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Last month, Collision—Toronto’s TIFF of tech—took over downtown Toronto for the first time since 2019. Jorielle Nunag, our account director in tech public relations and Andrea Morassutti, our director of digital strategy, were our ears on the ground.

As the event floor swarmed with notable speakers, journalists sharing insights on the Canadian economy and a multitude of up-and-coming startups seeking investments and exposure, one topic reigned supreme: How artificial intelligence is poised to upend industries and transform the future.

As we move forward into a world where AI promises to have a big impact, here are some of our key learnings to keep in mind:

1) Embrace shifts and the importance of leading in seismic change. Though AI and Language Learning Models (LLM) are not new, they’ve become more pervasive; their application has become so simple that they’re being seen across industries. This jump towards greater connectivity comes with a sense of fear in whether we can trust the changes happening around us. We need to get comfortable with ambiguity—to listen, learn, be agile and keep people at the forefront. 

Always remember: People want to connect to a purpose. Ensure digital is embedded in your processes and that employees are digitally fluent across your organization. Build a culture of innovation: Allow people to be curious and give them the opportunity to fail and grow.

2) Keep the consumer experience at the heart of everything you do. Customers are your biggest asset, making obtaining and retaining them imperative. Listen to their perspectives and consider how you can incorporate that data into your business model. Consumers care about getting the job done and leveraging their voices is one of the most compelling ways to ensure internal buy-in, keeping innovation moving forward. Listen more than you speak—let them do the talking.

3) The future of work comes with diverse talent that stretches across borders. AI is not a replacement for human creativity. In fact, in this digitally savvy landscape, a lower barrier to entry paradoxically creates a higher demand for talent. In many cases, AI is helping expand and obtain global talent and skillsets.


Companies are embracing employee activity and advocacy. And in this new world of remote work, businesses can collaborate, grow and invest in their people, no matter where in the world they are. Staying connected and removing the borders that divide us with the help of technology allows talent to flow where the demand is.

The competition is diving into the global talent pool. You should, too.

4) Put people first. With AI advancement comes the fear that humans will be replaced. But in reality, nothing can replace the empathy that comes with being human. Culture drives transformation and people drive change—not tech. So it’s not so much about the tech itself, but rather what you can do with it. 

AI can and should democratize, giving power back to the individual, creating more accessible and convenient systems that eliminate manual work and allow for more informed design.

Social and community are not interchangeable. Social networks confuse watching us with knowing us; they assume people are what they do. The main problem with inference data is that you feel trapped—it erodes trust and users often feel like they’re losing agency. When your experience is driven by signals you’re not aware you’re sending, you start to feel disconnected from the experience: It’s happening to you

Community requires: Recognition, investment and repetition. Dialogue can challenge the idea that interaction data is the best way to understand people. We should build community because not only is it enduring and safer, people will also value it.

5) Trust is essential. It shouldn’t be about storytelling, rather storyliving. Be authentic: If you’re not there yet, be honest about it! It’s hard to build trust, but easy to lose it. Whoever can best solve privacy and security concerns will win at AI.

Pioneering responsibly and considering safety, security, ethics, broad impact, transparency and inclusivity are key to building a positive future for everyone. This is why the emergence of technologies such as Generative AI considers social responsibility and accountability throughout its design, development and deployment. As the space progresses, it’s essential to make an effort to hear and understand diverse perspectives. Corporations and organizations must put their money where their mouth is; it’s not just about checking boxes, but solving real-world problems across demographics.

Advancements in technology will continue to prompt a reckoning for leaders across Canada who must adapt to change and balance.  While conferences the size and scale of Collision took a back seat during the pandemic, continued advancements in the tech space paired with upcoming events like Elevate suggest they’re back and better than ever. Will you be attending?

Jorielle Nunag
Account Director

Andrea Morassutti
Director of Digital Strategy

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