IAB Forms Working Group To Tackle AI

The marketing world may soon get some new guidance on what they should be doing with artificial intelligence.

A working group focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning is being launched by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today with the goal of helping marketing, technology and advertising executives navigate the impact AI and machine learning will have on the digital world of advertising.

"IAB formed this group based on significant member interest,” said Susan Borst, deputy director, mobile, at IAB

One of the challenges of AI is grasping what it actually means and how to tap into it.

"The questions we are hearing the most relate to definitions, use cases and governance/ethics," said Borst. “These are the areas that we will focus on first."

The working group already had an initial call in which about 60 IAB members participated, according to Jordan Bitterman, CMO of IBM’s the Weather Company, who will co-chair the working group with Patrick Albano, chief revenue officer of AdTheorent.



“Anyone in IAB can join,” Bitterman said.

The first task of the group will be to define what AI is and create definitions of all its aspects, Bitterman said. The group then will determine the areas of focus and then go deeper into those areas.

Topics to be tackled, according to IAB, are:

  • Understanding how AI and machine learning impact business
  • Simplifying, defining and setting standards for the space as it relates to the advertising and marketing industry
  • Organizing tools for the industry to plan ahead
  • Thinking about responsible usage of AI so that humans and machines work well together in the future

Artificial intelligence, or at least some versions of it, have been around for years. However, with evolved computing processing power and billions of connected IoT devices, the potential is about to be realized.

One example of AI is in the use of chatbots, which can translate into big dollars. During the next five years, chatbots will be responsible for cost savings of more than $8 billion a year, up from $20 million this year, according to Juniper Research.

However, artificial intelligence is not yet widely adopted by businesses.

While most business leaders are interested or even welcoming of AI into their business, the majority (69%) of companies are not yet using it, according to a recent study by KRC Research.

AI is coming on strong, though, with 43% of business leaders saying their organization will likely implement some type of AI within the next three to five years.

One area of interest in AI is retail. Almost half (45%) of retailers plan to utilize artificial intelligence for customer service within three years, according to a recent study by BRP. That study found that 14% or retailers say they already have implemented AI in the form of chatbots and digital assistants, with the top priority being to optimize the customer experience.

The IAB working group is expected to lay out the AI definitions and focus areas during the current quarter, Bitterman said.

AI and machine learning will impact the marketing world in three main areas, according to IAB: finding the right people (audience), saying the right thing (creative) and marketing most effectively (relevance).

The working group plans to get its arms around all of that.

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