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By Maria Greaves, Assistant editor - branded content

May 15, 2024 | 6 min read

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In part one of our ‘Eye on AI’ series, we explore how the democratization of generative AI has given everyone a digital copilot that can help them achieve more at work and at play.

James Thomas, dentsu creative

Soon, people won’t even realize they’re using generative AI, it will be so natively embedded into their workflows on their phone / The Drum

Generative AI is out of the lab and in all our lives. To date, AI capabilities have mainly been on autopilot. But generative AI has helped it become more intuitive and accessible, working as a copilot to humans, to power up ever more efficient and creative lives. Its evolution means it’s no longer reserved for technology aficionados, but is accessible to everyone, integrated into people’s daily digital lives, helping to amplify productivity and augment creativity like never before.

“When you say generative AI, people think about the crazy things they see – like a panda riding a bicycle on Mars – and think of it as something that’s out of their reach,” says James Thomas, global chief technology officer at Dentsu Creative. “Soon, people won’t even realize they’re using generative AI, it will be so natively embedded into their workflows on their phones and via laptop applications.”

In this sense, generative AI is leveling up the quality of people’s lives in a way that empowers everyone to do more and achieve more. But how are people interacting with their new everyday AI companion at work and in their leisure time? And what does that mean for marketers looking to transform the customer experience?

Reimagining the information exchange

Generative AI captured the cultural zeitgeist in 2023, evidenced by the rapid user engagement with these tools. Microsoft’s Copilot in Bing reached five billion chats within its first year, with user interactions doubling quarterly. Similarly, OpenAI’s ChatGPT hit one-hundred million users in two months, while Google’s Bard attracted over thirty million monthly users just six weeks after it launched.

These tools are expanding the realm of traditional Search. Microsoft data shows that people mainly use Copilot for discovery, research, answering questions, or finding sources of information – i.e. how they traditionally tend to interact with Search. But, how they engage with results, conversing with the machine, is changing the user journey and accelerating the speed at which they receive information.

“Previously, you would have had to string together keywords that didn’t always feel intuitive to get to the search results you wanted. But today, you can search in a conversational manner, exactly how you may be speaking to someone,” explains Ravleen Beeston, regional vice-president, Microsoft Advertising UK. And that search journey is now through one gateway, rather than through multiple websites and apps.

AI-powered Chat is evolving to provide more context, creating a more personalized, relevant and engaging user experience. The more satisfied we are with the outcomes, the more we opt to use it. And that’s good news for marketers, as this brings about a new realm of engagement opportunities across paid media, search engine optimization (SEO) and editorial website content, to become more contextual, more human. It’s why Microsoft reports a 30% higher clickthrough rate for users who interact with Copilot as well as Search, indicating that the synergy between search experiences is driving more value.

Empowering new customer experiences

As consumers we want highly relevant, non-intrusive advertising. Generative AI is helping to answer this need. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of global consumers say generative AI will improve their customer experiences, whether that’s making their products better or simply saving time through improved efficiency.

And marketers are answering their expectations. For example, Walmart has built a generative AI-powered search function across iOS, Android and its own website. The new capability is designed to understand the context of a customer’s query and generate personalized responses.

With over a fifth of global travelers turning to AI chatbots to help research and plan their next break, the travel sector is also leaning into generative AI to make the inspiration, planning and booking process even easier. Skyscanner’s director of paid marketing, Friederike Burge, explains that “Our new ‘Dream and Discover with AI’ tool opens up personalized travel ideas and recommendations to users by asking them one question: ‘What kind of trip is on your mind?’”

After a successful testing period, Skyscanner’s Dream and Discover tool launched on May 6 as an app only feature called Savvy Search. The company is at the forefront of ad tech innovation, combining its first party data with the latest technology to develop industry leading solutions for its top advertising partners.

In this sense, AI is not only enhancing our existing research skills and leveling up the quality of the customer experience, but allowing more people to access more relevant information, more quickly and more easily than before.

Enhancing performance at work

Generative AI is also enhancing user experiences in the workplace, giving workers the tools to do more, from summarizing meetings, to generating ad copy and images, analyzing data, optimizing campaign performance, and much more, providing support in a fraction of the time.

Experts agree that these tools, however, should be used as a partner to enhance human abilities. Together with generative AI, we can enhance our existing skills and get immediate support where it is needed, more intuitively than ever before.

Regardless of skills, competencies and neuro-divergencies, “with these tools, the future of generative AI is within everyone’s reach,” says Beeston.

Come back next Wednesday for part two of our ‘Eye on AI’ series to explore how it is facilitating human creativity.

Artificial Intelligence #digital Generative AI

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