AI: Friend or Foe?


Artificial Intelligence is something that I am following very closely in my role and although some people are scared by the terminology as they see it as a human replacement, I am way more optimistic.

Personally, whilst I understand the concerns and reasons, I find it a massive opportunity on multiple levels.

For me it’s all about enhancing the product or service that an organisation provides to make it better.  AI it represents a key enabler in  the future in meeting the needs of our patients, consumers, shoppers and retailers.  

AI is something that should be viewed as a way of enhancing understanding, which will help businesses and individuals make better choices based on facts and ultimately lead to better outcomes for all. By doing so we can become either more efficient, more effective or hopefully both.

We are already using AI in many areas, whether it from basic business process improvements and reducing the reliance on manually intensive processes, to more sophisticated consumer, shopper and patient driven solutions. In my area AI is helping us

  • Make better forecasting decisions around products with seasonality so we can adjust media and stock levels to ensure we understand when sales may peak.
  • Helping us work collaboratively with retailers to enhance the category management solutions they deliver both on line and in store through better shopper understanding and merchandising.
  • Using Dragonfly AI to help us understand at various stages of a shopper and consumer journey the visual saliency of assets – can people see what I want them to see. In a world on mental and physical availability this will prove more and more critical.
  • Leveraging data to make better more targeted decisions to avoid waste and duplication.

As the world starts to recover from the turmoil and uncertainty of the last few months, many people are talking about the changes in people’s behaviour as result of COVID. The need to quality products and services that meet people needs will not change. I strongly believe that AI will play a bigger role in helping us provide better outcomes for out customers and patients.

Simon Bell

Shopper Science Lab Director AMA at GSK


  • Words from the Wise

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