AI’s role in helping trust & safety teams combat nefarious content, which he quoted is now a $20bn market. 

Adopting Gen AI solutions from the third quarter of last year, Ilya from Dun & Bradstreet, emphasized the importance of addressing biases and hallucinations in AI, implementing rigorous data governance practices, and most importantly, using trusted and validated data.

Gen AI models are amazing, but many of the leading models are trained on the entirety of the internet, and the internet is a Data Frankenstein.

Ilya Meyzin, SVP, Head of Data Science at Dun & Bradstreet

Shutterstock has been using AI well before Gen AI became the norm, explained Sejal, to understand the users and meet their needs through personalized search, recommendation engines and content discovery tools. With the growth of AI usage within their business, they had increased their trust and ethics practices.

Nikesh Kalra reminded the audience that generated content was not just gathered from social media, but also from Zoom calls and across other platforms. With even the larger news and information services now turning to user generated content from sources like TikTok, he spoke about a move towards greater investment in the authentication of the data supply chain.

Trust is ultimately all we really have to run a company, country, and the world on. Authenticating the supply chain of news, information, and data, is more important than it has ever been before.

Nikesh Kalra, Chief Operating Officer of DeepMedia

Licensing and Growth resulting from Generative AI

The conversation shifted to the potential to drive revenue and growth through Gen AI.

Dun & Bradstreet is navigating the delicate balance between licensing proprietary data and protecting market competitiveness, carefully weighing the revenue upside with strategic threats. Meanwhile, Shutterstock capitalized on its immense repository of assets through partnerships with Gen AI hyperscalers, resulting in their first deal with OpenAI in 2022. Sejal Amin, however, noted a shift in demand towards tailoring smaller data sets for more conversive models.

We have to understand the user and their needs because that is the core of everything we do… As we sell our data, keeping models clean is a huge part of the responsibility we have.

Sejal Amin, Chief Technology Officer of Shutterstock

What’s in store for Generative AI in 2024? 

Finally, the panelists speculated on what the biggest development in AI would be in 2024.

For Nikesh Kalra it was the weaponizing of AI during the perfect storm of global elections, virality of social media, and the adoption of AI on a massive scale. Both Ilya Meyzin and Sejal Amin envisioned that the “rubber will hit the road” on Gen AI with worldwide enterprise adoption of it. Ilya also highlighted that in 2024 the emphasis on guardrails – LLM safety controls and protocols – will become increasingly important.

In conclusion, the discussion emphasized the potential of Gen AI to drive value, productivity, and growth, alongside the imperative of addressing the challenges of risk and governance for all.

For more information about our conference please click here.

Flywheel: The Global Vision for E-commerce

Flywheel: The Global Vision for E-commerce

JEGI CLARITY’s 20th Annual Media & Technology Conference in New York City brought together senior executives and investors from across the global media, marketing, information, and technology sectors.

The Conference finished on a high with a captivating session featuring Wilma Jordan, Founder and CEO, North America of JEGI CLARITY, in conversation with Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Flywheel, in a session titled, Flywheel: The Global Vision for E-commerce.

Stellar track record of build and sell

Wilma began by introducing Duncan, highlighting his stellar track record of building and selling businesses with achievements including a $848m deal for WGSN with private equity Apax Partners and the sale of Flywheel Digital to Omnicom for $835m. Duncan shared insights from his career, from founding consumer intelligence provider ClarityBlue, to navigating the challenges of transforming Emap from a company with zero market value through an IPO, generating a 1.5x return.

My first 180-day plan at Emap was just to stop us having to hand the keys back… stopping us going bankrupt was basically the mission.

Omnicom’s purchase of Flywheel

Transitioning to Duncan’s current role within Omnicom, the conversation turned towards retail marketplaces as a pivotable force shaping the digital landscape, and the impact they will have on the consumer orientated purchase industry. Duncan highlighted the seismic changes looming and cited John Wren, Omnicom’s Group CEO, for his foresight in positioning the organization at the forefront of change with the purchase of Flywheel.

Future of E-commerce

The discussion naturally progressed to Duncan’s perspectives on the evolving landscape of e-commerce and the future of retail.

The retail market, including retail marketplaces and retail media, is poised to undergo significant changes in the digital industry. This shift is often misunderstood, yet it represents the next major transformation in the field.

Duncan emphasized the dynamic nature of retail markets, comparing them to the stock market. He highlighted that the role of first party data is one part of the change but emphasized that the most significant element will be the provision, for the first time ever, of direct-to-consumer capabilities at mass scale with a real time view of trading across all environments. He quoted staggering statistics demonstrating Flywheel’s influence across global marketplaces with ownership of 50% of the top consumer packaged goods (CPG), 6,000 clients that use their platforms across 29 countries globally.

Throughout the day, our systems and teams constantly monitor trading activities across all our platforms in real time. The gross merchandise value (GMV) we influence amounts to hundreds of billions.

He continued by explaining that when they started to build Flywheel in 2015, they realized that they had to be inside the walled gardens of the marketplaces, building and leveraging capability for their brands. This approach not only allows the manufacturer to meet, and sell to their customers directly, but to know how every single US$ spent performs, allowing for pure retail optimization.

The future of bricks and mortar retail

With this retail trajectory, Duncan predicted that there will still be physical stores in 20-30 years, however they will be transformed into warehouses for collection rather than for customer facing retail space. With online retail sales expected to meet 40% of market share by next year and grow to 60-70% in the next five years, Duncan stressed the importance of a digital first approach, particularly as Generation Alpha had already reached 97% digital engagement.

If you aren’t a digitally enabled and digital first business, able to leverage and in a world where marketplaces will be the norm, then you are not really prepared for this 10-15 year wave.

The role of humans in future retail

Wilma inquired about the impact of digital retail on the retail workforce in the next 10 years with Duncan explaining a shift towards a more dynamic approach, where retailers would need to be “hedge fund managers rather than portfolio managers”. He explained that last year 70% of net growth on marketplaces within Amazon in the US came from direct brands from China trading directly, selling to the US population. He warned that Western retailers need to rethink their sales strategies to remain competitive against East Asian retailers whose P&Ls don’t include high salaried product, sales, and marketing directors, and therefore having the ability to invest in optimizing their products on retail marketplaces.

The current global landscape is undergoing significant changes. Traditional barriers to building, creating, and selling are diminishing, while economic models are evolving rapidly, facilitated by the rise of global marketplaces. This transformation is occurring so swiftly that many organizations have not fully grasped the implications of these shifts.

The rise of retail media

With the retail media market growing 100% year on year, even before optimization is realized, Duncan believed it will become the largest retail platform, boasting unparalleled attribution capabilities, “for the first time ever attribution is pure.” He underscored its transformative potential in advertising effectiveness and revenue generation, particularly evident in Amazon’s revenue streams.

For more information about our conference please click here.