Asia Business Channel

Dentsu China – “Only 26% of Chinese marketers understand AI”


Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has released a report, ‘Making AI Actionable’ that covers the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in China. The report highlights attitudes about the impact of artificial intelligence and the changing nature of work.

Dentsu’s report is based on interviews and surveys with 2,000+ marketing professionals in China and looks at the key areas where marketing today is utilizing AI. The report takes a “deep dive” into people’s understanding of artificial intelligence and explores whether AI is seen as a tool for deeper insights and increased effectiveness, or as a death knell for our industry and replacement by robots.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the report is its finding that 86% of respondents believe that artificial intelligence will impact their industry over the next 2 years, yet only 26% had a firm understanding of what AI is and how it may be used in advertising and marketing.

The report focuses on the five key areas where the application of AI is impacting advertising and marketing in China. These are: Computer Vision, Content Creation, Precision Targeting, Search and Speech Recognition.

The survey shows the confidence that marketers have in China in being able to constantly realign business and operating models around changing consumer needs. 78% believed in the power of AI to deliver deeper consumer understanding.

This follows the release in October of DAN’s China edition of their Digital Society Index (DSI), created in partnership with Oxford Economics. This report ranks 10 countries on how successful they are in building a digital economy that works for all in society.

The research shows that, while the US is currently leading the way when it comes to digital dynamism, China is ranked first when it comes to optimism about the impact of digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) on work and life.

The report notes that 73% of people in China believe that the future impact of digital technology will be positive overall, as well as in terms of its ability to create jobs and address societal challenges. In comparison to negative perceptions in the West, 65% believe that emerging digital technologies (e.g. AI, robotics) will create job opportunities over the next 5-10 years.

The report also found that 68% of people in China believe that their formal education – school, college, university – has given them the technology skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the future and to get a good job – the highest proportion by far out of the countries we analyzed.

China also has the smallest gender gap in terms of digital engagement out of the countries analyzed -- women in China are 42% more optimistic about the future than their counterparts in the Japan and 36% greater than women in the UK.

However, action will be needed to deliver on this expectation. Despite large-scale investment in new technologies and many groundbreaking innovations, China ranks further down the index in terms of digital dynamism (8th), the core engine of digital growth.

Susana Tsui, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network China commented: "Ensuring access to the right skills, building confidence in new products and services, as well as establishing the right norms and protocols around sharing data, are all essential elements of a future-proof strategy. Dentsu Aegis Network China is committed to continue to understand, learn, apply and share our research findings to deliver relevant creative and innovative work for our clients and the industry. This transition to a digital economy represents an unparalleled opportunity to drive economic growth and change lives."

To read the China Digital Society Index report, click here:

Dentsu also collaborated with MIT to create the “Connectivity and QoL report, that discusses how digital consumer habits and ubiquitous technology are shaping smart city development in the Asia-Pacific region.

To view this report, click here:




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