El Pitch Pageant: synthetic intelligence and digital communication in Cuba


The second version of El Pitch Pageant, a gathering on advertising and marketing and digital communication for enterprises, will happen in Havana on March 2 and three. Its organizer, the entrepreneur and communicator Katia Sánchez, spoke with OnCuba in regards to the name for this free-access occasion.

Sánchez is the founding father of La Penúltima Casa undertaking and is the host of the El Pitch podcast, which supplies its title to the competition and focuses on communication primarily based on entrepreneurship. Despite the fact that she may be very younger, because of her work in recent times she has amassed expertise within the area that makes her an authoritative and main voice on this area, having suggested established or small rising enterprises and different companies in Cuba.

What’s La Penúltima Casa?

La Penúltima Casa was created as a small weblog in 2019 after which we mutated into an company and commenced to broaden the variety of providers and merchandise we supplied. Then, the entrepreneurship sector got here to us little by little, it got here to us with the El Pitch podcast, and this made us handle to mix what it means to do communication, advertising and marketing, promoting, with what’s being accomplished from the entrepreneurship sector, the entrepreneur neighborhood in Cuba. Which, as well as, has grown so much and has seen plenty of modifications and transformations for the higher, for its strengthening and improvement.

The competition arises in 2021 primarily to unite entrepreneurs from many components of Cuba. We had 11 provinces represented in 2021. It was additionally on-line, as a result of we had been in the course of the pandemic; we had been one of many only a few occasions that had been held in Cuba at the moment. And we had 400 registered, we introduced audio system from 4 nations. The thought was to know instruments, technical methods, data, it was the principle factor.

However there was additionally the very fact of connecting, as a result of the entrepreneurial communities in Cuba and communication professionals are very dispersed. Moreover, to generate alliances and alternatives.

Mainly, it’s a assembly level that was very difficult. And now in 2024, now with out a pandemic, now with a brand new panorama within the entrepreneurial sector, we mentioned: “Nicely, let’s repeat it; let’s see the way it goes.”

And that’s the reason we created this version of El Pitch Pageant, which additionally brings a larger variety of audio system, extra range. We have already got registered folks from all of the provinces of the nation. And we’ve folks signing up from different nations. We have now about 11 nations amongst these registered; a lot of them are Cubans in different nations who need to be half. We defend the concept entrepreneurship could be carried out from anyplace, from any level, and that the competition in the end contributes to the expansion of all of the folks concerned.

Might you point out, advancing this system somewhat, a few of these worldwide audio system? Who can be a number of the most engaging?

Within the first competition we had audio system from the US, Argentina, Spain, Cuba. Now they’ll all be worldwide, from six nations: Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the US. As well as, there are ten who shall be on the on-line occasion. Amongst them we’ve, for instance, the director of Podcasteros, which is the most important neighborhood of Spanish-speaking podcasters.

We have now the founding father of Latinas en web optimization, which can be a brilliant vital, regional neighborhood that brings collectively girls in digital areas. (I’m not naming names as a result of we haven’t revealed them but).

We have now an excellent speaker, from the US, who carried out a technique to combine synthetic intelligence into the large-scale content material creation course of and thus create an enormous quantity of content material for advertising and marketing companies or every other sort.

Anyway, we’ve plenty of matters, similar to undertaking administration, we’ve web optimization after all, net positioning, we’re going to speak about content material generated by the consumer of social media, natural and paid.

There are some issues that I’d say that don’t match a lot with what we’ve in the present day within the Cuban actuality. For instance, after we speak about paid content material on social media, as a result of we all know that in Cuba the choice to advertise posts on social media is banned. However we are attempting to open up and search for insights from totally different components; in the end, that’s the place we’re going. It wasn’t unhealthy to incorporate issues that maybe we don’t have now, however sooner or later we’ll. Additionally, considering that many individuals should not in Cuba or don’t reside in Cuba proper now.

As well as, we’ve audio system who’re coming to Cuba from the US and Argentina, and who may also acenterprise us within the face-to-face area, which shall be a extra closed occasion, for main figures or specialists within the area of promoting, communication, and entrepreneurship and in addition companies and initiatives with good practices on this area.

Now that you just talked about some limitations for the promotion of content material or enterprise, what different limitations of the Cuban context are you able to determine out of your expertise and what options have new ventures otherwise you as advisors given?

