The Record - Issue 18: Autumn 2020

114 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om F E ATUR E A rtificial intelligence is bringing profound transformation across the media and communications industry. It already forms a huge part of how content is delivered, as algorithms work to understand our behaviours and preferences. These insights are hugely val- uable in understanding consumers and making communications more effective but can also pose their own challenges. “The digital advertising market is worth about $350 billion a year and growing,” says Perry Nightingale, head of creative AI at creative trans- formation company WPP. “And we already see a lot of AI, particularly on the targeting side. Algorithms are constantly working around us to recommend the next piece of content to con- sume. But because of the way those algorithms work, we have to make a huge amount of content before they become effective. We need hundreds and hundreds of variations of an advert before it becomes worthwhile to split them up and show to different people, which all need to be created in the same amount of time and for the same cost.” So while AI is already creating a more per- sonalised, curated experience for consumers, the increasingly customised nature of content is pushing the capability of human creativity to keep up the pace. To do so, AI technologies are being developed that can help support the pro- cess of content creation. An area in which AI can begin to have an impact is brand governance. Every piece of content that is created by a brand will have to comply with the brand design guidelines and specific technical requirements it has for differ- ent channels such as social media, video or retail environments. This means that as more and more content is produced, the process for the approval of that content becomes increasingly complicated and costly. “What we have been developing with Microsoft is an AI solution to this problem,” says Stephan Pretorius, chief technology officer at WPP. “If you can codify an entire brand’s guidelines and specifications into an AI engine, you can use this to govern the creative process all through the supply chain. We’ve built a configurable content review platform, powered by Microsoft Cognitive Services, that can do just that.” This makes it possible to validate content as it is created, making the process far quicker. It could even provide a tool that helps to ensure that With the demand for content only increasing as organisations tailor their offerings to the individual consumer, AI is providing powerful tools to enable creative industries to keep pace BY A L E X SM I TH creativity Supporting