Integrating AI Into Everything We Do


In a recent session of The Short Story Is, a podcast by dentsu, Brian Klochkoff, Executive Vice President Innovation at Emerging Technologies at dentsu and Kate Slade, Emerging Technology Enablement Director, delved into how AI is integrated, along with driving efficiency and innovation at dentsu. 

For years, dentsu has been developing traditional automation technologies. Around 2020, the emergence of generative AI like GPT 2 by OpenAI transformed the company's innovation roadmap. Fast forward to 2024, and dentsu's adoption of AI has hit full stride: dentsu is harnessing AI's potential to power the innovation and productivity of its employees, making their work smarter, more efficient, and ultimately more human.

Leveraging AI in dentsu's Innovation Strategy 

One of the key highlights of dentsu's AI adoption is its comprehensive, strategic approach. Identifying more traditional automation technologies as their starting point, Brian and Kate have advanced to explore and integrate AI prototypes and conceptualized the idea of creating "intelligent virtual agents." They've focused on creating safe, compliant platforms for continued employee development and innovation - their walled gardens.

The Impact of the Walled Gardens Approach

The walled gardens infrastructure allowed dentsu employees a secure platform to foster their innovative ideas and work towards actualizing them. This has led to the commercialization of feasible solutions and marked dentsu's strategic shift towards integrating AI into every aspect of their work. Therefore, enabling employees to contribute more effectively and efficiently.

Both Brian and Kate emphasized the importance of these infrastructures in safely promoting innovation and balancing it with corporate governance.

Creating Digital Skill Acquisition Platforms

Dentsu's approach to adopting AI goes beyond implementation; it's also about ongoing engagement and capacity building. Kate leads hackathons across the organization, enabling employees to learn and leverage new technologies. This resulted in a considerable jump in engagement from 350 people in a recent Google hackathon to over 30 working prototypes produced in just a week.

Beyond just engineers and tech folks, dentsu's AI community is open to all employees who wish to upskill and learn more about emerging technologies.

The Power of Partnerships in Boosting AI Innovation

The strides dentsu is making in AI has been significantly bolstered by partnerships with tech giants including Microsoft, Google, and AWS. Dentsu's partnership with Microsoft, in particular, enabled us to be the one of the first firms to use Microsoft 365 Copilot.

Measuring Productivity with AI

The successful implementation of AI technologies like Microsoft 365 Copilot has certainly augmented employee experience at dentsu. With reported time-saving benefits among 67% of users, employees can focus on more significant, human-centered tasks. This, in turn, has increased the productivity and strategic output of employees.

Artificial Intelligence like Microsoft's Copilot is integrated into routine tasks, freeing up employee time and allowing them to focus their efforts more on strategic and creative tasks. For instance, AI aids in auto-organizing meetings, automatically transcribing meeting notes, and optimizing schedules. Employees can then concentrate on growth opportunities and strategic planning during their one-on-one meetings, rather than on routine tasks or rehashing reports. In this context, AI tools serve as co-pilots that elevate potential by integrating AI into all facets of the company's operations. This contributes to a better work-life balance and more fulfilling work routines for the employees.

Moreover, the employees' access to such innovative tools and platforms fosters a sense of community within the company. This platform not only provides access to the latest technology but also offers a space for employees to share work, ideas, and challenges and to get peer-to-peer support. Augmenting the employee experience at this company involves more than just enhancing task efficiency. It also aims to improve the quality of work, promote personal development, and increase job satisfaction.

At dentsu, the adoption of AI is not merely a nod to technological advancements, but a commitment to enhancing how we work. As we continue our journey into the realm of AI, we remain focused on empowering our teams and clients, redefining the expectations for agencies in our industry.