We have now, after all, plenty of limitations that begin with the connectivity and pace of the Web connection in Cuba. I imply, generally, we are saying that we’re loopy doing digital communication if we don’t have the Web. I feel it’s the primary downside that we face when we’ve to do one thing on-line, and it’s one thing that we’re getting ready for on this competition, as a result of it has particular traits to make folks in Cuba with low Web pace or with little entry to knowledge as a result of it’s costly could be half. We’re utilizing some strategies that we’re replicating from the 2021 version and that labored very nicely.

In addition to that, there are different limitations. For instance, accessing paid content material, paying for instruments, getting into web sites which can be blocked for Cuba. And above all, the cost mechanisms for people who find themselves in Cuba turn into very advanced and this impacts professionals who work in communication, advertising and marketing, and promoting, who must make sure funds for instruments, proper now a lot of them synthetic intelligence which can be paid, similar to ChatGPT4 or Canva AI. Or to ascertain a mechanism for the entry and exit of cash, that’s, having the ability to acquire and make funds to and from overseas, is a big limitation that the majority entrepreneurs right here have. So, after all the Cuban context is totally different from different realities. However that’s exactly why we’ve the Pageant.

The audio system are very conscious of our context and we are attempting to make them know somewhat in regards to the dynamics of Cuba, as a result of usually we’re remoted. Not a lot is thought in regards to the actuality of Cuba and what’s occurring in different places. The competition is an effective alternative to attach professionals, entrepreneurs right here, with these international notions that they’ll share with us.

There are those that would say that in such a precarious technological context, maybe celebrating a competition centered on synthetic intelligence seems like a really lengthy leap. Do you’ve got expertise with Cuban startups which have labored with the combination of synthetic intelligence into their companies, into their digital communication?

Sure, completely. However, as well as, we on the company use at the least 6 synthetic intelligence instruments to create content material alone. This isn’t one thing that we are saying is the long run and sooner or later Cuba goes to get there. No, it’s already right here, it’s not progressive to speak about synthetic intelligence. It’s the current; it’s the actuality that we’ve.

As I discussed, there’s a speaker who has an company that solely works with synthetic intelligence, it’s his specialty, so there are already enterprise fashions primarily based on synthetic intelligence. In fact, it could sound a bit like science fiction if we’re very behind on that, however I feel that right here the modifications have occurred at a dizzying price since in 2018 we massively entered the Web by way of cellular knowledge. We’re in 2024 and what number of issues have occurred to us after that!

That’s to say, it has been such a dizzying change that we can not sit again and wait or see when it will get to Cuba. We are able to discuss in regards to the subject now. There are instruments that can be utilized, there are issues we will do. We have now VPN. In different phrases, to do that dwell broadcast I would like to make use of VPN as a result of for Cuba it’s a banned platform and we’re doing it. It’s not that it’s not possible, it’s simply that being an entrepreneur right here — I feel it’s a basic motto, however in Cuba it applies very nicely — is to repeatedly search for alternate options to unravel issues and have the ability to proceed growing. So, look, synthetic intelligence is right here. There are books, there are synthetic intelligence programs made in Cuba. La Penúltima Casa can be the primary — and solely to this point — media in Cuba that participates within the AI Journalism Academy for small newsrooms.

Briefly, we’re innovating on the problem, we’re engaged on the problem. And no, don’t sit there and look ahead to what’s going to occur, as a result of what’s going to occur when you sit there’s that you just’re not going to seek out out and everybody goes to be speaking and doing issues and also you’re not going to see it carried out. So sure, we deliver it with nice satisfaction.

One other imaginative and prescient, removed from pondering that it’s the future, fears that synthetic intelligence has already arrived and it’s a matter of time earlier than it displaces many people from the labor market; removed from this method of integrating it into your functions as an enterprise, they see these platforms as these that may turn into content material creators and can substitute the work that these of us who create textual content, picture, video, digital communication do. What do you concentrate on this and why did they select the method of integrating synthetic intelligence into the needs of the enterprise and never fearing it as an enemy, as an advance that’s going to overhaul us and goes to be one other technological change that’s going to depart many people out of the market?

Nicely, it’s a debate, and I feel that debate has been repeated each time there’s a expertise that’s this disruptive. It appears to me that it depends upon the way you see it, however it has extra to do with seeing synthetic intelligence from the job function.

