AIPIA World Congress 2018

‘Big data when not controlled is a new way of doing the wrong thing faster’

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

The AIPIA World Congress in Amsterdam. Photo: WRBM
The AIPIA World Congress in Amsterdam. Photo: WRBM
AIPIA (Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association) opened its 2018 Amsterdam World Congress (November 19-20) touching on the challenges and hurdles for smart packaging this week.

One of the misconceptions of many companies is that it is necessary to collect large amounts of data, however, Tom Lawrie-Fussey, digital services specialist, Cambridge Design Partnership in the UK, warned this is not always the best approach. 

Microsoft’s AI bot


Big data when it is not controlled is a new way of doing the wrong thing faster,​” he said. 

Be careful when using digitally connected smart packaging as a way to collect lots of data but not using it effectively, make the disconnect between the marketing position you want to place your brand in and perceived level of the market, these two lines have to join up.​ 

It’s better to take many little steps underneath headlined messages. This is the way to go. Small amounts of data is the only data you need to benefit, don’t expose your company to unnecessary risk​.” 

As an example, Lawrie-Fussey highlighted Microsoft’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) bot called Tay, which had to be closed down within 24 hours of its launch in 2016 due to offensive or racist statements.  

The bot made the remarks responding to tweets and chats on GroupMe and Kik, because even though it wasn’t coded to be racist, it took on comments from conversations it was interacting with.

Microsoft has since deleted some of the most damaging tweets, but the experiment shows that not all collection of data online can be a useful learning tool.


This year, the AIPIA World Congress has grown from 60 attendees when it launched nearly seven years’ ago to 360 people, and 35 exhibitors. 

Lawrie-Fussey introduced each of the exhibitors to the audience at the opening of the congress, which this year includes; Zapper; talkin things; securikett; Systech e-fingerprint identification; FiliGrade; Kezzler, and EVRYTHNG, to name a few. 

Printed electronics firm AsahiKASEI flew in from Tokyo, Japan, to present its transparent NFC/RFID concept, which is expected to have huge implications for the beverage packaging industry. 

The main challenges to be discussed at this year’s event include; IoT (Internt of Things), integration, cost, understanding the benefits of IoP (Internet of packaging), connection, how to communicate user benefit, consumer awareness, sustainability and recyclability. 

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