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Kantar Launches AI Lab and Names Chief AI Scientist

June 17 2024

Kantar has brought AI strategy and engineering teams from across the group together to launch Kantar AI Lab, led by Chief AI Scientist Ashok Kalidas. A first product called KaiA - a GenAI marketing assistant - goes live today.

Ashok KalidasThe global group has been launching AI products piecemeal for a number of years - fully automated creative impact measurement tools Link AI in 2020 and Digital Video AI in 2021, and a Qual AI tool last autumn - and also in October announced a broad expansion of AI capabilities within its brand strategy and creative development portfolio. AI is also one focus of its partnership with QuestionPro, announced earlier this month.

Announced at Cannes, the new Lab is to serve as the Centre of Expertise for the development of the group's AI technologies, products and collaborations, and will look to 'embed AI technology across every element of Kantar's portfolio and value chain'.

KaiA can be used to interrogate data 'more intuitively, simply by asking questions' and is initially available for clients of Kantar's Brand Tracking services, with more integrations to follow. Also new is Text AI, a proprietary GenAI-based approach to analyse thousands of open-ended survey responses, identifying and grouping common patterns in large bodies of text-based responses while maintaining data privacy and security standards.

Also announced are LIFT ROI unified marketing features, to optimise campaign impact, with data to be integrated with LINK AI data to determine the impact of creative quality on the effectiveness of media exposure; the integration of LINK AI Creative Insights within LIFT, combining creative and media effectiveness measurement for video; a new predicted brand lift feature within LINK+; automated creative tagging for adverts tested with LINK AI, available from next month; and features for predicting market transfer and concept evaluation.

Kalidas (pictured) has been with Kantar since 2006, running the Analytics Practice, originally within Millward Brown; and joined the firm when it acquired MaPS, of which he was Principal from 1996 onwards.

Chief Product Officer Ted Prince comments: 'Kantar has been leading in AI and advanced analytics for many years... The AI Lab is pushing our leadership a step further with a suite of tools that is making our research more effective, enabling deeper insights, and is offering new AI-led research applications that will transform the relationship between brands and consumers'. Kalidas (pictured) says the group is 'building an AI strategy to disrupt our industry at scale, merging our AI capabilities with the expertise of our people and the scale of our data to give our clients an enhanced experience'.

Group home page: www.kantar.com .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.

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