People are the driving force of artificial intelligence

Óscar Rodríguez, Managing Director (Xaxis Spain) via El País Economía
FIRMA INVITADA

People are the driving force of artificial intelligence

The success of the implementation of artificial intelligence depends on a careful balance, says the author

From voice assistance in the car to the formation of future violinists, artificial intelligence (AI) is facilitating the daily tasks of people, and those within the digital marketing industry are no exception.

Advertiser brands are leveraging the great capacity of AI to increase efficiency, especially when it comes to large-scale and high-speed data processing. In fact, an IAB investigation shows that 64% of advertisers use advanced tools to adjust the accuracy of segmentation in Spain, with almost two fifths (36%) agreeing that it improves their competitive advantage and productivity. But, despite all the approach we put on machines, it is also important not to forget what humans can do for AI.

Without qualified backstage staff, the power of smart technologies to achieve key business objectives is limited. And that is why investment in talent is still important.

What brings AI to advertising?

Contradicting the standard narrative of AI as a threat to employment, Spanish workers welcome technological innovation: not only do 63% believe that AI will benefit their long-term employment, but 88% also want more training digital. Much of this enthusiasm is due to the ability of Artificial Intelligence to save time and labor. In advertising, for example, machine learning reduces the analytical burden that can burden advertisers (and lead programmatic business to exhaustion) by instantly evaluating disparate data, identifying patterns and generating useful information.

With smart tools that provide the means to identify target audiences, invest directly in high-performance media, and adjust the strategy in real time, it is not surprising that 73% of advertisers think that automation is the greatest benefit of AI. But even the smartest technology needs some guidance to ensure effective evaluation and execution of the data with the brand’s priorities.

Where algorithms fall short

There are many reasons why no company can be powered solely by technology. For starters, AI is not totally independent. The basic algorithms execute fixed programs that solve particular problems with strict parameters, written by people. Even machines and deep learning systems are trained using data sets that need to be manually tagged before the analysis begins.

Then there is the issue of data entry control. As John Pickles, Ford Europe’s digital marketing optimization leader, points out:

“Trash inside means trash outside.”

Tools fueled with inaccurate data will produce inaccurate results that can lead advertisers to waste budgets and irritate audiences. In addition, machines still cannot invest money to understand the specific needs and objectives of companies. Therefore, human monitoring and personalization remain vital to ensure that AI-based platforms work as they should.

Not to mention creativity. Despite the significant progression in the creation of autonomous campaigns, technology still lacks the imagination necessary to build inspirational advertisements that arouse the attention of the audience and relate to them on a personal and significant level.

Embracing a hybrid future

All this leads to a main conclusion: the success of AI implementation depends on a careful balance. In an increasingly competitive industry, advertisers need smart platforms that allow them to evaluate data efficiently and ensure that the investment goes to contact and communication points that offer the best opportunity to generate the desired business results. But defining what those goals should be, keeping technology on track and making individual connections requires the human touch.

And to achieve this balance, they must invest both in the promotion of talent and in technological development. In addition to hiring people with the necessary skills to manage AI – engineers who can build and adjust algorithms or data scientists capable of testing and aligning them with the objectives of the campaign – internal cultivation is key. Giving current employees the opportunity to improve their skills and develop is vital not only to create a workforce prepared to work with AI, but also to retain it. As most advertisers (64%) know, finding, and retaining the right talent is not easy.

Initiatives such as training, mentoring sessions, hackathons, and work exchanges are relatively small steps, but they make a big difference in the company’s culture and collective strength. By fostering an environment in which talent is free to prosper and learn, the advertising industry can unlock its full potential to drive persistent revenue and creativity growth, no matter what the next phase of digital transformation brings.

Read the original article in Spanish on Retina El Pais

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