"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Will Doherty, vice president of business development at Index Exchange.
As part of its recent Artificial Intelligence work, Google has been having conversations with its machines.
Human: What is the purpose of life?
Machine: To serve the greater good.
Human: What is the purpose of dying?
Machine: To have a life.
Why does this seem so profound – and slightly creepy? Because it sounds almost human. We’re living in an Uncanny Valley, where machines can provoke and simulate emotional reactions. Clearly this offers whole new vistas of opportunity for advertising, along with some unsettling possibilities.
Digital advertising has actually used digital simulations of people for years, although they’re commonly called bots. We all hate them. On that we can agree. They rob publishers and marketers. They funnel media dollars into the hands of digital syndicates by masking themselves as content consumers. As we see above, they’re becoming more proficient.
If you can move past the theft, however, bots are providing a tangible service to marketers and publishers alike. Their ability to look and behave like real humans can provide a moment of clarity and real self-awareness to all sides of the digital ecosystem.
While bots can simulate audience behaviors, they can’t simulate audience experiences and emotions. That means marketers can observe what bots do to learn more about their audiences, and publishers can look at what they don’t do, to learn more about how to make emotional connections to theirs.
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