That’s, if you’re working inside a big enterprise in a division the place there are 10 journalists and so they start to make use of synthetic intelligence instruments to help that work, they’ll in all probability now want 3 as an alternative of 10. They may positively want fewer folks to try this job. However, watch out, that has occurred each time a expertise comes out. It has been a part of historical past.

Nonetheless, as an expert, as an entrepreneur, there’s far more you are able to do. Your productive capability will increase vastly when you use synthetic intelligence instruments. I don’t see it a lot as whether or not it replaces us or not, however moderately the way it suits inside roles and work fashions basically.

As an expert, I can now make content material that used to take 3 hours in 20 minutes; as a result of I’ve instruments at my disposal that enable me to extend my productiveness, that enable me to be simpler, the place I can do a collection of issues. And however, I can full a collection of processes that had been far more disjointed earlier than, so to talk.

As professionals we should not have to be afraid of synthetic intelligence. Fairly the alternative. In different phrases, the sky is the restrict for the variety of issues we will do. And I’m tremendous excited. Moreover, each time I uncover a instrument and begin attempting it and I see how a lot work it saves me and the way nicely it seems…. I need to apply it to myself, to my work processes as a result of I see how a lot it’s serving to me and the way productive I could be, how good that can be for our revenue, from an entrepreneurial standpoint. It’s additionally nice for enterprise.

No worry and plenty of attending to understand it, learning it, understanding, after all, its limits, its biases, its dangers, which aren’t few, in questions of ethics, of the stereotypes it reproduces, in questions of whether or not it actually wants synthetic intelligence to do that or not. Let’s be clear, we don’t want synthetic intelligence for every little thing and the human worth there has not been misplaced with synthetic intelligence and I don’t suppose will probably be misplaced.

There’s a contest on the Pageant as a part of the actions. Inform us somewhat about this.

Sure, we’ve the Advertising and marketing AI contest as a result of on the 2021 competition we ran a synthetic intelligence contest and round 40 companies submitted that we revealed on the YouTube channel we created for the competition. We chosen a preferred winner and a winner from the specialised jury that evaluated these enterprise pitches.

This yr we’re going to do one thing totally different; we’re going to do one thing new, one thing that has not been accomplished in Cuba. It’s a thought that guides a lot of every little thing we do.

What’s the hottest factor in advertising and marketing proper now? Synthetic intelligence. Let’s create one thing about synthetic intelligence. And we launched the competition whose concept is to create a product or answer that contributes to a advertising and marketing goal of any model already created or fictitious, utilizing a number of synthetic intelligence instruments

to the diploma that the authors or the creator deems inconvenient. That’s, you create a product of any sort to advertise one thing, to place one thing, to promote one thing associated to a model, which can be any sort of name. And you utilize synthetic intelligence, you inform us what instruments you used, to what extent or why you used them. And there you join, present a hyperlink to this product that you just made and you might be already within the contest.

We shall be giving a number of prizes to every of the 2 winners, one well-liked and one jury winner. It may be particular person participation or in groups of as much as 3 members. Among the many prizes is 30,000 Cuban pesos in money, and we’re going to give them an invite to the in-person occasion, with a number of the main references and specialists in Cuba within the area of promoting, communication, promoting and entrepreneurship.

It’s a contest that’s going to be occasion of these days. Many individuals have been asking us: “I solely find out about this instrument, do you suppose I can?” In fact. In different phrases, even whether it is little, every little thing you are able to do with synthetic intelligence is an advance. If it’s an Instagram publish for the enterprise with ChatGPT after which, as well as, some picture technology instrument like Dall-E to make the bottom picture or edit it and such, it’s nice. It’s already one thing that, as well as, contributes on to a undertaking, a model, an goal and that makes use of these instruments for its creation. With which, sure, you are able to do something from one thing very small to a web site, a chatbot or anything you need to do. We launched a video on our Instagram account to indicate an instance. It’s a video of an avatar; we gave a textual content immediate and the avatar spoke, creating every little thing in synthetic intelligence in order that it might be seen. It’s an instance of the issues you are able to do, that are so much.


A joint publish from El PitchComunicando Negocios en Cuba (@elpitch.podcast)

They’re open to any format, the usage of any platform. The one criterion is having used synthetic intelligence in advertising and marketing.

