Mind POVs

The Tech Industry's Responsibilities

Written by Shalendra Mendis

Probably the most heated panel discussion of Cannes Lions 2018 with a few clashing viewpoints regarding the tech industry’s responsibilities in light of the power it wields in modern day society.

Keith Weed commented that he believes most of the current issues that have lamented the digital giants such as Facebook and Google: Such as privacy concerns, Fake news and brand safety are a lot to do with how exponentially tech platforms have grown in the last decade. He quoted the example of how industry’s such as Railways grew gradually spanning over centuries while the tech industry catapulted in less than a decade. The success of these platforms and its rapid rate of growth spawns unforeseen consequences. The industry is currently moving too fast to identify these issues till substantial repercussions emerge.

The question of whether the “Techlash” of recent times has been too harsh was replied by

Kasha Cacy citing that she believes society itself has to take a lot of the blame for the current predicaments and that Tech platforms are only partly responsible.

An audience poll was conducted to gauge how many would pay for an ad free experience and who are okay with relevant ads being targeted to them. Evgeny Morozov the journalist in the panel suggested a 3rd option – Who believes that audiences should be paid for the use of their data? Unsurprisingly the majority agreed with the 3rd option, with relevant ads being targeted being preferred over an ad free experience. Keith Weed dismissed the 3rd option directly as he believed it’s not a practical business model.

Finally Keith Weed assured that the next big challenge for Marketers will be how to stay present with the rapid evolution of Voice tech. As we will soon be in an era where users may not have to look at screens as often and carry out tasks pre-dominantly through voice. How would advertising work in a world that does not look at the mobile phone screens as often? How can marketers stay ahead of the curve and ensure that the voice space can be positive interactive space for brands.