Can Artificial Intelligence Make The Online Experience More Natural?

By definition, artificial Intelligence seems anything but “natural,” but AI tools increasingly give publishers the secret weapons they need to create a more authentic, organic and natural experience for their site visitors.

That will help publishers compete better in a world dominated by a few online giants and swamped by seemingly endless content alternatives.

Forrester Research predicts AI investment will grow 300% this year.

In the process, AI will liberate powerful customer insights from Big Data that businesses previously could never tap. That will drive growth and give them huge competitive advantages over companies that don’t invest.

For publishing, Forrester notes, it will provide “a more compelling and 'sticky' experience for your users, giving them more reasons to remain on your site instead of grazing elsewhere for relevant and engaging content.”

AI connects Big Data to your content and much else, handling many complicated “plumbing” issues while optimizing and personalizing everything a specific visitor sees — from page layouts to created content.



At the same time, humans remain a vital part of the processes that AI helps power. Without human feedback and fine tuning, the algorithms can’t improve. Humans need to create and further leverage the content that brings in the visitors.

So in this case, AI should stand for “Augmented Intelligence.”

This Augmented Intelligence is making the things you do better, smarter and faster. Because the experience is better, those users stick around longer and are more valuable to a publisher.

They are also of value to publisher’s advertisers and other publishing partners.

AI must help us see into the future, successfully predicting what a site visitor wants to see, perhaps even before the visitor knows herself.

It must analyze complex editorial content of all lengths and media types, providing the feedback that human decision makers need to create a more organic and authentic experience. 

That enhanced experience, in turn, shifts the conversation about metrics from CPMs for each specific ad to a more comprehensive measure that looks at site earnings across a visitor’s entire stay on site, including ad views, engagement with sponsored and branded content.

This more holistic approach to valuing a visit allows a publisher to think about creating the best possible experience for each reader, combining excellent and focused content, highly targeted advertising and less intrusive design and marketing experiences.

So how does the notion of augmented intelligence work in the publishing space? AI has several roles here:

  • Content discovery – AI can push forward the best-performing relevant content from your library, based on a visitor’s historical engagement data, social-media analytics and news trends.
  • Metadata extraction – Natural-language processing can automatically distill key metadata from your content, creating the road maps needed to get the right library content to your visitors. Such processing can parse language, infer the context and tone of what you’re presenting and recognize key entities mentioned in the work.
  • Taxonomy creation and management – Organize all your assets in logical and consistent ways around categories and subcategories that allow you to better manage and monetize your material.
  • Playlist optimization – Stack your related content in a way that’s most likely to encourage extended viewing.
  • Personalization – Account for individual user preferences, based on factors such as geographical location, viewing device and behavioral segmentation, among others.

The AI-driven hyper-segmentation and tight content focus allows publisher to create the cognitive content that leads to conversion, turning occasional visitors into subscribers and fans.

That’s a revolution any publisher can support.  


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