AI chatbots could lead to conversational advertising

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Emi Gal: Brainient's chief executive predicts that consumers will talk to ads
Emi Gal: Brainient's chief executive predicts that consumers will talk to ads

The advent of artificial intelligence could lead to "conversational" advertising, with consumers able to talk to an ad while watching it.

Speaking at IAB Engage 2016, Teads Studio chief executive Emi Gal said the next stage of AI for advertising might see bots embedded in online video ads to talk to consumers directly. Teads Studio, formerly Brianient before it was bought by video ad tech company Teads last month, specialises in video and mobile ad creative.

Gal, who has studied artificial intelligence, said brands could embed a bot at the bottom of an ad, with consumers able to ask for more information, request a brochure or other information.

"These will be intelligent enough to replicate the experience you would have with a human representative in a store," he said. "The AI is there in terms of being able to replicate that experience.

"I think ads in the very near future will look like this, so that consumers will be able to talk to a brand while watching the ad, which is pretty exciting."

While chatbots can appear gimmicky, several major brands have begun experimenting with the technology.

Facebook introduced chatbots to its Messenger service earlier this year, with Domino's offering easy pizza orders and Channel 4 running a campaign to promote its show Humans with bots. 

Gal said there was evidence to suggest bots drove sales. WeChat reportedly made $100m (£82m) in sales through bots during Singles Day, a major spending day for Chinese consumers.

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