AI Is The Future of Advertising

AI is evolving from a "nice-to-have" capability to a "must-have”. It has been said that "Artificial intelligence is the new electricity." This statement should give you a clue as to how important it is in today's world. Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere and will only become more prevalent in our lives as we move forward towards the fourth industrial revolution - especially in marketing and advertising. So, what exactly is AI?

Definition of AI

Artificial Intelligence can be defined as “a system’s ability to interpret external data correctly, learn from such data, and use those learnings to achieve specific goals and tasks through flexible adaptation.” This definition may sound complicated at first glance, but in reality, this technology is already all around us—and we don't even realize it! For example, image recognition software allows you to search for images online by uploading an image rather than typing text into a search bar; smart speakers like Amazon Echo allow you to control your home with just your voice; self-driving cars are no longer science fiction—they're real life! 

Artificial Intelligence can be broken down into three main categories: strong AI, weak AI, and narrow AI. Strong AI would include a machine with general problem-solving abilities, like a Tesla car navigating traffic. Weak AI includes machines with specific skills, like playing chess or understanding human speech in order to provide customer service over the phone. Narrow AI refers to machines designed for one particular task—for example recognizing faces in photos or tagging content on social media sites. 

Organizations, such as Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Google, Tencent, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Baidu AI, Xiaomi are investing heavily to make AI accessible and available for everyday use.

How does AI relate to advertising?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been integrated into numerous technologies and apps by industry giants such as Google, Amazon, and Apple - for example, face-recognition systems, personal assistants, and user-preference learning. Indeed, without its machine-learning system, Amazon could not have grown its business, improved consumer experience and choice, or optimized their logistics.

From translating languages to healthcare to making smartphones even smarter, Google AI aimed to "generate more intelligent, helpful technology and help as many people as possible," according to the company's press release. Facebook AI research was focused on extending the frontiers of machine intelligence and developing new technologies that allow individuals greater ways to interact."

Marketers who are looking to improve their skills in artificial intelligence are developing, collaborating on, or placing AI technology into their technical stacks. AI is already being utilized in ad targeting and customer segmentation, but there are many more possibilities ahead, such as:

  • Chatbots that are AI-powered use all a customer's information to respond to inquiries and give advice to those considering making a purchase. Sephora's Kik bot, for example, asks customers about their cosmetics preferences before giving them more specific product information.
  • Users may now use AI to enhance image search, allowing them to submit pictures of items they are interested in to get product suggestions. For example, CamFind allows you to take a photograph of anything in the real world and receive information about it. Say you see a poster for a movie you'd want to see. CamFind will provide you.
  • Optimized advertising, as the name implies, employs artificial intelligence to make judgments based on all available data - both structured and unstructured. For example, IBM teamed up with MediaMath to utilize its Watson Cognitive Bidder to gather predictive signals from exposure to large amounts of data as a corporate market
  • Twitter has used artificial intelligence for several years to identify abusive tweets and accounts that violate its policy. It is also used to detect bots rather than humans (because they are responsible for most spam messages).
  • Walmart Artificial intelligence has been applied to produce video ads. It's an example of what AI can do that humans cannot (and probably will not ever). A human is able to record a few hours of video and create an ad; A machine can watch 100,000 hours and generate 20,000 ads in a few seconds.
  • CatapultX’s proprietary AI has been utilized to analyze and identify moments within video content that relate to ads in their network - for example, serving a Dell monitor ad within video content where a person is using a small screen to work.

What will be the future of AI in Advertising?

Nobody knows if artificial intelligence will allow us to improve our own intellect as Ray Kurzweil from Google believes, but it will definitely make advertising more efficient, easier to scale and simpler to manage.

It will also create new ethical, legal, and philosophical conversations that must be addressed. There will be choices that machines and, by extension, their human programmers will have to make when we move into a world of AI. Thankfully, choices within advertising won’t be that serious (like a choice by a Tesla to speed through a red light or not), but will have a result on how we, as marketers, navigate and protect consumer data. 

That’s why we’re here to lead the conversation about AI in marketing. We think the future is bright! CatapultX won the award from The Drum for most effective use of AI and machine learning - and there's a reason why. CatapultX's On-Stream advertising formats are driven by AI used to understand moments in video and match them with related advertisers. The mission at CatapultX is to achieve the deepest level of understanding of video through AI. By doing this, we're solving for cookie-less advertising, advocating for privacy-first experiences for users, improving results-driving advertising and enabling brands everywhere to enter into video advertising. Follow us as we break down AI in advertising from every angle.