Digital Perspectives
New views. Applied now.

Digital Perspectives

New Views. Applied Now.

October 26, 2017
Artificial imperfection: Using AI to make ads more human
By: Christian Souche

Advertising has never been more dependent on technology. Artificial Intelligence and automation are transforming the profession, and giving rise to new disciplines such as programmatic and next-generation advertising.

However, while smart machines and intelligent algorithms are shouldering more responsibility for advertising processes and tasks, they’re also making advertising experiences more intelligent and better suited to our needs as humans. This is because technology provides a means by which we can know ourselves better, and cater to our human behaviours with a greater degree of precision.

Human vision

Take the way we view content as an example. The human eye is actually a fairly limited piece of equipment. While we have a relatively broad field of vision, only 1 percent of it is high resolution – the rest is blurred. When it comes to advertising, that means we can only focus on small portions of a screen at any one time.

When it comes to processing visual information, we’re similarly limited. While around half of the human brain is dedicated to visual processing, the various parts are not that well-coordinated, and we can struggle to pick out important pieces of information when they’re presented in a visually ‘busy’ context. Putting too many visual elements in an advertisement can, therefore, make it difficult for viewers to find the really important information, such as the call to action.

The artificial eye

It’s in this field that artificial intelligence is finding a new and powerful application: helping us understand the capabilities and limits of human perception, and to design accordingly. Take, for example, Accenture’s own Visual Content Optimiser; an artificial eye that uses AI to mimic human vision and perception.

The Optimiser, which has been incubated in the Accenture Interactive R&D Centre at the Sophia Antipolis tech hub, uses what we’re calling ‘artificial imperfection’ to show advertisers in advance how effective their content will be in presenting information in a clear and engaging way. Through the Visual Content Optimiser, designers can see a heat map of their adverts which indicate where the human eye would be drawn, so helping them improve the design.

Here, AI is being used to make adverts better suited to the way us humans view them. The implications are clear: people will be able to interact with ad content much more easily and get more meaning from them. This is a better experience for the viewer and makes conversions all that more likely.

AI for people

AI is what we make it, and at Accenture Interactive we’re using it to make the best ad experiences on the planet. From programmatic product placement to new alternatives to pre-roll ads, these experiences are increasingly driven and informed by machines, but in such a way as to make the ad industry better suited to human audiences. If you would like to see other ways in which AI is helping to make advertising and marketing more people-focused, then please join us at Wired Live 2017, where we’ll be demoing a wide range of innovations around programmatic and advertising automation.

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