IAB Tech Lab AI Secures Adland's Future

Adobe, Google, Meta, Microsoft and other technology companies have begun to churn out artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can build software code and ad creatives, as well as optimize targeting, as the IAB Tech Lab AI subcommittee works to design standards and tools to support adland.

The IAB Tech Lab AI subcommittee will meet fortnightly. It had the first meeting in late September to plan its focus on everything from protecting publishers' intellectual property to consumer privacy implications.

“We’re a shiny penny industry,” Anthony Katsur, CEO of IAB Tech Lab, told Media Daily News. “It was the year of mobile in our industry for 12 years. We’ve seen other massive hype cycles, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a valid focus. Clearly, today, we spend more time on our phone.”



The metaverse is something different, and will have a 10-year progression, Katsur said.

AI is not new to the industry. Google, Microsoft and others have used the technology to support advertising for years.

The basic demand-side platform (DSP) services are built on the fundamentals of machine learning (ML), which is a subset of AI. Supply-side platforms (SSP) yield curves and yield engines used to maximize revenue are built on ML concepts.

With advancements come setbacks. Generative AI (GAI) and deepfakes have become a real challenge for the advertising industry. “How do I know that content was created by a human and ensure media companies there wasn’t intellectual property theft,?” he asks. “Media company’s greatest IP is their content. AI represents a threat to publishers.”

Katsur also cited many benefits, but the subcommittee needs to create business standards and technical frameworks.

Focusing on protecting publishers is Katsur’s top priority, and then moving to generative artificial intelligence (GAI) and content authenticity and determining the benefits and the risks as well as privacy implications.

Creative optimization is one of the latest services to build in AI technology. Meta has introduced its first generative AI features for ad creatives in Meta's Ads Manager, with the global rollout scheduled for completion by next year.

The new features -- Background Generation, Image Expansion, and Text Variations -- will add to the AI-powered experiences and tools Meta continues to build for businesses around creativity, productivity, personalization and performance.

Microsoft is expected to debut an AI chip design at its annual developer conference next month. The chip, which is known as Athena, is designed for data-center servers that train and run large language models (LLMs), such as the software behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT. 

Aparna Chennapragada, a longtime Google employee, board member at eBay and most recently chief product officer of stock trading app Robinhood, wrote in a LinkedIn post about joining Microsoft as corporate vice president leading GAI efforts in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Designer.

This shift continues to occur not just in advertising technology, but in other areas such as finance and healthcare.

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