Thursday, December 7, 2023

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    Why Boathouse’s CEO is taking a decentralized approach to using AI for clients

    More than perhaps any ad technology before it, generative AI has the potential to be a leveler of playing fields when it comes to what agencies can bring to bear for their clients. Smaller agencies that learn to wield generative AI’s seemingly limitless potential can pull off anything their larger competitors can.

    John Connors, CEO of Boston-based independent agency Boathouse, has always been a bit of a contrarian relative to his agency peers both large and small. And when it comes to AI, he believes too many agencies are leveraging the tech to show off more than deliver results. He said he’s looking to generate more concrete results for Boathouse’s clients, which include the American Diabetes Association and Mass General Brigham hospital.

    So, rather than eschew the tech altogether, the natural born skeptic is hedging his bets by empowering every one of the agency’s departments to figure out how to employ generative AI on their own for maximum return.

    In this interview, which has been edited for clarity and space, Connors details a more decentralized approach to AI, which he thinks can translate into becoming a leader in the space. 

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