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Asking for a friend: How is AI used in advertising?

A question mark draws into frame, ending in the torso of a thinking person.

Illustration by Tim Bumatay / Getty / The Current

We may not think about it a lot, but artificial intelligence is all around us. AI and big data are being increasingly used in advertising – from Spotify tracking the songs we play, to Siri’s suggestions, to Alexa listening to our prompts.

Forbes reports AI can automate 70 percent of data processing work, making it particularly suitable for programmatic advertising.

“A human trader is only capable of making so many optimizations to their campaigns on a daily basis,” says James Shirriff, group account director at Xaxis Canada. “[AI is] an incredibly powerful tool that they now have in their toolbox to unleash new potential in campaigns.”

More powerful outcomes are almost always the end game for advertisers. Shirriff shared his wisdom on the rise of AI in the latest Asking for a friend, saying he thinks it’s “really pushing the boundaries in digital advertising.”