The Robots Are Coming: Key conference takeaways

By David Watts • 1 February 2024 • 3 minutes reading time

Some of our team headed to the agency AI conference this month, The Robots Are Coming. Organised by Agency Hackers in London’s stunning venue The Royal Institution, the team heard from industry leaders about how AI is being implemented in agencies and shared first-hand advice on adopting new technological advancements.

The informative conference instilled confidence that we as an agency are in a good position with AI technology, as we are already utilising trends and tools across our services.

Our roundup will take you through some of the key speakers’ main points that we heard at the event.

“SEO for AI Search (SGE)” by Tim Cameron-Kitchen, Founder of Exposure Ninja

Tim discussed the rapidly evolving landscape of AI in search, specifically focusing on Google’s pending AI answer functionality. The impact of SGE (Search Generative Experience) on traditional SEO strategies is set to be huge for businesses and professionals working to maintain their position within a shifting landscape. Tim took us through some early SGE case studies looking at the effect it will have on user experience within search and as a consequence the reduced traffic we’re likely to see from search engines actually reaching websites. Tim went on to talk about how agencies should be making preparations now around the structure of content for their clients in order to be ready for the inevitable roll-out.

Key points:

  1. SGE represents a significant shift in Google’s approach to search, emphasising AI-driven answers and driving down clicks to traditional website links.
  2. The importance of being prepared for SGE and that there is a low level of awareness in the wider industry at this time.
  3. SGE has been shown to display incorrect facts, but this can be corrected by adapting the reference pages from which the LLM is pulling its data.
  4. Tim discussed strategies that agencies and clients could implement now that would mitigate any loss in traffic from existing rankings by helping them appear in the SGE carousel.

“The Robots Are Coming” by Heather Murray, Director at Beesting Digital and Founder of AI for Non-Techies

Heather’s talk focused on leveraging AI in content creation to sound authentic and have a human touch. She discussed the history and evolution of AI, looking at its capabilities and limitations, especially in natural language processing.

Her presentation emphasised the importance of training AI with your own personal data in order to create content that reflects an individual’s unique style and voice, addressing issues like AI predictability, bias, and plagiarism.

Key points:

  1. AI is not new, but the latest milestones have rapidly opened up new possibilities within content.
  2. There are challenges for AI-generated content, such as human language interpretation and AIs producing generic material.
  3. Early adopters need to implement strategies for making AI sound more human and authentic, by incorporating style guides.
  4. The future of AI in content creation includes the potential for hyper-personalised marketing and breaking language barriers.

“AI Revolution” by Justin Deaville, Managing Director at Receptional

Justin examined the rapidly evolving role of AI in marketing. He took us through the increasing use of AI tools by marketers, with a focus on efficiency, productivity, and the positive potential for blending AI with human creativity.

He also delved into the ethics around AI use, emphasising the need for human oversight, which for the foreseeable future is not only vital for increasing accuracy but also for maintaining human values and building trust. Justin also highlighted the importance of testing and measuring AI’s impact against traditional human methods to ensure the benchmark around what agencies produce is not sacrificed in order to benefit from the efficiencies that come with cutting corners with AI.

Key points:

  1. The growing integration of AI in areas like content creation, data analysis, and customer targeting.
  2. There is a necessity to balance AI tools with human creativity and oversight as opposed to eradicating human efforts altogether.
  3. How we still have many ethical considerations and challenges posed by the adoption of AI in strategy.
  4. The crucial role of experimentation and adaptation in leveraging AI for success, by identifying untapped markets, optimising offerings, and leveraging data.

Talk to us about how we are implementing AI into our services to help our clients.

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