Artificial intelligence is surely this year's big thing. "Important CEOs are talking about it on conference calls," remarked Shane Skillen of Hotspex, speaking at IIeX Europe (Amsterdam, February 2018). "They're all mentioning, 'we're using AI for this', 'we're using AI for that' ... it's a buzz word and if you don't say it, the analysts wonder why you didn't."

It featured prominently at IIeX too, where insights professionals wondered how they could best leverage the abilities of AI in its various guises. ZappiStore's Stephen Phillips made a case for using machine learning to predict the future, while Unilever's Stan Sthanuthan suggested augmented intelligence could generate twice the insights in half the time and at half the cost and ultimately enable "marketing to a segment of one".

Myntra, an online fashion retailer in India, uses AI to crawl the online world, picking up words and images and spotting patterns that enable it to predict what its customers will like and buy. This process has helped it create a "designer-less" fast fashion line that appeals to a particular target group.