Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the words on everyone’s lips right now. Amazon has been testing drones for deliveries, Facebook has hired an AI guru and now Google has acquired London AI firm DeepMind. While AI has long been the topic of science fiction films and the subject of scientists’ and engineers’ experiments, it has only recently become a mainstream news topic.
It used to be that intelligent humans would do the thinking and create a machine to help us with the heavy lifting. Now it seems that it works the other way round - machines do the thinking and we are freed to engage in more creative endeavours. Consider SatNav: it tells us the best way to go, we decide where it will take us.
Computers tell us which stocks to buy, help the Mars Curiosity Robot to navigate the red planet, and can even predict products we are going to buy before we know it. Rocket Fuel has long known that AI technology can help advertisers conduct their businesses in a better way.
To put it simply, there is too much complicated data out there for humans to manage. We need computers to analyse the data, recognise patterns, learn from all of this information and act upon what they have learnt. And most importantly, they need to do this quickly, within milliseconds, in order to capitalise on opportunities in digital media as they happen.
According to the IDC Digital Universe Study, the global volume of digital information created, replicated and consumed will grow from 2.8 zettabytes in 2012 to 40 zettabytes in 2020. This implies a doubling of data every two years. Without the help of AI, there isn’t a way to utilise this level of data and make smart decisions about what it means and what can be done to benefit consumers and the advertisers who try to reach them.
When you feed that much big data into Artificial Intelligence – machines that learn – incredible things happen. Rocket Fuel uses big data and AI to enable “Advertising That Learns”. Our technology crunches more data every day than NASDAQ and the NYSE combined – combing through over 40 billion ad impression opportunities every day across display, video, mobile, and social channels. The platform analyses these billions of potential ad buys against millions of data attributes to ensure advertisements are reaching shoppers at the point of influence on their path to purchase.
So much online advertising is conducted based on a consumer’s past behaviours – what they previously bought, what sites they previously visited, which pages they liked on Facebook. But the real value of online advertising comes from predicting what a consumer might become interested in purchasing in the future. This enables personalised ads to reach a consumer before or at the beginning of their path to purchase, rather than trying to grab a consumer’s attention once a purchase process has already begun and the consumer’s mind might already be made up.
Artificial Intelligence is the only way to do this. But don’t be fooled by just anyone claiming to be using AI in their advertising campaigns. While many companies use algorithms to guide real-time bidding campaigns, Rocket Fuel’s platform, built by actual rocket scientists and PhDs, is a programmatic ad buying technology that turns media-buying into a fully-automated, big data-driven, real-time precision science. It’s not something that’s easy to do, but when you get it right the power of AI can provide results far beyond anything that a human could ever dream of doing.
AI is already doing amazing things and, of course, these technologies will continue to improve. But there are so many more areas where AI can be used to benefit us all. It has a long way to go, but it’s great to see that the world is sitting up and taking notice.
(Visit rocketfuel.com to learn more.)