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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe?

Artificial Intelligence or AI is the new buzzword in the digital media world! Adding to the hype, in October 2016 lingerie retailer Cosabella replaced its digital agency with an AI platform named “Albert” – claiming that ROI tripled in the months to follow!

Cosabella’s Marketing Director quoted: “There is a place for agencies in marketing, but it does not lie in managing paid-search, social and display campaigns.” raising questions on the role humans can play in managing advertising campaigns in the near future.

But, is AI going to replace Media Agencies?

The answer, as scary as it may seem, is YES:

  • While human brain remains the most complex processing machine, it is unable to process large data sets and complex mathematical formulas without the help of computers
  • Human decisions are often “subjective” and irrational, not taking into account all available data points
  • In a world where everything is “on-demand”, human decisions are slow and the actual implementation is even slower

What’s the future of media agencies in an AI driven world?

Media agencies will have to embrace technology, adapt and transform themselves if the want to maintain a role in the industry:

  • AIs are build by humans – agencies of the future will compete on AI performance the same they are now competing in the programmatic space
  • A solid understanding of programming and statistical principles will be a perquisite for all Digital Specialists in the near future – manual optimisation and reporting will eventually vanquish
  • Creatives will have to work hand in hand with AIs. “Subjective” decisions based on “creative wisdom” will be a thing of the past

The role of future agencies will be to “feed AIs” with all the assets they need to make smarter decisions on the ground. In return, AIs will feed agencies with the insights they need to make smarter strategic and business decisions to transform their products and services.

As William Gibson quoted:

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed”

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