Can Programmatic Think Like Us? How Artificial ... - Greenlight Digital

The notion that artificial intelligence (AI) is supposed to 'replace' human intelligence can sound pretty scary, particularly when the likes of Stephen Hawking.
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DECEMBER 2017 Predictions Magazine

Can Programmatic Think Like Us? How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Our Industry In 2018 & Beyond



The notion that artificial intelligence (AI) is supposed

not-so-distant reality adds more complexity to the

to ‘replace’ human intelligence can sound pretty

picture. Currently, it’s being predicted that by 2050,

scary, particularly when the likes of Stephen Hawking

we’ll have developed AI as complex as the human

express that it could be the biggest threat for

mind – if this is the path we’re on, it’s going to be

humanity . So, what will the world look like once

peppered with lots of technological advancements

we’ve developed a mind that can evolve faster than

that bring with them moral and ethical challenges.

humans? Thinking of all the potential outcomes that

But that needn’t be a negative journey.


could seemingly make sci-fi fiction novels feel like a

Enter narrow AI Nowadays, AI is already impacting our work and

clicks isn’t always the most effective tactic for

the way we lead our lives. For instance, within

campaign performance, as traders drive up the

programmatic, your regular demand-side platform

demand for clicks, making them more expensive and,

(DSP) is using ‘narrow AI’ all the time; this represents

as a result, severely impact KPIs when it comes to

a direct, rule-based algorithmic system which is

cost efficiency. So, while AI can make things easier,

limited by only being able to do what you tell it to,

human logic will still need to determine the viability

so humans are still in the driving seat. In the context

of the process. But, generally, AI will help us begin

of running a programmatic campaign, it allows

to unpick several problems faced in programmatic

advertisers to set the technology up to optimise

trading and, as it develops further, the more complex

towards clicks, for example. That being said, there’s

the algorithms driving it will become.

a flaw in this type of setup as optimising towards

Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency AppNexus is making great headway in this space,

involvement in processes and instead focus their

having just launched its Programmable Bidder

attention on strategic thinking and more complex

(APB ), an industry first of its kind. The platform can

activations during their working day.


buy on a ‘view’ basis (rather than impressions), as well as target people based on deterministic, crossdevice capabilities at no extra cost 3. This, alongside a slew of other smart capabilities within the platform, will boost campaign performance and efficiency, all within a shorter time frame. The rise of this type of technology means traders can reduce their



What’s going to be big in 2018 and beyond ö ö ‘AI’ will still be a dominant topic in digital

ö ö Big players, such as Adobe and Google, will

and, like many buzzwords, not everyone will

launch their own ‘programmable platform’,

understand quite what it means

following in the path of AppNexus

ö ö AI will continue to be built into agency,

ö ö Agencies and brands will follow by adopting

technology and partners’ sales strategies (how

these new platforms, allowing clients to reap

advanced the AI technology actually is, is

the gains in efficiency

another matter)

What I believe AI in programmatic will look like ö ö We’ll have a single platform that can buy every

ö ö AI-fuelled technology will make use of all digital

type of digital media programmatically from the

channels, so that they work together to drive an

point of creative upload, to delivery, optimisation

optimum ROI for the advertiser

and reporting, in the most efficient way possible

ö ö Eventually, AI algorithms will be able to ‘think for

ö ö AI will allow advertisers to optimise based on a

themselves’, dictating how much budget should

holistic, end-to-end view of performance, using

be invested into each channel, and deciding when

deterministic attribution modelling in real time to

activity should go live, with what creative, and in

buy impressions

what context

Don’t panic – you’ll still have a job I can hear you wondering whether you should go

as the industry evolves, so do people in terms of

back to school and study something completely

their knowledge and expertise, at which point an

different. But fear not, you’re not likely to be out of

understanding of how things used to work will

a job (unless you do something wildly inappropriate

inevitably shape the future of our industry. So,

at a work party, but try not to blame AI for that!).

there’s nothing to worry about just yet, although

Technology can only develop at a certain pace,

what our fate might be in 2050 leaves a lot to the

so you’ll see change happen progressively. And

imagination. 3. 1. 2.



“AI is already impacting our work and the way we lead our lives”

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