That and it’s one thing that was created through the contest interval. That’s, it shouldn’t be one thing that was accomplished 3 months or 1 yr in the past, however moderately it needs to be unpublished. The admission deadline is February 29. We need to give the prizes on March 3, which is the second and final day of the web occasion.

There shall be part of the occasion on-line and one other half in particular person. What is going to the in-person occasion include?

The in-person occasion is the final and is probably the most reserved occasion, designed for specialists, main specialists in Cuba in advertising and marketing and communication. And in addition for ventures with good practices available in the market. It will likely be on the British residence in Havana, with the help of the British Embassy, and in addition plenty of manufacturers which can be supporting and collaborating with us in some ways. The Pageant, I instructed the crew, has additionally turn into the competition of name collaboration, as a result of we’ve plenty of pleasant manufacturers which have supported us, similar to OnCuba, a medium with which we’re additionally establishing a sponsorship for the competition and finishing up numerous cross-marketing actions.

We’ll share the overwhelming majority of invited audio system for March 2 and three, Saturday and Sunday, by way of the YouTube channel created for El Pitch Pageant and our Telegram channel. There’s a registration type, it is vitally easy, it’s free, it’s open. The one factor it’s a must to do is have an web connection to be with us these two days.

However we all know that there are issues concerning the connection and we’re supporting individuals who should not have sufficient sources to pay for web knowledge throughout these two days. We’re providing sources, making recharges to those that want it. We all know that there are a lot of, nice, great professionals in Cuba who’ve little entry to alternatives. That can be what we need to generate. That the occasion be in depth, that the identical folks as all the time not keep, that it doesn’t keep in Havana, for instance. That it go additional and go to the areas the place alternatives nearly by no means come.

El Pitch Pageant, March 2 and three on-line, from 9 within the morning to 2 within the afternoon every day. With talks from audio system. After which questions and solutions by way of our Telegram channel. There we could have prizes from the sponsors. We’re going to have raffles. We’re going to have the award ceremony for the synthetic intelligence contest. In different phrases, will probably be two days to have enjoyable, have a very good time, make alliances, trade. And to study so much, after all.

Till just a few years in the past, many Cuban entrepreneurs thought that it was not essential to put money into advertising and marketing or digital communication; that it was sufficient to promote on Fb, for instance. Or open a channel on Telegram. Or have a WhatsApp group. Do you’re feeling that, for instance, in comparison with the earlier version of El Pitch Pageant, from 2021 to the current, consciousness has elevated among the many rising Cuban non-public sector of the significance of getting a powerful digital presence, of getting an identification and of investing in advertising and marketing to hold out their companies?

Nicely, there are a number of issues there. First, the sector is bigger. We’re many extra. In 2021, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises started in Cuba.

The entrepreneurial sector is boosted and the flexibility to make this sector, the strengthening it has gained in recent times is immense. Though there’s nonetheless so much to do, after all. However it’s true that this mentality of “I don’t want advertising and marketing” or “I don’t want so many channels”; “I’m not going to put money into communication”…though we’ve made progress (there are a lot of extra companies, there are a lot of extra folks doing this), it’s also nonetheless pending. In different phrases, there’ll proceed to be this reluctance to put money into advertising and marketing and communication. That reduce first; when I’ve issues with liquidity or funds, I’ll reduce on advertising and marketing and communication first than anything. It’s in our actuality. We see, for instance, that there is no such thing as a model work in plenty of companies that they name the “MSME on the nook,” or from right here or there. It’s the period of non-branding, they don’t have a reputation, a branding behind them; it’s merely a generalist class.

There we will see how a lot stays to be accomplished, that we’re within the making, that we’re taking child steps. There stays so much to be accomplished. We want extra time to work; and it’s one thing that may all the time exist, even exterior the nationwide actuality it exists.

Now, who’s going to maintain the most important market share, who’s going to outlive in the long run, who’s going to do sustainable initiatives, who is actually going to develop and scale? Those that work on advertising and marketing, communication, promoting, branding and do it nicely, with frequent sense, with an interdisciplinary method and attempting to make sure that it meets or favors or contributes to the enterprise targets.



El Pitch Pageant, March 2 and three, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To register for El Pitch Pageant, on-line and free, click on right here

To take part within the Advertising and marketing AI contest, click on right here

Mónica Rivero Mónica Rivero


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