AI: Artificial Intelligence. Yes, a slightly disappointing Steven Spielberg film, but also one of the most exciting forces affecting the growth of almost every industry today. To learn more about the extent to which AI will and already is changing advertising, specifically, we decided to *break into the Giant Media brain trust to engage our Product and Engineering teams on the topic. They oversee development of VuePlanner®, an AI-powered technology that identifies the most contextually relevant and brand suitable YouTube content for campaign targeting. Here they provide 5 expert insights.

*they gladly agreed to discuss this

1. Let’s start with an overview. What’s the state of AI in the advertising industry today?

AI in the advertising industry has gone from a marketing buzzword to a reality, where almost every company out there has started a meaningful attempt at automation.  Advertisers have always been savvy and are applying the principles of machine learning in new and exciting ways, with the ultimate goal to get the right message in front of the right potential buyer at the right time.

2. Automation in advertising? Andrew Yang will be thrilled! Let’s look at this specific moment in time. What is the number one trend shaping AI in advertising this year?

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) – catering new and relevant ads (via copy and imagery) to individuals, based on how they will react to the message. [Read more about DCO here and here.] Essentially, machines are now more effective at creating ads than humans are.

3. What do you see as challenges in the space that could limit rapid utilization?

Let’s look at two. First, privacy. The jury is still out on whether AI can help alleviate data privacy concerns or exacerbate the privacy problem by accelerating what we can know about a specific individual’s online (and real world) habits.

Second, it’s cost-prohibitive. It takes an investment to hire and train a data science team to help automate advertising.

4. What’s the #1 benefit AI brings to advertising?

Again, we’ll give you two. One: Automation. No more spreadsheets and guessing.  Digital advertising encompasses an endless amount of variables (platform, geo, audience, interest, time of day, ad creative, context of where ads are shown, size of ad, etc.).  Creating models that can factor these multi-variates will eventually enable marketers to be able to fully grasp how all of these factors work in concert.

Two: Real-time optimization. Given these automation advances, this allows for real-time changes (bid adjustments, what creative is served, etc.).

5. So what does the future of AI in advertising look like?

Let’s speak to what we’re doing at Giant Media. We’re using machine learning to build contextual segments–topic models around robust training sets as well as unmanaged clustering to group both open web article content as well as YouTube video data around seemingly uncorrelated concepts. Furthermore, we’re using ML to do emotion-based modeling, based on how users react to videos, by analyzing comments and other signals.

To see AI in advertising in action, get started with VuePlanner®.