Artificial Intelligence is already all around us

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Where can we already see AI in the real world?

“AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It is more profound than electricity or fire…We have learned to harness fire for the benefits of humanity but we had to overcome its downsides too.….AI is really important, but we have to be concerned about it." - Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google.

While science fiction often portrays AI as robots with human-like characteristics, AI can encompass anything from Google’s search algorithms to IBM’s Watson, to autonomous weapons. Everyone is excited about AI, and everyone has a view on AI. AI is no longer the preserve of an Alex Garland screenplay, it’s a reality and being used in multiple ways.

We have personal assistants in our pockets and on our desks. Automated factories and self-driving cars being tested daily. Many governments and agencies around the world are researching AI and pouring billions into funding. Many scientists believe that once this lofty goal has been reached, these machines will have similar survival drives as we do.

Artificial intelligence powers online algorithms that determine your social news feed and make digital assistants like Siri and Alexa so useful.

How is AI affecting the ad world?

Advertisers can use AI to read like a person, which really gives them the ability to match audience members, content and ads, deep native advertising benefits the consumer as they are served more relevant content. AI helps advertisers do the heavy lifting. Soon we’ll see fewer wasted impressions with ads that are more targeted and focused, leading to better campaign results.

Through using artificial intelligence consumers are served ads they are actually interested in. Consumers also benefit from more enhanced interaction with brands, making it easier for them to get what they want, when they want.

Areas of development for the advertising industry include advertising automation and optimisation, chat bots for service and assisting in sales. The Trade Desk brings AI to adtech to optimise online media buys. Programmatic platforms are increasing their use of AI and machine learning to determine which impressions they’re likely to win and should avoid bidding on to reduce their infrastructure costs.

The ability to incorporate AI has been a tremendous addition to the advertising industry, especially with its ability to curtail some of our biggest issues, like ad fraud and brand safety.

DSPs have begun to leverage AI to reduce infrastructure costs. With the advents of header bidding and server-side ad insertion (SSAI), DSPs must evaluate more impressions than ever before and infrastructures costs have skyrocketed as a result. By trimming out opportunities they are unlikely to win, DSPs can avoid bidding and reduce their infrastructure costs.

Native Advertising company AdYouLike is the only native company to be integrating software such as IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence to create vastly powerful semantic targeting, providing a wealth of contextual data that examines not just what a publisher is writing about, but why.

AI has also had a part to play in content creation. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) reports that the Associated Press, Fox News and Yahoo! are using AI to construct data-driven stories such as financial summaries and sports score recaps.

What is going to be possible in the future?

Technology provides a means by which we can know ourselves better and cater to our human behaviour with a greater degree of precision. Many businesses are eager to bring AI capabilities to their organisation. IDC research shows that by 2021, vendor revenue from cognitive software and cognitive server infrastructure will grow to $10 billion.

Channel 4 recently revealed the world’s first AI driven TV advertising technology, that enables the broadcaster to place a brand’s ads next to relevant scenes in a linear TV show, will be tested later this year. Over the next ten years, deep learning algorithms will make our current technology much more sophisticated. For example, advertisers will benefit from consumers using visual search to discover products and complete purchases with speed and ease.

Within the next decade machines might well be able to diagnose patients with the learned expertise of not just one doctor but thousands, they might make jury recommendations based on vast datasets of legal decisions and complex regulations. Self driving cars will probably be more widely adopted by 2021, and in the years leading up to 2030, self-driving and remotely controlled delivery vehicles and flying vehicles will most probably be making their debut.

Julien Verder is chief executive officer of AdYouLike

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